After a one week hiatus, our weekly offseason "Around The AFC East" feature is back. To kick things off for us this week, welcome in Brian Galliford of Buffalo Rumblings.
Matty I: I remember reading reports from various sources that claimed Bills 1st round pick Aaron Maybin's play at Bills OTAs was "brutal." Can you shed any light on what that actually means? And are you concerned at all about Maybin right now?
Brian G: Ah, yes - you refer to the Mike Florio "report" in which the only reasons he lists for the word "brutal" making the rounds is that Maybin was getting first-team reps and that he got into a little skirmish with a reserve offensive tackle. What first-round rookie isn't getting first-team reps this time of the year - particularly one that is expected to contribute? Isn't that a good thing? And how is getting into a fight at an OTA an indication of poor play? I'm not sure who Florio's sources are or what his agenda is writing crap like that, but I've seen more interesting and accurate reporting at The Onion.
The fact of the matter is that Maybin has been quite impressive at OTAs. From what I have personally heard, the coaching staff is raving about his lightning-quick first step and his motor. They think they've got an immediate-impact pass rusher on their hands. The only negative that I have heard - and there are some Bills fans that see this as a positive - is that the Penn State rookie has an issue keeping his mouth closed (which may or may not be directly related to the aforementioned skirmish). He likes to talk a lot on the field. In a pretty laid-back setting in which he's making his first impression on veteran NFL players, it's not surprising that he's irritating a few of Buffalo's vets.
The positive reports that I'm hearing aren't indicative of anything other than the fact that Buffalo's coaches like what they have seen thus far from Maybin. That doesn't erase any of the concerns surrounding the kid, particularly his weight and core strength, his mouth, and the fact that he's being counted on to essentially single-handedly revitalize one of the NFL's most anemic pass rushes. His one year of college experience translating to the NFL field is going to be a problem, too. We have no delusions about the kid - he's another in a long line of gambles that the Bills have taken this off-season; both his upside and his downside are tremendous. But the "brutal" reports? Take from them whatever you want - it's June.
My Take: To be honest, I didn't even know where those "brutal" reports stemmed from. Knowing that it's a PFT exclusive kind of report does make you question it's validity - though we know Mike Florio has been dead-on accurate with some reports in the past (Nick Saban and the Alabama saga comes to mind first). But here's the one thing to consider. These are "non-contact" OTAs. So it's hard to say how good any lineman, offensive or defensive, is doing at this point. But I will admit that I'll take pleasure in seeing the mouthy rookie planted time and time again by Jake Long if the opportunity presents itself - that's for sure.
Head over to BR at some point today to check out some talk about Miami's secondary.