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Sabres and Bisons chat with Pat Malacaro

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Voice of the Bisons Pat Malacaro joined me to talk some Sabres and the Bisons offseason.

You can find Pat on Twitter: @PatWGR

Podcast here:

Photo from Pat Malacaro

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McDermott is one of the top coaches in 4th-down aggressiveness

By Brandon J. Koch

Sean McDermott doesn’t seem the type to be going for it on 4th down, but in fact is one of the top coaches in 4th down aggressiveness.

According to NFL Football Operations on Twitter, McDermott is behind only Dirk Koetter of the Bucs and Doug Pederson of the Eagles in going of it on 4th-and-1, a little less than 60% of the time.

In a one possession game, quarters 1-3, McDermott has the second highest go-for-it rate behind, once again, Pederson.

So in terms of going for it, McDermott has been aggressive, just maybe not as much as some wound want him to be. There was a drive last week in Miami in the 2nd quarter on a 4th and 2 at midfield, they took the delay of game. So maybe judging McDermott against other head coaches who are more conservative is the wrong approach?

Everything is open to interpretation.

REPORT: Bills release Kelvin Benjamin

By Brandon J. Koch

The Bills have released wide receiver Kevin Benjamin, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

https://twitter.com/rapsheet/status/1070061559098040321?s=21

Benjamin was acquired on the trade deadline last season and never found his way in Buffalo. Many Bills fans will remember him as not trying during games and for the pass interference against the Jaguars in the wildcard game last season.

In 12 games this season, Benjamin had 23 receptions for 354 yards and one touchdown. He was set to be a free agent at the end of the year.

The team also released wide receiver Andre Holmes.

Jim Kelly will be a 2019 Pro Bowl Captain

By Brandon J. Koch

Buffalo Bills Hall Of Fame legend Jim Kelly will be one of the Captains at the 2019 ProBowl.

Kelly and Demarcus Ware will serve as captains for the AFC while Brian Urlacher and Emmitt Smith will be captains of the NFC side.

According to NFL.com, they will serve as mentors for the Pro Bowl players and be present on the sidelines on gameday. The captains will not only be present at the Pro Bowl game, but they will also be attending various events throughout Pro Bowl Week in Orlando.

Jim Kelly was selected to 5 probowls in his career.

Relax, the goals will come for Eichel

By Brandon J. Koch

The Buffalo Sabres have lost three in a row after tying a franchise record with ten straight wins.

It would seem that some fans have gotten impatient with Jack Eichel’s lack of scoring, as you can see…

The captain hasn’t scored since November 19th, the overtime winner in Pittsburgh.

Everyone who’s overreacting needs to relax, the goals will come. Eichel is one of the best in the league at generating offensive production. He’s making teammates better and is one of the best play-makers in the NHL.

Shots

It’s not like Jack isn’t shooting, he is. That in itself will translate into goals.

In this chart by Sean Tierney of Charting Hockey, Eichel’s shots are on target from distance. That can easily trend towards good. He’s getting the chances.

Just take last night for example, Eichel is not afraid to shoot, especially near the front of the net and on his strong side. In this chart by Hockeyviz Eichel attempted 8 shots, 6 of them went through.

So let’s all just calm down and enjoy watching a great player. The shots are there, they will go in.

Will Charles Clay be the next process causality? Count on it

charles-clay

By Brandon J. Koch

Regardless of the final play in yesterday’s game, Charles Clay is just not cutting it as being one of the top paid players on this team.  The wear and tear of being an NFL tight end is taking a toll on him. This is Clay’s 4th season in Buffalo after signing a 5 year, $38 million dollar contract in March of 2015.

Clay has dealt with multiple injuries his whole career and they’re adding up. He works as hard as anyone on the team, but this should be his final four games a Buffalo Bill. In 10 games played this season, Clay has 20 catches for 178 yards with zero touchdowns. Mind you, all of this is at a $9 million dollar cap hit.

There’s just no value. Brandon Beane is getting no value for this contract and he knows that. The Bills have to go in a different direction and the 2019 off-season is the first time where the Beane and company can get out of it.

According to Spotrac, releasing Clay in 2019 splits his cap hit. The Bills would save $4.5 million while eating the other half in dead cap.

 

With Allen, Bills future is bright

By Brandon J. Koch

After his best game against the Jaguars last week, quarterback Josh Allen topped it Sunday in Miami.

That’s exactly what the Bills and BillsMafia needed to see, Allen continuing to grow and getting better. The rookie used his full arsenal again today. Nice play making ability on his first touchdown strike to Zay Jones, while throwing a dime to Jones again on a beautifully ran route.

Allen once again showcased his running ability, but unlike last week, didn’t take any unnecessary hits. The rookie did throw two picks, one was a last second heave at the end of the first half, the other a nice play by Howard, a talented corner.

The 7th overall pick has that confidence factor, leadership quality. This kid never gives up. When he’s in the zone, Allen is very good. He does get streaky, something that will take time for him to play more consistent.

Allen’s development is the most important aspect of this Bills season, you can be mad about the loss, but this team was in no position to be in the playoffs. Seeing the franchise quarterback take those improvement steps means the future is bright for the Buffalo heading into the final quarter of the season.

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