Don't Get Me Started

Art Wander

DON’T GET ME STARED scratches my coconut as I remember the teams of the early 90s under Marv Levy and the strength and conditioning of the players enforced by Rusty Jones.

One thing was known at that time, when the players reported to training camp, they were in pretty good condition. What a departure from that time when you consider that the current crop of Buffalo Bills introduced the comment, “Idled because of non-injury reasons.” That was heard quite few times as the Bills hit the field on the first….and second day of practice.

I’m wondering what Doug Marrone talked about when the previous season ended. One thing Marv Levy indicated was “come back in good condition: and they did. I’m also wondering how much of an influence on the off-season conditioning was because of the Bills strength and conditioning coach – Rusty Jones.

The Bills, a few years ago, let Jones go which surprised many. I still mull to myself, “how could Ralph Wilson let a good, productive, loyal guy go.” Jones joined the Bills in 1985 and stayed with the club for 20 years before being discarded by what turned out to be an inept front office. The Chicago quickly picked him up and he spent a decade in Chicago.

I can attest to the way Jones handled the players. His training camp meals were well structured and how did the players respond during his tenure with the Bills and later with the Bears? Get this:

1. He was on teams that qualified for the playoffs 13 times;
2. He was on teams that went to the Super Bowl 5 times;
3. He was on teams that produced 43 pro bowlers; and
4. He was on teams that produced 7 Pro Football Hall of Famers

I don’t recall Marv Levy ever using the words, “He’s on the sidelines because he’s out of condition.’ There have been several not-so-conditioned sideline sitters so far in the past couple of days and why they were not in condition is beyond me…..and beyond the fans.

Rusty Jones announced his retirement last year but if ever a strength and conditioning coach should be honored by the league, especially by the Buffalo Bills – it’s Rusty Jones on Don’t Get Me Started.

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