It’s no secret what the Buffalo Bills need to address this offseason. Offense, offense and more offense. For a team with a young quarterback on the rise and a lack of playmakers offensively, any skill position on offense could use an upgrade. The Bills need a number one wide receiver, an athletic playmaking tight end, or really anyone that can take some pressure off of Josh Allen’s right arm.
A position that could use some help is running back. Devin Singletary had an impressive season rushing for 775 yards and two touchdowns despite missing three games due to a hamstring injury earlier in the season. If not for that, he likely would have had a 1,000-yard season. Although he was a bright spot, the rest of the backfield left a lot to be desired. Frank Gore became ineffective as the season went on and T.J. Yeldon could not seem to find the field. The Bills need someone to compliment Singletary desperately.
Maybe that complimentary running back the Bills need isn’t in the draft or a big-name free agent, but yet someone who has experience and success in the league. So, who is this running back? This week’s Thursday Thought: Why the Bills should sign Matt Breida.
Singletary was a great draft pick by Brandon Beane and his staff. He’s tough, physical, quick, catches the ball well, pass protects, he does it all. However, there is one thing lacking from his game, that is top-end speed. Singletary’s biggest flaw is his speed. As much as 40-yard dash times don’t reflect how good a running back actually is (Singletary being an example of this) he ran just 4.66 at the combine last April.
On top of that Frank Gore was never a fast running back, especially at age 36, and T.J. Yeldon is a bigger more physical running back who also does not have great speed. The Bills need someone fast in the backfield. They need a player who can outrace defenders and create homerun-type plays. Brieda is that (he ran a 4.38 at his pro day).
Not to mention, Breida has success and experience in the NFL. He’s been in the league since 2017 and has had three good years on San Francisco including in 2018 when he rushed for 814 yards. On top of his home run ability, his career average for yards per carry is 5.0 YPA. On a team that is already paying big money to Tevin Coleman and Kyle Juszczyk and will have to pay Raheem Mostert at some point too, it’s unlikely that Breida will be back with 49ers next season.
Some fans might be saying, “Why would the Bills not get a physical, downhill runner if they have the “lighting” running back in Devin Singletary?” There are a few reasons why they should focus on a speed back rather than a power back. To start, Singletary is more powerful than people think. How many times this season did Singletary drag the pile forward or make guys miss in tight spaces? Singletary is a guy that can run between the tackles. Also, he had 66 career rushing touchdowns in college at FAU, he knows how to find the end zone.
On top of that, the Bills already have a short-yardage running back who also happens to play quarterback, Josh Allen. Allen had nine rushing touchdowns this season and constantly converted short-yardage situations with quarterback sneaks and read-option plays. The Bills don’t need a big physical runner when they already have one, who can also throw the ball 70 yards flat-footed.
Matt Breida would be a great signing for the Bills as he would bring speed and explosiveness to a rushing attack that severely lacked that throughout the 2019 season. He also brings experience and proven success. Brandon Beane, you know what to do, let’s make this happen.
Mitch Broder is a contributor for The Buffalo Fanatics. To contact him, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @mitchell_broder