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Bills players lack drive

Winning mentality

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#1 SouthernMan

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:56 AM

After watching this year's playoff teams and reading the Tom Brady thread, it had me once again thinking about what it is that make the Bills perrenial losers.

I truly believe they have the raw talent on the team to be a lot more competative, but more than anything else, in general, I think they lack that fire in their belly that defines the difference between champs and chumps.

I watch these playoff teams and look at the players' body language and the look in their eyes on the sidelines. These are guys who absolutely hate to lose. I'm sure their hefty paychecks are a nice bonus, but don't think that's what drives these kinds of players.

The Bills haven't had a team that exemplifies that competative spirit in years. At the risk of starting a Flutie/Johnson debate (please don't), the one trait that divided those two in my opinion and observation, was that Flutie seemed more adverse to losing. Ego? Probably, but so what? Ego has been a great motivator throughout history.

The Bills rosters from their glory years were filled with players who had oversized egos. Marv's greatest asset as a coach wasn't in his genius with x's and o's, but in his ability to keep this group of egomaniacs working towards a common goal.

This is just my opinion obviously, but I really don't think the Bills have enough players who are driven enough. If asked, of course they'd say they want to win. Who doesn't?  But how badly? To what degree?

In their search for new roster positions, I hope the personnel people put a good deal of emphasis on the psyche of their prospects, and find the right combination of talent and ego that it takes to be champions at this level. I don't care if they are world class A-holes. There's never been astrisk in the records books or on the Lombardi Trophy that noted that character trait.

Bottom line - the Bills need their A-holes on the field and not in the offices at One Bills Drive where they've presided for more than a decade. :-)

#2 fan_in_tx

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:12 AM

Hmmm, I seem to recall a recent player who had that fire in his belly.  Tried to motivate his teamates with his play and talk.  Fans here ran him out of town and now he is playing in the NFC Championship game.

Just sayin

Edited by fan_in_tx, 16 January 2013 - 11:12 AM.


#3 BringBackFergy

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:17 AM

I agree. Our team has a tendency to lack violent/win-at-all-costs type players (I watch Peyton Manning on the sidelines and he is soooo competetive...love it). But the problem our GM and coaches face is: do you draft players who are talented but lack some heart or mediocre players who have that killer instinct??

Do you draft a Manti Te'0 because he is a very good linebacker with tons of heart vs. a better rated linebacker who may not have that burning desire to win as bad as the lower drafted LB?? That is where the professional GM's and scouts earn their keep...finding that balance.

#4 section122

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:25 AM

Perfect example of this op and something that drives me crazy...

Lay out for the ball!!!!!  I know Fitz is inaccurate, help him out by diving to make a catch please.  This is directed towards the ENTIRE receiving crew.  I pointed this out to the guys I watch the games with at the beggining of the year and it was mind boggling how many more balls could have been caught if they would simply sell out and try to make a catch.

That said - losing takes a huge toll on people.  When you lose 1 it's okay, 2 it's not okay, 3 it's bad, 4 it sucks, 5 you're pissed, 6 self doubt creeps in, 7 doubt in your teammates, 8 apathy.  When your team routinely finishes with a losing record it becomes a mindset.  Which is why I was okay with the complete cleanout of the coaching staff and hope to see a lot players removed.  Mike Ditka had a great quote when he took over the Bears something along the lines of - We are going to be champions unfortunately most of you won't be here when that happens.

#5 Captain Hindsight

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:28 AM

View Postfan_in_tx, on 16 January 2013 - 11:12 AM, said:

Hmmm, I seem to recall a recent player who had that fire in his belly.  Tried to motivate his teamates with his play and talk.  Fans here ran him out of town and now he is playing in the NFC Championship game.

Just sayin
Thought about this yesterday^

#6 Mr. WEO

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:29 AM

View Postfan_in_tx, on 16 January 2013 - 11:12 AM, said:

Hmmm, I seem to recall a recent player who had that fire in his belly.  Tried to motivate his teamates with his play and talk.  Fans here ran him out of town and now he is playing in the NFC Championship game.

Just sayin

The fans???

