It's Friday, so it's time to again go "Around the AFC East."
Kicking us off today is Brian Galliford of Buffalo Rumblings:
Matty I: As we inch our way closer to training camp, who is the Buffalo Bill that typical NFL fans might not be too familiar with that we should keep a close eye on in 2008? And conversely, who is the one player on the Bills that probably has gotten too much undeserved national attention?
Brian Galliford: While "national attention" is something that Bills players rarely get, a couple of names do come to mind here. Keep your eye on RB Fred Jackson. Marshawn Lynch (deservedly) gets all of the love from the media, but the fact of the matter is that at no level has Lynch ever carried a full rushing load. If the Bills want to get the most out of their best offensive playmaker, they'll limit his rushing load a bit and get him more involved in the passing game (see: Tomlinson, L). If that happens - and many Bills fans hope it does - then Jackson gets more touches, and he deserves them as well. Jackson had an excellent three-game stretch last season in which he accumulated 337 yards on 46 touches, proving that he can be an excellent complement to Lynch. His role should grow under new offensive coordinator Turk Schonert.
I hate to say this, but the one Bill that's probably talked about too much is LB Paul Posluszny. Don't get me wrong - Poz produced well in the 10 healthy quarters of football he played last season, and I'm not alone in being excited to see what he has to offer in his second season. But it seems that many "experts" point to his return as the reason that Buffalo's defense is solidified; it's probably going to help, but if the Bills defense makes improvements, the reasons will be named Stroud, Mitchell and McKelvin. Posluszny has a bright future, but there's a lot of pressure on the kid, and it wouldn't be overly shocking to see him falter. DE Aaron Schobel is an honorable mention in this category.
My Take: I'd be lying if I didn't say I'm surprised Brian mentions Paul Posluszny as the one Buffalo Bill who is probably talked about too much by the national media. I personally like "Poz" a lot and, unfortunately, think he's going to be a very good linebacker in this league.
Conversely, I think the most over-hyped Bills' player is Marshawn Lynch. Do I think he's going to be good? Yes. But the media really hyped him up too much following his performance against the Bengals in which he sealed the game with that long TD run. The media fails to point out how in 9 of the 13 games he played in, he averaged fewer than 4 yards per carry. And if you take away that one long TD run against the Bengals (of 56 yards), Lynch would have averaged just 3.79 yards per carry for the season. Those are hardly solid numbers.
Just my 2 cents there. Take it for what it's worth (which is not very much).
And be sure to head over to Buffalo Rumblings to see my response to his Dolphins-related question.