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New Bills and Character Issues ???


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#1 CSBill

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 06:39 AM

The NFL is always, and only, about winning. And there is an eternal debate about what is the right blend of talent and/or character, is one more important than the other in the long run, etc.?  I coach college athletes, and I know I’m always a much smarter coach when I have more talent. But I also know firsthand that talent alone doesn't win games, there has to be some degree of “character” (and there are multiple ways to define or describe what we mean by character—but for now, let’s go with: some reasonable degree of a moral compass, generally treating other people right, and a healthy dose of personal responsibility, motivation, and determination to work hard and do the right things).

Obviously, the best scenario is the combination of loads of talent with high character—that is every coach’s dream.

So, to the question(s): With all that has gone on with the Patriots—and the throw in the other 40 NFL players that have been arrested this off-season—is there any concern in your minds about the three question mark rookies that will potentially be major contributors to the Bills this year and in the future: LB – Kiko Alonzo, S – Duke Williams, and WR – Da’Rick Rogers?

I like what I see (or more accurately, have read) in their abilities. It appears that all three have starter potential, maybe more.

But what does it say about the new Bills regime that they were willing to role the dice on not one, not two, but three, people with serious questions mark going into the draft?

I would love for us to have a serious discussion about the issues this raises—Yes, I know there will be several (including myself at times) that will think, “who cares, as long as they can play, and they make the team better (and all the snickerly ways that can be said), etc. etc. But again I ask, is this a concern, and what is it saying about the direction of the team?

Here are few beginning thoughts:
  • Hopefully the Bills have done their homework and feel the risk/reward was worth it.
  • Everyone deserves a second chance (most of the time) and a chance to grow up; and this is theirs, and we all wish them the best in this opportunity. (NOTE: I do hope everyone of these new Bills mention turns out to be outstanding people and outstanding football players.)
  • Does it indicate that the current Bills leadership is not that concerned with “character”? And if so, what does that mean for the future of this team?
  • One huge way to help these younger players is to have a strong leadership presence of high-character guys already in the locker room. And I’m sure the current Bills have some, but do they have enough, with enough cred, to demand the respect, influence, and attention of the younger players.
  • If the last statement is true, who are those people?
  • And in the end, does it even matter, or is talent really the only thing that matters to this new staff? (For example, no matter how you felt about David Nelson’s abilities, there was no question he was one of the most respected Bills on the team the last few years, by fans and players alike. Why? Because he was a decent player, and, because of the high-character person he is. But the new staff seemed to have no interest in him.)
  • What other issues does this raise?
Anyhow, I’m certain there are no definitive answers to these questions/issues. But I would love to hear your thoughts: Are there any concerns, and “yes” or “no”, why do you feel that way?

Have at it . . .

Edited by CSBill, 26 July 2013 - 03:16 PM.


#2 billsrcursed

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 06:46 AM

How has a team full of "nice guys" worked our for us the last decade or so?

I want some nasty, and not "run over a chick" nasty, but a "ima use your couch for a nap cuz I can" nasty.

Honestly, talent really is the only thing that matters on the field, but if they can't play nice off the field and it impedes their playing time then yes, there's a problem. Right now, though, we're dealing with "what if's".

#3 BillsFan-4-Ever

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 06:55 AM

Smoke pot -  no issue
Have 50 pizzas delivedred to the field -  no issue
Having a few brews on the weekend - no issue   (as long as they don't drive drunk)

Deal pot (like the NE player) -  issue
Hit and run at 2AM  - issue
Take loaded gun to the airport -  issue
Take loaded gun into a bar-  issue

Edited by BillsFan-4-Ever, 26 July 2013 - 06:59 AM.


#4 uncle flap

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 07:02 AM

I think the two biggest factors leading the Bills to take risks on these players are:

1.) An overall lack of talent. Yes, they arguably have some marquee players, but not enough to compete for championships, which is the ultimate goal. If you aren't winning, you need to make some proactive and even risky moves. If these guys don't pan out, they aren't in any worse of a position than they were to begin with. If you sacrifice talent for character, you may be less likely to win. And winning is the bottom line.

2.) A no-nonsense climate created by the new coaching staff. By all accounts, Marrone is a strict coach with zero tolerance for BS. I am confident that if these guys present any sort of problem, it will be addressed quickly. The offenders will not be coddled, nor enabled with opportunities to do anything detrimental to the team. In any situation, it's obviously impossible to completely account for an adult making his own decisions, but I have no doubt that the culture will be established that will define a clear set of expectations and consequences.

In light of these two factors, I'm hoping for the best, and am comfortable with the Bills taking a risk on these players at this juncture. That said, I do not want them to make a habit of relying on "turning around" players of questionable character. I also don't want Marrone to rise to Belicheat levels of arrogance, and assume that he and his system are strong enough to compensate for numerous players with "red flags."

There's a fine line to walk in this regard, and I'd still prefer that the Bills err on the side of caution. However, I still think there is some room to take reasonable risks.

Edited by uncle flap, 26 July 2013 - 08:43 AM.


#5 Dorkington

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 08:42 AM

Can someone do a run down of who the players are with the character issues, and what exactly were the run ins that caused the concern?

For example:

1) John Doe
- caught being a hooker
- dealing wild pigs
- tried to set fire to an oompa loompa

#6 bowery4

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 09:19 AM

I wonder a lot about how DaRick fell so far, I mean really. What do the NFL scouts (and it seems even the press, who haven't covered him as much as other risky guys cough, cough, Tyrann Matthieu) know? It seems even our HC has questions and went as far as saying he needs more development of his talent. When you hear (or see) these things, it really makes you question the mindset of the kid.
I am hoping it is fixable whatever it is, seems like he was just smoking weed. I would think he could do without but knowing there are drug tests and still doing it......not the smartest thing. But we all know there are pot heads in the pros, too.

The other 2, well Kiko got drunk (kid thing in a lot of ways).
Duke Williams troubles even more in the past than that (from what I understand).

#7 PromoTheRobot

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 09:22 AM

It's easy to criticize the Pats* but what were they supposed to do? Cut Hernandez before all this crap went down? You think another team would have signed him? You think we'd be screaming to sign him to the Bills?

PTR

#8 first_and_ten

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 10:16 AM

View PostPromoTheRobot, on 26 July 2013 - 09:22 AM, said:

It's easy to criticize the Pats* but what were they supposed to do? Cut Hernandez before all this crap went down? You think another team would have signed him? You think we'd be screaming to sign him to the Bills?

PTR

When did this turn into "defend the pats" post?  LOL