What part of this nut job post did you need to edit?

#7 Dr. Trooth

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:40 AM

I believe 80% of it is coaching.  If players don't see accountability, a sense of urgency and low energy in their coaching staff, they will perform exactly like that.  The thing that struck me the most compared to the teams they played was that the Bills seemed to allways be slower and appeared totally dumbfounded a lot of the time on defense.  At least with the new approach, especially on defense, where, instead of being on their heels they are on their toes and in attack mode, thry should play a lot faster.  And, I'm sure they're going to get get gashed quite a bit until they settle into their new style, but at least it should be a little more entertaining watching them be more physical and getting after people.

#8 Captain Hindsight

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:47 AM

View PostMr. WEO, on 16 January 2013 - 11:29 AM, said:

The fans???

What part of this nut job post did you need to edit?
How many attacks on twitter did people post to laugh about Whitner?

#9 ganesh

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:48 AM

That fire, determination and motivation has to start from the top. Your body language goes only as much as what your HC does.  Sadly we have not had that here in a long while.

#10 NastyNateSoldiers

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:02 PM

The Bills philosophy over the last ten yrs has been to draft high character players. i believe this has been a problem. These high character players do not seem to care so much when we lose. We need more players that put football first in life. People that bleed this sport. To many times this season ive seen players laughing it up on the sidelines while we are losing.

We need to start taking the Bengals approach to drafting players. They are always taking the players that have a bad history coming out of college  ie Dunlap, Atkins, M Johnson, Burfict and Pacman Jones. They picked these guys up from the second round to street free agents. Great value guys that had 1st round grades but fell do to off field issues.

Edited by NastyNateSoldiers, 16 January 2013 - 12:06 PM.


#11 JPS

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:04 PM

I'd like to see a HC tell Mike Singletary to calm down. I believe that kind of intensity cannot be inspired. Other players may follow it. Mimmick it. But you need at least 1 guy who is ON all day. Ray Lewis. Rodney Harrison. Adrian Wilson. Heck, even Tom Brady.

We need a field General.

Great post OP.

Edited by JPS, 16 January 2013 - 12:05 PM.


#12 Punch

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:05 PM

View PostCaptain Hindsight, on 16 January 2013 - 11:47 AM, said:

How many attacks on twitter did people post to laugh about Whitner?

Is that why Whitner is no longer a Bill? Because his twitter comments were posted on a message board?

#13 JPS

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:06 PM

View PostPunch, on 16 January 2013 - 12:05 PM, said:

Is that why Whitner is no longer a Bill? Because his twitter comments were posted on a message board?

Can we NOT re-live the Whitner thing.....

#14 Punch

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:16 PM

View PostJPS, on 16 January 2013 - 12:06 PM, said:

Can we NOT re-live the Whitner thing.....

If you don't want to re-live it, the best way is probably to not respond to a comment about it. It only fans the flames.

#15 Whitewalker Merriman

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:23 PM

View PostDr. Trooth, on 16 January 2013 - 11:40 AM, said:

I believe 80% of it is coaching.  If players don't see accountability, a sense of urgency and low energy in their coaching staff, they will perform exactly like that.  The thing that struck me the most compared to the teams they played was that the Bills seemed to allways be slower and appeared totally dumbfounded a lot of the time on defense.  At least with the new approach, especially on defense, where, instead of being on their heels they are on their toes and in attack mode, thry should play a lot faster.  And, I'm sure they're going to get get gashed quite a bit until they settle into their new style, but at least it should be a little more entertaining watching them be more physical and getting after people.

This is where I was going with this. Who have we had for the last six years? Dick Jauron? Chan Gailey? Neither of these guys are firebrands. Jauron was the man with the "It's hard to win in the NFL" quote, and while Chan promised to fix that can anyone really say that we didn't look defeated through November and December?

#16 Bud Adams

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:24 PM

View PostJPS, on 16 January 2013 - 12:06 PM, said:

Can we NOT re-live the Whitner thing.....

Doubt it. We're picking 8th again.

