On the latest episode of The Rico Report, our host discussed the latest NFL news:
- Deshaun Watson settled 20 of his 24 active allegations, in direct contradiction of his claim to clear his name without settling. The NFL has stated that this will have no effect on his incoming suspensions and other punishments.
- Rob Gronkowski has retired, officially. After a HoF career, he’s finally laying the gloves to rest for the last time.
Outside of that, Rico took a look ahead at 2022, and what could make or break this Buffalo Bills season.
Make or Break: Defensive Line (17:07)
Chief amongst our offseason storylines is our defensive line rebuild. We shed Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison, as well as Star Lotulelei, to make room. We brought on Von Miller, and a whole host of other talented guys. The true benefit of signing Von Miller doesn’t just lie in his play. He’s already taken on the entire young defensive line group that we have left. Under his direct tutelage, these talented yet unrefined players are all ready to be shined into diamonds.
Then, we reworked the interior. This line is now full of dogs who can hunt. Tim Settle is a difference-maker, as is Daquan Jones. With our now-prominent run defense, the biggest issue this team had in 2021-22 is addressed. No more is this a defense you can patiently run over. If these opponents feel as though they have to beat us through the air, our league-best secondary can help us make short work of them en-route to the Super Bowl. If it doesn’t work out, the Bills just made another failed investment into the formerly-most expensive DL in the league.
Make or Break: Offensive Line (29:22)
We need brand-new Buffalo Bills OL Rodger Saffold. If he goes down, or fails to secure the starting job, we will have a fresh weakness to address. We have very little effective depth at guard right now, and the job shouldn’t fall to Cody Ford or Ike Boettger. Rodger Saffold is ready to secure the offensive line between Mitch Morse and either sophomore RT Spencer Brown or franchise LT Dion Dawkins, depending on the final placement of Ryan Bates. Assuming Ryan Bates locks down the RG spot, Saffold is a phenomenal piece to help get us over the hill.
Spencer Brown is about to benefit massively from new OL Coach Aaron Kromer. When the Buffalo Bills had a dominant run game, led by LeSean McCoy, it was Kromer’s OL that paved the way. Brown has his issues last year, but started most of the season on a Super Bowl-calibre roster as a rookie nonetheless. If he is able to improve with that veteran consistency next to him, this line could be dominant. If he doesn’t make a leap, it’s just another expensive area that we need to look at halfway through an attempted Super Bowl run.
The Rest of The Show
Rico did some more ‘Make or Break’, touching on the run game (38:18), the linebacker room (47:15), the secondary (57:48), and head coach Sean McDermott (1:07:08). For all of that and more, check out the latest episode of The Rico Report on the Buffalo Fanatics YouTube channel.