It is toilsome to believe that this is the second time I am writing my weekly Buffalo Bills commentary from Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. I lay here on day five of endless unlimited food and drinks as the celestial tropical sun sets on our luxury suites second level balcony as opposed to last year when I was typing poolside.
(Dream Noise begins Wayne’s World Style) Last year, it was the week ensuing the Super bowl that Denver won convincingly, so far less activity on the Bills front existed in early February, except the Bills were preparing to enter the offseason that Rex Ryan eventually claimed the Bills had won. Won what? Now I’m getting fired up about those clowns known as the Ryan Brothers.
I was a Rex fan when he was with the Jets and was excited to get a big name coach here in Buffalo. The big personality was intriguing after the likes of “Mr. Excitement” Dick Jerean and Chan Gailey kept Bills fans on the edge of their seats.
Then you had the fraud of a man who was so likeable at his first press conference and initial media interviews that slowly progressed into a very unlikeable coach and I am referencing Doug Marrone. I saw him introduced as Jacksonville’s new coach and again remembered how he was that great exciting guy he was for a few weeks in Buffalo at one point.
I also bought in to Rex Ryan’s extremely strong way of re-selling the value of Rex Ryan and the way he operated. I grew tired of the Rex critics all over him for every little thing he did or said. His truck and tattoos really made a lifelong Bills fan like myself buy in to his enthusiasm.
I framed the cover of Sports Illustrated with him having wings and beer with Hall of Famers Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas. You can read my articles dating back to my first couple articles when I joined Cover32 — right around the time Rex named Tyrod Taylor the starter — prior to both of their first seasons as Buffalo Bills.
My fledgling day’s timeline contributing to the Bills pages of Cover32 coincided directly with the two of them as newcomers to the Bills. My “Rex” enthusiasm remained for the better part of his almost two seasons as “the guy” in Buffalo. Due to the injuries the team suffered, I really wanted Rex to get a third season to go hard and get the Bills a couple more wins and into the playoffs. I really wanted Rex Ryan to shut people up and win as head coach of the Buffalo Bills.
When it is all said and done though, Rex is secondary at most, being no more important than any other individual passing through during the great drought. I really just want the Buffalo Bills football team to win. To Win at The Sport Of Kings. Come again?
Coach Molly McGrath, (Goldie Hawn) can upgrade from motivating the lowly Wildcats, the 1986 movies high school team, and coach the Bills for all I care.
Sing loudly if you see fit
”It’s the sport of kings, better than Diamond Rings
That’s why we’re here to sing, football.
Sunday in the snow, referees whistles blows
we’ve been warrior’s toe-to-toe, football.”
Goldie can coach as long as our Queen City wins double digit games topped off by playing meaningful football come January. Most importantly, this would signal an end to the great drought of the 21st century.
After the departure of Rex and digging in a little deeper, I can say that nothing Rex ever did — including presumptuous talk — was going to change. The peeled back layers of the previously unknown organizational onion revealed that his same approach was going to get the same results. He did things his way and was not flexible and the results would have been the same had he been given a third year and I can honestly say I totally agree with Terry Pegula for terminating Rex when he did.
Why drag it out longer if you realize that doing it the same way would produce the same or worse results and the Rex way was the same way. The fact that Rex would not change things up and was going to use the same approach was why he was not given the third season that many others get.
If he would have made significant changes from year one to year two and big changes were certain for year three, then maybe a year three could potentially have been a successful option. The fact is he believed in his system and his coaches and was going to repeat blaming injuries, officiating, scheduling or other parts of the organization for the same mediocre to poor results.
It nailed his coffin securely shut when he refused to play Cardale Jones in the meaningless final game of the season. He already publically goes out of his way and claims he is not bitter, but says he got “F’d in New York and in Buffalo.” When you are paid the way Rex was and given the authority and responsibility that he was, longer hours, harder work, outside of the box thinking, reaching out for help are approaches one must do if they are failing at what they were hired to be great at.
Staying the course after missing the playoffs, being the last one in and the first one out the door is not the way to lead a team to success. If we had been winning and improving then feel good about your “work smarter not harder” approach. That was not the case. In the business world, when you take management positions that pay you a hefty salary, you may then need to put in 16 hour days or seven day weeks.
The saying that you are not productive after eight hours does not apply when planning and watching film and paying attention to every little detail as if your career depended on it. That saying is outdated and belongs back in a different time at some cancer causing coal mine in the upper peninsula of Michigan.
If you are not willing to put in the time or work especially when things are not going well…then stay with your hourly non-management job where you are only responsible for yourself and not the results of many others. For now, he will be very entertaining on ESPN where he accepted a new position and will indeed have interesting takes on how to coach against certain teams.
