I spent last Saturday night in the company of Bill Polian and Jim Kelly, as well as several other former Buffalo sports stars. It was the “Kent Hull Hardest Working Man Award Dinner” and Polian was the honoree. Over dinner Bill, Jim and I discussed many topics and especially the current Buffalo Bills. I will leave their comments as “off the record”, which is only fair, but I will say there was some concern for the team’s direction.
As we ate dinner a video of the Bills comeback playoff win over Houston played on two large screens and both Polian and Kelly were eager viewers. Polian claimed he had never watched the full broadcast of the game and cheered as the Bills mounted their comeback. You could see the thrill of victory was still very important to both former player and General Manager.
After watching the current team suffer yet another lopsided defeat one thing that was apparent to me, this team has yet to learn how to compete and win. The second half of both the New England and San Francisco games demonstrated that the current group of players have a very delicate mental physique. Once faced with adversity they fought, but it was almost like watching a car spinning its tires in mud, effort, but no results.
Creating a winning attitude is hard to gain and easy to lose. The great Buffalo teams of the 90’s went through three years as a group before they got over the hump and expected to win every week. The historic comeback win over the Oilers was the best example of how a team overcame almost insurmountable odds to triumph. That victory you may remember came without starters Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and Cornelius Bennett in the lineup. To think the Bills overcame a 32 point defecit without those key starters and in the playoffs besides is truly remarkable. It happened because the team believed that given a break they could actually rally despite the lopsided score. The current team has no such belief in their abilities nor their team.
Whate creates a “winning attitude”? Winning games is ultimately the answer, but it starts with a coaching staff that gives players the confidence that the plays and schemes they practice will work. Adding talented players to the mix is also key because watching a teammate succeed breeds success for others. Currently the Bills obviously have not seen success in either scheme or talent and they fall apart once a game starts to head south.
A win in Arizona and a fired up home crowd upon return to play the Titans could help heal the wounds of the past two weeks. A loss could send this unit into a tailspin like we saw last season and that would mean this organization would have to start again from scratch, literally.
Filed under: Koshinski's Korner