Here’s what I saw at Rogers Centre:
• Lots of Steeler jerseys. Uh-oh. If the Bills’ plan is to regionalize, they better make sure it’s their team and not just the league. As I said in a column:
Steelers jerseys outnumbered Bills jerseys nearly 2-to-1. And I couldn’t believe how many other team jerseys shuffled through the turnstiles. I didn’t spot a single Trent Edwards shirt, but counted eight of Brett Favre’s.
And don’t think the Bills didn’t notice. Donte Whitner said, “we have to get the crowd a little more into it,”and Robert Royal added it was obvious a lot of Pittsburgh fans were at the game.
• Loved the play call to open the game. For the first time in I don’t remember how long, the Bills genuinely crossed somebody up. Watching the corner on Lee Evans realize he might get beat deep, then hustle back just as Evans turned it outside gave me honest-to-goodness hope that we won’t fall asleep this season when the offense takes the field. Incredible how everything opened up after that, isn’t it?
• Ben Roethlisberger complained about the turf at Rogers Centre. Jay Skurski’s working on something for the Sunday paper about the field after talking to a bunch of guys in the locker room.
• I’ve often said Robert Royal was long on talent if the Bills could find the right ways to use him. He’s lanky, fast, and is a good blocker. Here’s the one problem — he tends to put the ball on the turf at inopportune times.
• Dwayne Wright was on his way to saving a roster spot (one I thought he’d already lost to Xavier Omon) and then he fumbled. Again. Since he doesn’t play special teams and he can’t seem to punch the ball through the line in short-yardage situations, I can’t see how he’s still on the team come opening day.
• What to do with all the returners? Tough problem for Dick Jauron and Bobby April to have, huh? It’s tough to imagine Leodis McKelvin not getting on the field for kickoffs, even though Terrence McGee has made such a name for himself.
• Speaking of April, is it possible to nominate an assistant coach for NFL coach of the year? How does this guy not have a head coaching job? Every year, he takes cast-offs and molds them into something special. And while it takes experienced offensive and defensive units “time to jell,” April’s special teams look in mid-season form with a bunch of newbies out there. Incredible.