An entertainer is not needed in this leadership role in Buffalo now and was not needed when Terrell Owens was given the key to the city. Russ Brandon equals great marketing but adds zero value to the win column. A serious methodical detailed leader who assembles a similar staff and who finds a way to win in Buffalo for the first time since the 20th century is needed.
It is not a bad thing for the head coach to be the hardest working employee on the Pegula payroll. Ask people who have worked with Jon Gruden about working hard and long hours. After that check out his winning seasons heading up the Raiders and proceed to browse at his Super Bowl ring he won in Tampa Bay.
Keeping tradition alive I shall go put some aloe on my soon to be sleep preventing sunburn and proceed getting myself a fresh frozen drink in my amazing leak proof temperature maintaining thermos style drinking container. I shall then move onto to plan exactly how and when I will give my Lady the engagement ring tomorrow that I had brought along on the trip.
I am hopeful for a “yes” or this will be an embarrassing article that I will blame on the booze. Editing beyond recognition is a real life option as well. She is on her way back from a spa appointment so I will break now and then return later to tackle….
2017 Free Agency: Taking a look at the worst deals in free agency so far
cover32 Exclusive: Interview with Baltimore Ravens’ safety, Anthony Levine
Bills News: Buffalo’s potential first round draft picks
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Things We Know About The Buffalo Bills This Week:
J = Just when you hear we signed him and then it’s tweeted that it is not a fact, the Buffalo Bills have finally gotten Andre Holmes inked to deal. This contract makes the 28-year old, 210 pound, 6’4 former Raider wide receiver the highest profile free agency signing at the much needed wide out position.
The Bills should not be content here after losing Goodwin and Woods to free agency this year and still not fully staffed from the Chris Hogan defection. Tyrod took a pay cut to free up money to supply more weapons. Hopefully they meant more weapons he can throw the ball to and not a punt returner or new kicker that have been addressed.
E = E.J. Manuel has officially signed with the Raiders. Oakland will be fine as long as Derrick Carr doesn’t not get hurt… again. As Bills fans, we have learned that E.J. is more effective not actually playing in the games and occasionally getting called to take part on a trick play. That is ample EJ for me to see.
Now that the former first round pick is for sure gone, the Bills have not one player left on the roster from the 2013 draft. I will stay positive and change the subject by saying… she said Yes on the beach during out last full planned day in Punta Cana. I am one lucky guy. I have that Sport of Kings Song in my head still and some other LL Cool J songs popped in my head while celebrating our engagement. I think my record speaks for itself in that this is a family article so I will not repeat any of these lyrics.
F = Free Agency losses had my Bills notification alert quite active on my voyage to the Caribbean, before and after traveling as well. A key loss obviously was Stephon Gilmore signing with New England as he walked away as so many defensive backs have done over the years with the Bills getting nothing in return.
F can also be for frustrating and notice it was not for a swear word. I get so frustrated watching the Bills draft the player, coach and train him while tolerating the inexperienced days and then watching them unable to pay the player when they really enter the prime days of their careers. I understand that it is sometimes in the best interest of the on field situation and other times it is a salary cap issue. I still get frustrated especially when the franchise tag is out there to use.
F = Free Agent activity has been both re-signing and retaining several of our own players as well as signing free agents from other teams. They wrapped up two fullbacks in Mike Tolbert and Patrick DiMarco showing they plan on staying the course as a power running team.
Guard Vladimir Ducasse, place kicker Steven Hauschka, safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer, wide receivers Jeremy Butler, Corey Washington and Corey Brown and defensive end Ryan Davis all signed on believing that Buffalo is the best place for personal careers as well as opportunity to win. I was glad to see them keep Lorenzo Alexander and Jordan Mills who both were starters with important roles last season not easily replaceable.
The spelling above of ’Jeff’ is honoring and paying tribute to Jeff Sgroi, who would have turned 47 Saturday but celebrated premature in the heavens as he passed away last February much too young. His sudden passing left a huge void in the hearts of hundreds of family members and friends, WNY sports, the business world and the charitable community throughout the area.
He was extremely active in the Buffalo/WNY community, being that everyone knew him from somewhere/somehow. He served on the board of the Boys & Girls Club of Orchard Park as well as the Academy of Digital Media in the West Seneca School District. He attended every Bills and Sabres home games as well as taking it to the road supporting our hometown teams out of town as well.
You could always spot his smile a mile away and the word always is pretty close to accurate as Jeff was always in attendance at anything proactive, social or charitable that was taking place in the Queen City.
He was on the baseball coaching staff at St. Francis High School for close to a decade. Jeff played division one baseball at Niagara University and was well known as a great ballplayer throughout his entire education. We remembered Jeff last year after he passed on Cover32. We all miss you very much Jeff. RIP.