Quite a weekend and plenty to write about as I spent time with some of the great players and front office people from the Buffalo Bills of the 1990’s. Bill Polian of course was honored by having his name placed on the Wall of Fame at Ralph Wilson Stadium and then Monday night it was the annual Celebrity Chef fundraiser at DiPaolo’s restaurant. Great food, great people, great time.

Bill Polian made some news Monday when he spoke to the Bills Quarterback Club saying that Ralph Wilson Stadium was iconic and had the best sight lines in the NFL. Polian said he had no idea if the stadium’s was structurally sound, but felt future cosmetic improvements could fix any issues fans may have with it. Both Bill Polian and Russ Brandon have now referred to the stadium as the “Fenway” of the NFL.

Regarding the poor play of the Bills defense Polian said that going from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 is not as easy as some may think. Citing the difference in technique and gap control Polian felt the long scoring run by Chris Johnson Sunday was the result of a linebacker playing a 3-4 technique as opposed to the 4-3 technique he should have been in. Polian felt this week was an opportunity for the Bills to go back to basics in practice and reinforce schemes and technique. Marv Levy always said when things go wrong you simplify and let the players think less and react more.

A few other tidbits I picked up over the weekend; the Bills lease discussions are now on the fast track and the State has stepped up efforts to get a new deal done. As an insider said to me Monday night, ” No one wants to see the Bills leave on their watch.”

Former Bills linebacker Darryl Talley told me that if the defense of the 90’s played as poorly as the current squad had against New England they would first have had a player only locker room meeting. Then in the second half of the San Francisco game “a fist fight would have broken out on the field because no way would I have allowed my teammates to stink up the field that bad.”

Bill Polian and Bill Munson

Bill Munson, VP of External Affairs with the Bills, received a well deserved award from the Bills alumni Monday, citing his help with their efforts. That allowed Polian to good -naturedly “roast” Bill and announce that his title of “VP of External Affairs” was because he was never in his office.

Former WKBW Sports Director Rick Azar was in attendence Monday night at DiPaolo’s with son’s Greg and Jeff. Azar still commands attention from his former viewers and held court on a number of issues, including his run with the Bills during his thirty years in the business. Azar was also a close friend of the late, great Ilio DiPaolo and told me he misses the company of such fine men.

Dennis DiPaolo, Bill Polian and Bud Carpenter

Andre Reed looked like he could suit up and still play. The former receiver for the Bills is tired of talking about why he hasn’t been voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but Polian told me it’s just a matter of time.

 

 

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