BA

#17 paupmvp1995

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 01:33 PM

View PostWhitewalker Merriman, on 16 January 2013 - 12:23 PM, said:

This is where I was going with this. Who have we had for the last six years? Dick Jauron? Chan Gailey? Neither of these guys are firebrands. Jauron was the man with the "It's hard to win in the NFL" quote, and while Chan promised to fix that can anyone really say that we didn't look defeated through November and December?
I saw a team that was lifeless for most of the past season.  We looked that way in the preseason, and than getting destroyed in the first 3 quarters against the Jets in the opener (we were down something like 42-7) is completely unacceptable.  Who gets blown out against a division rival in the opening game?  That is just unheard of.  We were completely unprepared.  Gailey brought absolutely no fire and passion to the team.  He was NOT a leader.  He seemed very disconnected from his players on the sidelines.  And what about our starting QB?  Where was his leadership?  I never saw him interacting with his teammates, pushing them to play harder and smarter.  He would just go sit on the bench with his head down and sulk.  His body language over the four years he played for us changed dramatically.  Fitz was a beaten man the second half of last season and all of this season.  He would not have continued to start on any other team in the league after his play the second half of last season. The culture and vibe surrounding this team especially this year was horrible.  And that starts with the head coach and QB.  Neither one of them exhibit the fire that is needed to win in the NFL.  That is why both of their records as a head coach and starting QB are horrific.  I have high hopes that Doug Marrone and whoever our starting QB will be, will bring a much higher level of passion and fire to the team every single week.

#18 BillnutinHouston

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 01:40 PM

View Postfan_in_tx, on 16 January 2013 - 11:12 AM, said:

Hmmm, I seem to recall a recent player who had that fire in his belly.  Tried to motivate his teamates with his play and talk.  Fans here ran him out of town and now he is playing in the NFC Championship game.


Yea but it also helps when you can make a play.  Unfortunately, Whitner made too few of them.

I agree with the OP's overall point.  Fire in the belly, unrelenting determination, is a hallmark of winners.

View PostWhitewalker Merriman, on 16 January 2013 - 12:23 PM, said:

This is where I was going with this. Who have we had for the last six years? Dick Jauron? Chan Gailey? Neither of these guys are firebrands. Jauron was the man with the "It's hard to win in the NFL" quote, and while Chan promised to fix that can anyone really say that we didn't look defeated through November and December?

Is Bellichick a firebrand?

#19 ko12010

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 02:00 PM

View PostBillnutinHouston, on 16 January 2013 - 01:40 PM, said:

Yea but it also helps when you can make a play.  Unfortunately, Whitner made too few of them.

I agree with the OP's overall point.  Fire in the belly, unrelenting determination, is a hallmark of winners.



Is Bellichick a firebrand?


Belichek shows much more emotion than someone like Gailey. He may not be a Harbaugh or Gruden, but he's not crypt keeper either.

#20 KeisterHollow

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 02:01 PM

I agree with those who say this FIRE has to come from coaching.  I tend to agree, also, that you want to bring in the rookies and free agents who have always given it everything - not for the fame or glory, but because they strove to be the best that they could be.  Intelligence has a lot to do with it, too.  Coachability.  But, I think the greatest element critical to this "FIRE" is coaching.  Look at the coaches in the final four: the brothers Harbaugh, Bellicheck, and the Atlanta coach.  You need a coach who ABSOLUTELY DEMANDS that his players perform at THEIR highest level - and if they don't, regardless of who they are or how much they get paid - they're goners.

Once it is known throughout a locker room that EVERY player must give it his all, then slackers disappear quickly.  The coaches must also be this way, to a higher degree, and make sure their preparations are good enough to give their team an edge.
In regard to the players knowing that they are all in it together and must give it everything - imagine what it did to the Bills locker room this past season when Mario Williams was brought in and given priveleges like refrigerators, his choice of music, etc. (all stuff I read about towards the beginning of the season), and then add to that his enormous salary, and then he goes out on the field and looks to be giving it a half hearted go for the first half of the season, and at times afterward.  The way the Bills treated him was a mistake, and I'll bet it screwed up the locker room's cromraderie.