Terry Pegula has invested somewhere around 2 billion dollars in the Buffalo Bills, Sabres, Harbor Center and various improvements in facilities that came with both teams. Buffalo Bills fans have set a record for season tickets purchased and are among the most loyal in the NFL. Both the Pegula’s and Bills’ fans deserve much more than they’re getting for their investment in money, time and passion from the team they have supported so well.

I have not agreed with every move Terry and Kim Pegula have made along the way since they arrived in Buffalo, but there is no denying that they are a blessing to this community. The Bills most likely would have moved to Toronto and the downtown area around the First Niagara Center would look vastly different. No individual or family has invested as much in Western New York than Terry and Kim Pegula.

When the Pegula’s hired Rex Ryan it seemed to be another example of their deep pockets bringing a big name to the Bills. It was a hire and a salary that would most likely have never been made by Ralph Wilson. Today that investment seems to have been for naught.

It has been well chronicled how Bills fans support their team. The 30 for 30 documentary “Four Falls of Buffalo” reminded the nation that Bills fans are a stout and loyal bunch, win or lose. Today they face yet again another season that will end in disappointment.

Ryan and Whaley put a new team on the field for 2015. New quarterback, running back and a new scheme on defense. The new QB and RB have shown flashes of success, but not enough to change the season’s outcome. The defense has been a flat out failure!

Rex Ryan has proven over his career he can coach defense. But Ryan’s defensive scheme in Buffalo has not been a good match for the players he inherited and they are letting the world know it.

To his credit, Ryan has accepted blame for many of the problems and has refused to point fingers at his players. I appreciate that, I really do. Ryan is a stand up guy and I am amused by his candid and over the top daily media sessions. However, too many times this season his team has looked confused, out of position and undisciplined.

I hear some say that perhaps his defense is too complicated and it takes more than one season for players to absorb it. Yet, the New York Jets, Ryan’s former team and one that now also has an entirely new coaching staff, is currently ranked 5th in the NFL in team defense while the Bills are ranked 21st. Jet’s players had no problem picking up new coach Todd Bowles’ system.

I don’t believe the Bills would have hired Ryan if Bill Polian had accepted the football guru position Pegula had offered him. In fact, I believe Doug Marrone would still be coaching Buffalo had Polian come to town. Bill Polian is a fan of Marrone’s and it most likely would have been Doug Whaley would have left the team instead of Marrone.

Doug Marrone can be boorish, tough to deal with for the media and certainly not as entertaining as Ryan, but his team was making strides in Buffalo. Maybe it’s just a coincidence that Marrone is currently the Assistant Head Coach in Jacksonville where Bill Polian’s son Chris is head of Player Personnel. Or maybe Marrone is in Jacksonville because Bill Polian recommended him to the Jaguars because he believes he can coach.

Certainly comparing Doug Marrone to Rex Ryan is a moot point because it was Marrone who chose to leave the Bills. Terry Pegula and Russ Brandon wanted Marrone to stay, but were unwilling to give him the control he wanted over personnel moves and the team.

Rex Ryan has another four years left on his contract at $5.5 million a year. This season Pegula paid Ryan $5.5 million while still paying Doug Marrone $4 million as part of his original contract signed with the Bills three years ago. That’s over 9 million invested in two head coaches and the team is guaranteed to finish with a worse record than last season.

Today Terry Pegula has to be wondering what the future will bring? The Bills’ salary cap number makes it tough to sign new free agents. In fact, they will be forced to let some on the roster go elsewhere.

There is the question of what and when they should offer Tyrod Taylor a new contract. Is Taylor the answer at the quarterback position and if they give him a big salary will they regret it like they did with Ryan Fitzpatrick?

Is Doug Whaley the answer as General Manager? Was Whaley and Ryan on the same page when the team released Matt Cassell or Fred Jackson? Is the Whaley and Ryan relationship turning sour like the Whaley Marrone relationship?

At the end of the day the 2015 season will finish like so many before it. The team out of the playoffs and the future for next year not looking much brighter than the last.

Terry and Kim Pegula, Bills fans and Western New York deserve better. Nuff said!



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