Wilson's Selling Points

Here's what Buffalo's owner can use to lure a new head coach...

The season is lost. We can officially add another chapter to this decade of futility. The post-Jim Kelly migraine continues. But that doesn't mean that the Buffalo Bills won't have a Christmas present in store for their fans. A new head coach is on the way. New hope, on tap. In weeks, the franchise will turn a new leaf. Again. Frustration is inevitable. The team is a tough sell. Bill Cowher isn't walking through that door. Several high-profile coaches have already took the high road. And soon, countless other teams will join Buffalo in the head-coach derby.

Still, Ralph Wilson can dangle a few selling points to prospective head coaches. Here's a handful of talking points that Wilson should use to hook a coach, if he goes that route.

1. Bills can run to glory

For all of their ills on the offensive line, Buffalo does possess what every team dreams of these days. A dangerous 1-2 punch in the backfield. Behind a discombobulated line, Fred Jackson has enjoyed a career season (919 combined rushing/receiving yards) and Marshawn Lynch remains a two-time 1,000-yard back. With a committed play-caller, this duo has the complementary skills to grind games out. The locus of this team could be the running game.

2. High picks are mounting

It's not the desirable route. It means you're a perpetual loser. But if the Tampa Bay Rays showed us anything, it's that teams can claw back to respectability with yearly high draft picks. Buffalo's decade to forget has led to a handful of young players that a new coach could build around. It's not quite the stable of arms the Rays accumulated but in the last three years, the Bill have built a core of Lynch, Paul Posluszny, Donte Whitner, Leodis McKelvin, James Hardy, Aaron Maybin, Eric Wood (maybe), Andy Levitre and Jairus Byrd. That could be appealing to a newcomer.

3. Secondary in midst of banner season

In case you didn't notice, three of the above players are starting defensive backs. Considering Terrence McGee also signed a contract extension this season, the Bills have long-term stability in the secondary. So much for Nate Clements. This season, the Bills have been excellent against the pass, ranking third in the NFL (188 yards per game). They shut down the game's most dangerous passer (Drew Brees, 172 yards) and utterly embarrassed another (Derek Anderson, 2-of-17). This is where the Bills are indeed different than other bottom-feeders in the NFL. The secondary is rarely burnt for big plays. And with the Byrdman roaming in deep center, Buffalo is always one pick away from getting back into the game. He was an absolute steal.

4. Fan support

Throughout Buffalo's erosion into obscurity, fans have continued to sell out games. Given every reason to bail — Ralph Wilson's cheap spending, the Toronto Series, poor personnel decisions, mediocre mediocrity, a string of off-the-field incidents — fans continue to fill The Ralph. This is still a football town. No question, the city will rally around whomever the Bills hire. The last decade has forced fans to instinctively embrace change.

5. Money. Lots of it.

Ralph Wilson seems ready to spend. Maybe. I'll believe it when I see it. But Wilson reportedly offered Bill Cowher $10 million per season — strikingly out of character, strikingly optimistic. If the 91-year old is sincerely willing to unload such a contract, an A-level coach somewhere is bound to bite. For money alone. There is surely an underpaid, overachieving coordinator or college coach out there that'd leap at a payday.

thdunne@gmail.com

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