Tuesday was Bills general manager Brandon Bean’s turn in front of the microphone to recap the 2022 season, which ended Sunday. 27-10 second round loss To the Cincinnati Bengals:
Five notes from Bean’s press conference, which lasted 54 minutes.
You weren’t in a late groove
the story: The Bills saved their worst game in the worst time (the playoffs). a period.
Bean said: “We did a lot of good things (and) you have to play your best at this time of year. This year, we weren’t when we got to the playoffs — we weren’t in a groove like we were in 2020 and 2021 (going into the playoffs).”
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Suspension: Bean added that he didn’t want to “overreact to one game,” which is probably a good course for a general manager. But Beane’s bigger point — the Bills haven’t put together complete games — has to be his focus. Didn’t the team have the right depth to overcome major injuries? Are the younger players not developing at the right pace and can’t they be trusted? The struggles throughout the last month warrant a full examination of The Bills Way.
the story: The Bills’ offense was held to a season-low 10 points by Cincinnati and had no first-quarter touchdowns trailing 14-0.
Bean said: “Statistically, we did a lot of good things this year, but the other day 10 points won’t win most playoff games. We know we have to score more than that. At least in the last three years, I don’t remember a game where we started, 7-0 , 3-out, 14-0. You get 14-0 on a good program, and you get out of your game plan a bit.”
Suspension: I will always go back to each team’s first offensive plays, a play the coaching staff scripted days before. Cincinnati – Pass to super receiver Ja’Marr Chase. The Bills – A bubble-type screen thrown to receiver Isaiah McKenzie. Things didn’t get better from there.
Nothing about the score on the football field, Kirst writes, could remotely touch the flesh and blood consequences of such events, etched into the civic soul.
Tight salary cap setting
the story: Billings currently has “$240 (million) dollars” on the books for 2023, Bean said, and executives are waiting for the projected range to max out at ’23. But the cap wouldn’t be $240 million, so trims would have to be done just to do business in the middle of March.
Bean said: “Hopefully I get a lot of bucks. It’s $208 (million this season), but I can’t tell you if it’s going to be 208 (million) or 230 (million). 240 wouldn’t be anything. There wouldn’t be a Vaughn Miller signing. . …we’re going to be creative. We’re going to try and win. It’s up to me to find out. We’ve got to press draft picks, we’ve got to find low-paying free agents who can find roles, whether it’s a primary backup, a solid starter, or whatever.”
Jeff Wilber captured the mood of all WNY members after the Bills’ loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday with a Facebook post that has since gone viral.
Suspension: Miller’s contract this past March marks the Bills’ big-ticket free agent for 2022 and ’23. The ’22 draft class is unknown mostly because none are full-time rookies although cornerback Kair Elam and running back James Cook have had their moments. The Bills will need to spend their free agency opening days looking to sign veterans to one-year contracts.
the story: Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and safety Jordan Poyer lead the Bills’ list of unrestricted free agents. There are no internal replacements ready for either player.
Bean said: “Two guys are real Buffalo Bills. I can’t say enough great things about them. (Poyer) is a professional and I know all about the decade. People can handle those in so many different ways, but so much respect to Jordan for how he handled this. Oh man.” “He’s a great professional and has done so many great things for us. I hope you come back, for sure…. Tremaine, it’s been amazing to watch his growth. Very proud of who he is and you can just see his maturity.”
Suspension: The franchise tag is a possibility for Edmunds, Beane said, but he would do well to point out how the linebacker position has the edge in the 3-4 scheme and that tag could be worth more than $20 million. Bills decision – sign the smaller player (Edmonds) or the player who ties things together for the entire defense (Boyer)? Poyer’s cost may be lower, thus, the choice.
the story: The Bills’ leading receiver, Diggs only had one 100-yard game in the quarter-final and spent most of the final minutes of the Bengals game venting off the sideline.
Bean said: “Steve is a competitor. (Carolina) Steve Smith was a lot like that. I’d rather have men to calm down. I can live with that vs. being around people I asked (if) they were only here for a paycheck on Monday. Steve wears his emotions on Quiver his sleeve, but that’s what makes him really good.”
Suspension: Diggs’ spirited defense among the Bills’ players, coach, and general manager was unanimous…but that shouldn’t condone his behavior. On the flip side, why a single 100-yard game up the stretch? This should be a point of focus, and get Diggs’ help so he doesn’t get a defensive spotlight.