With the Indianapolis Colts facing the Buffalo Bills to open up the 2015 regular season, Stampede Blue's Josh Wilson talked with Buffalo Rumblings' Brian Galliford about the Bills and this Sunday's matchup. The questions are in bold and then Brian's responses follow.
1. Marcell Dareus is suspended for this Sunday's game, and that's obviously a big loss because of how great of a player he is. But how big of an impact will that have to the game itself?
It'll have a pretty significant impact. His starting replacement, Corbin Bryant, is a solid player, and the Bills still have another All-Pro and another Pro Bowler up front, so their line will be good, but Dareus is, in my opinion, the Bills' best individual player at any position. You notice when those types of guys aren't in the lineup, and I think the biggest hit will be with the run defense, and the way the Colts can block guys up front. It changes things, but Buffalo's defense is still really good on paper without Dareus, and they'll put up a good fight against a great offense.
2. The quarterback situation is obviously one that a lot of fans have been keeping an eye on. Was Tyrod Taylor the right choice? And what can we expect from him?
Unequivocally, yes, Taylor was the right choice for the starting job. He is the quarterback on this team most capable of making big, clutch plays, and that's the type of player that a team featuring a great defense and LeSean McCoy needs under center. He might not set the league on fire or anything, but I think he's more than good enough to hit "pleasant surprise" territory. He had an excellent preseason.
3. Is LeSean McCoy going to be ready to play this Sunday? If so, how much can we expect to see him?
Yes, McCoy will play, and he'll start. Given the fact that the Bills are going to heavily emphasize the running game this year, and that McCoy isn't the only Bills runner that will be playing at less than 100 percent, I expect a bit of a committee approach - Bryce Brown and rookie Karlos Williams will take some carries - but I'd still be surprised if McCoy didn't take the majority of the carries. It's been about a month since his injury, so he should be hitting full stride soon.
4. Rex Ryan is the new head coach, and it seems he has brought a level of energy and excitement to the team and their fan base. How are fans reacting to the new regime?
Rex is beloved, mostly because his temperament and attitude are endearing, and easy to identify with for a fan based as starved for a winner as this one is. You have to understand: the Bills have had utterly disinteresting, milquetoast head coaching hires since basically forever. Ryan is unlike anything they've ever had in this job, and these are definitely exciting times. But just like with any coach, fans will be quick to turn on him if the losses continue to pile up.
5. The Bills haven't made the playoffs since 1999. They have a very good defense and an exciting new head coach - will that be enough to end the drought and get them to the postseason this year?
Their great defense wasn't enough last year, when they were a 9-7 club that was a win or two away from the playoff field. The hope is that they'll eke enough out of McCoy and the ground game, plus Taylor and the quarterback position, to put them over the top. I have no idea if it will be enough or not, but I sure as hell am interested to see how it all plays out. They have a better shot at making the playoffs than they've had since I was a middle schooler, and I'm just going to sit back and enjoy the ride for as long as I can.
Thanks again to Brian for taking the time to answer these questions, and be sure to check out Buffalo Rumblings for complete coverage from the Bills side of things!