Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Bills news....

The Buffalo Bills have started reworking their roster for next season. They signed former Eagles cornerback Troy Vincent, which should be an upgrade: departed CB Antoine Winfield is a vicious tackler, but he has the worst hands I've ever seen and almost never even comes close to intercepting the ball, which is really what you want out of a CB anyway. (One of the Buffalo radio sports guys said of Winfield, "A corner who tackles well is like a receiver who blocks well. What's the point?" That's putting it a bit strongly, but there's a grain of truth there.)

The Bills also released veteran backup quarterback Alex Van Pelt, who has already signed on to do color commentary for the team's radio broadcasts next year. Van Pelt is a classy and intelligent football guy, and I'm sure he'll do fine on the radio, although I rather expected him to go into coaching rather than broadcasting. Off and on through his career, when the starters ran into trouble, some fans would call for Van Pelt to be allowed a shot at the starting job, which is testament to his leadership and football acumen. Too bad that his physical skills were never up to par, especially in the arm-strength department. Alex Van Pelt had all the attributes of a fine NFL quarterback -- except the arm, which you really can't do without.

Now the Bills are looking seriously at Billy Volek, the backup QB from Tennessee who is an unrestricted free agent. That would be a good signing. He's experienced (four years) and young, so when Drew Bledsoe departs -- sooner or later -- the Bills would have someone to plug in for a while, if not for a long time.

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