Nix's next move should be cutting Maybin
I'll give Buffalo Bills GM Buddy Nix this much: he broke his silence with the regional media last week and, through that thick, chicken-fried-steak of a good ole' boy drawl, vowed to assess each and every roster spot on this laughingstock of a football team. He's backed it up with actions, too, ridding the team of deadwood like James Hardy, Trent Edwards, Marshawn Lynch, Kawika Mitchell—the laundry list of release-worthy clowns goes on and on.
A nice follow-through would be doing the same with John McCargo, Demetrius Bell, Cornell Green ... geez, take your pick of "players" who, if they played elsewhere, would've likely been looking for a new address by late August.
Nix may not be "the smartest guy in the room," but he knows one can't win the Iditarod with a pack of wiener dogs. But anyone can see that, and it's Nix's job now to find the burly Huskies to lug this rickety sled through the oncoming Nor' Easter that lay ahead. If you're going to cut someone loose and move forward, why not continue with superbust Aaron Maybin?
Yeah, yeah—you'll argue that the Penn State product is only in his second NFL season and should be given time to adjust to the rigors of being an NFL defensive end. It's living a lie we're all too exhausted from living at this point, though. Wouldn't he have distinguished himself at some point in his twenty-one pro games if he were the real deal? He's been absolutely invisible, an outright fraud who got in on all of two plays Sunday. Two plays, on a defensive unit that can't even come close to stopping the opposition from running the ball down its throat, week in, week out.
Look around the NFL and NBA. Teams draft a kid in the early rounds with the full expectation that he'll win a spot right away and contribute immediately. It's not the NHL or Major League Baseball, where teams select gangly, eighteen-year-old foreign kids who have, in some cases, up to five years to grow into their adult skin and join teams when they're deemed ready for the pros. In the NFL, you take twenty-one-, twenty-two-year-old young men, make them instant multimillionaires and tell them to man up and prove it on the field.
Critics will blather on about how it's premature to label the eleventh overall pick of 2009 a failure. But I submit that not conceding
Maybin may never succeed in this league is pure denial. Is it really that hard to see?
The Bills' list of early round misfires includes McCargo, Donte Whitner, Paul Poszlusny, Leodis McKelvin, and a gaggle of other reaches and outright misses. Such damning evidence of poor scouting makes it easy to conclude this one is simply the latest in an incredible string of draft day follies. Come on, wouldn't part of you be astonished if Maybin went elsewhere and became even an adequate pass-rusher?
In the rare instance he gets on the field, watch Maybin. I dare you. He's consistently manhandled and swallowed whole by offensive linemen who outweigh, outsmart and out-hustle him.
Perhaps this is the craziest part: I think he's really trying hard. The effort's probably there, but NFL football in the trenches isn't a race, it's a dogfight. Put your money on the purebread greyhound if you want. I'm betting on the Rottweiler-Pit Bull mutt with the facial scars. (Wow, that dogfighting joke is in poor taste, huh? The lengths some hack bloggers will go to illustrate a point!)
There are an avalanche of reasons why, and not even a leaky faucet drip of reasons why not. Maybin, and most importantly the organization, are out of excuses. No one's sure whether Nix and Gailey know what they're doing at the draft table. C. J. Spiller's a great talent, but not a "stud" running back who can shoulder the load through four quarters, and unfortunately probably not worth taking nintth overall.
Besides, this team has some astonishingly glaring holes to fill that surely take priority over the offensive backfield (and no, of course I'm not counting the quarterback position).
And perhaps Terrell Troup, Alex Carrington, Arthur Moats, and the class of 2010 will be as equally ineffective as their 2000-2009 brothers, but the jury's still out on them. Or at least Bills fans hope so. But Maybin? He's not this regime's mistake.
Would any reasonable jury in the Court of Football Fandom return an indictment against Buddy 'N Pals for cutting him? Is there a compassionate defense attorney in the land who can make a case for Maybin? If so, we're eager to hear it.