We shouldn’t be surprised when an ex-NFLer best known for taking cheap shots on the field does the same off the field as a “broadcaster.”
As Brad Riter so eloquently pointed out earlier this week, we tend to put a lot of stock in Week One. No matter which team you root or write for, you only have four quarters of actual football on which to base the rest of the season. So, building an imaginary, reactionary template in your head for how the next 15 games will play out based off what happened last Sunday is probably, actually, very normal.
All of that said, Rodney Harrison has built a template not just for the rest of the Bills’ season, but for the team’s next six seasons.
In case you missed it, the former Charger and Patriot told NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk on Monday that Mario Williams made a “huge mistake” signing in Buffalo during the offseason and he will “probably fall off the face of the earth”
Wait, a professional athlete/member of the media perceives Buffalo as a sports wasteland? My head is spinning.
“They don’t have a franchise quarterback. The Patriots will always dominate that division. The Jets will always finish second,” Harrison proclaimed.
Wow. Always is a REALLY long time. Assuming Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are immortal robot lizards (and I’m not saying they aren’t), Harrison may be onto something.
For his scenario to truly make any sense, you’d have to also base it on history. It is true that the Pats and Jets have finished 1-2 in the AFC East each of the last three seasons, but in the grand scheme of NFL history (and in the grand scheme of the world – remember, we’re talking always here), it doesn’t seem like such a lock.
So now that Harrison has laid out the divisional standings for us from now until, well, always, no need to continue hoping the Bills snap that pesky playoff-less streak, right?
You may or may not agree with Harrison’s opinion on the Bills’ current quarterback. Here’s the bittersweet news. If Ryan Fitzpatrick turns in many more performances like the one he did on Sunday, Buffalo will have no choice but to go out and obtain a franchise quarterback whether via draft or free agency. Like, as soon as this offseason. With five years remaining on Williams’ contract.
But now for the legitimately good news – this season isn’t even over! Still 15 games to go! Maybe Fitzpatrick will rediscover that he has been, and can be, good in this league. Not even elite, just pretty good. (People tend to forget that he was also pretty good, not only early last season, but also for much of 2010.)
Maybe C.J. Spiller will continue to build on his breakout performance. Maybe Mario Williams won’t finish the entire season with 16 tackles and 0 sacks. Maybe the Bills will win their home opener against a beatable opponent and improve their record to 1-1, and last Sunday’s debacle will cease to dominate conversation. And maybe Rodney Harrison’s foolish statement will appear slightly more foolish.
We’ll see. I’m still optimistic for this season, and the team’s future in general, but I’ll leave the sweeping declarations and long-term prognosticating to experts like Harrison.
Who, by the way, I’ll always remember for his part in making Super Bowl history.