Niagara Gazette


September 12, 2008

SCHMITT: Bills finally beyond counting on rookies


And those weren’t flukes. Rookies Donte Whitner, Ko Simpson, Brad Butler and Keith Ellison also started games that season. In 2007, Marshawn Lynch was in the opening day lineup, as was Paul Posluszny. It wasn’t long until Trent Edwards joined them.

But this year, rookies made virtually no impact on opening day. Outside of Hardy, it’s doubtful they will. McKelvin might be a dynamic return man, but he’s nowhere near ready to play corner in the NFL, as his faux pas in the Indy preseason game clearly demonstrated.

Chris Ellis, Reggie Corner and Demetrius Bell were inactive for week one. Alvin Bowen is out for the season. Derek Fine is back in practice, but he’s not more than a special teamer this season.

Is this a sign of poor drafting?

Maybe, although I’m not buying it. I’m guessing it’s the handiwork of gone-but-not-forgotten Marv Levy starting to pay off. The Bills needed to start by rebuilding their offensive and defensive lines, and have done so. They desperately needed depth and found that, too.

And they’ve raised the expectations for each and every one of their 53 roster spots along the way.

Good teams don’t play guys who’ve yet to sell their books back to the bookstore.

It remains to be seen if the Bills are indeed a good team. But a lack of inexperience in the starting lineup proves they’re heading in the right direction.

Contact sports editor Tim Schmitt at 282-2311, ext. 2266.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page