Bills GM says 'intensity, urgency' lacking on defence "Obviously, we're not pleased"
By JOHN KRYK, QMI Agency
|Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, of the San Francisco 49ers, is stopped short of the goal line by free safety Jairus Byrd, of the Buffalo Bills, during the third quarter at Candlestick Park on October 7, 2012 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Buffalo Bills 45-3. (GETTY)
The Buffalo Bills defence isn't playing with enough intensity or urgency, general manager Buddy Nix said Tuesday.
Nix spent a few minutes answering questions from QMI Agency and two Buffalo-based writers.
Game film revealed there is "not enough intensity and urgency" at all levels of his club's defence, Nix said.
Buffalo's defence was historically bad the past two weeks, a 52-28 loss to visiting New England, and a 45-3 annihilation Sunday in San Francisco.
On the conference call, Nix expressed his displeasure with the progress of the team; explained how everyone on the club, from him on down, shares in the blame; defended star free-agent signee Mario Williams while also saying Williams can "play better"; said his faith in head coach Chan Gailey is unshaken; and said he is concerned about the inconsistency in Ryan Fitzpatrick's quarterback play.
Excerpts from the interview follow:
On the progress of the team:
"Obviously, we're not pleased with it. There's no real excuse for losing the way we did. We played two really good teams, but we played bad, too. And we mostly played bad in the second (halves). We're searching for answers for that. We're kind of puzzled at the way that those two games went, and we've got to find some answers."
On if he thought the defence could play as poorly as it did the past two weeks:
"No I couldn't ... There's enough blame in all this to go around. I know everybody would like to single out one segment, or one somebody, but I think starting with me there's a little blame to go around ... But we can't dwell on this week too long. The only thing we can do about it is play good this Sunday (at Arizona)."
On what he sees when he watches game film of the defence:
"... Not enough intensity and urgency. And I mean that. And again, that could be among any segment ... But to play defence you've got to play fast, and you gotta play reckless and you gotta play aggressive. For some reason, especially in the second half of those games, we didn't do that. We were a step slow in reacting, we missed tackles, we didn't get off blocks. When you miss tackles, usually it's one of two things -- it's talent or lack of effort. And we've seen these guys do it before, so I think the key is we've got to get that urgency back somehow."
On Mario Williams not getting many sacks (1.5) so far:
" ... It's hard for him to live up to the expectations that everybody's got. But it's not just Mario. Mario actually plays better than people give him credit for. He causes plays to be made by other people, or should be made by other people. So not to defend him -- he can play better, we expect him to -- but so can everybody else. We all need to play better. I don't care, and I shouldn't get into how much money a guy makes, but I don't care if it's getting paid ($1). None of us have earned it the last couple of weeks, so it don't matter what the salary is. We all gotta do better -- starting with me, and moving right down to every player we've got."
On the players-only meeting after the loss to the Niners:
" ... These guys are smart guys. They know if they are doing everything they can do or not. We all do. I do, the coaches do, everybody does. And they are not passing the buck or pointing the finger at anybody. They're taking it on themselves, which is what they ought to do."
On whether the quarterback is a concern, given Ryan Fitzpatrick's inconsistencies dating back to last season:
"Quarterback always gets a lot of the praise or the blame and all that. But it's a concern -- everything is. We haven't been consistent enough at that position. I go back again, and I keep saying this: If you can't stop anybody, if you can't stop the run and get off the field on defence, and keep your offence in the game, then you've got no chance no matter who the quarterback is."
On whether head coach Chan Gailey is able to pull everybody together:
" ... He's even-keeled. He's the same every day. He's not going to panic. He knows what he's doing. He won't lose that team ... I've got great confidence in him."
On how the team might turn it all around, and fast:
"(If) we get our intensity to the point where it needs to be, and then we compete for 60 minutes -- not 30 and not 35, but we battle for 60 minutes -- and we stay competitive throughout the year ... if we can do that, then this will be an interesting season for us, as bad as things seem right now."