by Mario Granata
One key ingredient to having staying power in the NFL is not to rebuild but to reload. This has been a far cry for the Buffalo Bills who have been swirling in turmoil since the turn of the century, but recent moves over the past few years would suggest that they have a blend of youth and experience that will serve them well going into 2015.
Grandpa Jackson and Baby Kouandjio:
As it will come to no ones surprise, Fred Jackson at the tender age of 34 is the oldest Buffalo Bill on the roster. Conversely, Cyrus Kouandjio is currently the youngest (21).
With that being said, the last time the Bills were in the playoffs, Jackson was a wide-eyed freshman in Cedar Rapids, Iowa at Coe College, while Kouandjio was a 6-year old playing a different brand of ‘football’ in the Republic of Cameroon in Africa. The Bills are due, wouldn’t you say?
Experience vs. Youth:
As far as years in the NFL are concerned, Matt Cassel is the most experienced player on the Bills roster as he is set to enter his 12 NFL season.
Mario Williams, Manny Lawson, Kyle Williams and the newly acquired Richie Incognito are all entering their 10th season in 2015. Jackson, Corey Graham and Jerome Felton will be entering their 9th, which answers the question about bringing in some ‘veteran’ leadership this offseason when you look at Cassel, Incognito and Felton. For the past few years, the Bills have looked more like an expansion team in regards to their youth, so the ‘Architect’ Doug Whaley and the boys have brought in some leadership for these young bucks as there are 21 players who have 2 or less years experience in the NFL.
Top to Bottom:
The Buffalo Bills have been able to keep their team young, and build a quality contender going into the 2015 season. 6 of the current Bills on the roster are over 30, and 7 are 29. That gives the Bills 13 players who have some experience AND are expected to be contributors to their success both on and off the field. This will come in handy when one thinks about the fact that there are 52 current players who are 26 or younger. Even more amazing is that 29 players are 24 or younger. Can you say that there will be some discussion about what music will be played in the locker room? I would have to take the ‘over’ in that scenario.
With the Buffalo Bills not holding a first round selection, it was evident that they were going to go out and get players in free agency, and players who could step up and assume leadership roles for the young and upcoming players both on and off the field.
The 2015 Bills are a young and hungry team and have solid veterans at key positions on the roster. Are the playoffs in their future? Time will tell.