A great many players have come to the Buffalo Bills and found the best versions of themselves. The franchise has turned itself around in a near-miraculous manner and, from top to bottom, is regarded as one of the NFL’s top organizations. Still, in a game like this, not everyone walks away happy. Jon Feliciano and Cole Beasley are two players who didn’t leave the Bills on the best of terms earlier this year. Now, they’re in the news again.
New York, New Lineman
That’s right, Jon Feliciano has been making headlines of his own; never for the right reasons. First, he made some comments on his time in Buffalo.
“The last place I was, we were kind of the thorn in the heel.”Jon Feliciano per Ryan Dunleavy of NYPOST.com
Feliciano’s remark implied that Sean McDermott’s staff didn’t consider the offensive line a priority, and didn’t expend energy and resources there. He went on to praise New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll, for his attention to the offensive line.
Despite all of his comments and criticism about his coaches during his time in Buffalo, he made the odd choice to follow Daboll from Buffalo, where he had been his offensive coordinator. He also joined offensive line coach Bobby Johnson, his direct coach for the last three seasons. During that span, the Buffalo Bills had one of the NFL’s worst running games, and the line had to be reshuffled regularly to try and provide Josh Allen with adequate protection.
Fightin’ Words From Jon Feliciano
You may remember back in May, when Feliciano had the following to say of the Bills’ Divisional Round loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
“There wasn’t anyone challenging in the face of KC’s defense or there was no attitude out there and I feel like that’s what I bring. I feel like potentially if there was that it would’ve been a close game. But who knows, I might be wrong… There’s a part of me that was like, oh, y’all got what you deserved.”Jon Feliciano on ariel helwani’s podcast, May 18th 2022
Feliciano’s commentary came with a bitter taste, as the Bills offensive line was far from the reason they lost that day. Still, he was always one spicy meatball. Constantly fired up, Feliciano is still up to his usual tricks at New York Giants training camp, as he was right in the middle of a huge fight that broke out yesterday.
The fight got so intense that Bobby Johnson himself got involved. Not to prevent the fight, but to get in a few swings of his own.
That’s right! Things are right on track for this offensive line, which Feliciano insists is getting all the attention they need.
Cole Beasley’s Comments
Now, onto Cole Beasley. Beasley, who had his final season in Buffalo tainted by vaccination drama, recently spoke on his experience and eventual departure on Twitter. In a thread where fans called him out for his refusal to be administered a Covid-19 vaccine, the three-year slot receiver for the Bills responded to more positive comments.
Generally a positive statement, it begs a further question: What changed within the organization? Was it simply the differing stances on the Covid-19 response, or did something else unwritten occur? It seems likely that Beasley’s significant cap hit may have played a role in his eventual release, but he kept it light. He may be controversial, but he never seemed like a bad teammate, making light of the Isaiah McKenzie camp showing thus far.
No Trouble in Paradise for the Buffalo Bills
Are there underlying issues within the Buffalo Bills front office? Or are these simply two separate players who have been outspoken underdogs their entire careers? That “Me vs. Them” mentality is part of what fuels some of the greatest players to ever do it. As the heroes of their own stories, both Cole Beasley and Jon Feliciano believe that this team was part of their journey, not the end goal. The game is a career for them, but it isn’t for us. Of course, there would be some level of disagreement.
Put your minds to rest for now, and understand that this organization has had no major social or team issues since the introduction of their current head coach and general manager. That’s not to say there aren’t problems, but there are none so severe that will fracture the most successful Buffalo Bills team since the ‘90s (or maybe ever).
Featured Image: Rick Scuteri/Associated Press