Jim Kelly's chin was off the floor Monday afternoon.
He still was disappointed over the Bills' loss to the Miami Dolphins. But he wasn't nearly as down in the dumps as he was after Sunday's game.
"I still have confidence, I know I can still play," the Buffalo Bills quarterback said. "I'm never going to quit. I've been down before, but I'm not down and out."
Can Kelly come back from the worst slump of his career? That question is haunting the team six games into the season.
The Bills' players and coaches all offered their votes of confidence in Kelly a day after one of their most bitter defeats.
Kelly remains the Bills' starting quarterback for the foreseeable future -- which at this point means at least through this Sunday's game against the winless New York Jets.
And both coach Marv Levy and Kelly vowed to stay the course with the Bills' struggling offense. Levy said the team remains committed to using varied formations and different personnel combinations and not trying to go back to exclusive use of the three-receiver, no-huddle attack. Kelly gave a firm endorsement of that approach.
But how long should the Bills stay the course with Kelly? The 36-year-old quarterback has 11 interceptions and just two touchdown passes this season. He is the lowest-rated starting quarterback in the league.
"I've known Jim Kelly for 11 years," Levy said. "From an emotional and competitive standpoint,
he'll bounce back. I'd wager that strongly. . . . He's a great quarterback and a great competitor."
Could Levy foresee the possibility of benching Kelly?
"That possibility always exists, sure. . . . It exists with any player."
At what point would he do so?
"I don't know," Levy said. "I don't know how to answer that right now."
Strange as it may have sounded, Kelly seemed to take some consolation in Monday's review of the Miami game film.
"One good thing that came out of it was there were a lot of good plays," Kelly said. "When you win, you're never as good as you think you are, and when you lose, you're never as bad.
"After a game you feel so depressed because things don't work out the way you want them to," Kelly said. "But when I looked at film, it was somewhat of a pleasant surprise to know the throws I was making -- the deep outs, the deep square(ins), the things my arm wasn't accustomed to a couple years ago because of my shoulder problems -- that I can throw those now."
Kelly also seemed to focus on the thought that other players made mistakes as well, and that he can't try to do it all himself, can't try to press to make plays.
"It opened my mind a little more that I just can't do it by myself," Kelly said. "It takes everybody, whether it's catching, blocking or throwing. We have to get it done. I'm just one person on the offense, and we all have to pull together."
Kelly stressed he supports the Bills' offensive philosophy and is confident he can make it work, even though he is most comfortable calling his own plays in the K-Gun.
"The thing is the K-Gun, no-huddle mode we used to run, Eric (Moulds) is not ready for it," Kelly said. "Quinn (Early) is not accustomed to it. Jerry Ostroski's not used to it. Ruben Brown's not used to it. We have a lot of different players in there, but whatever offense we decide to run, whether it's our K-Gun or our pair offense (two tight ends) or whatever, we have to execute. That's the bottom line."
"We're a multiple grouping team now," said quarterbacks coach Jim Shofner. "That's what we have to be because we just don't have the experience in the K-Gun, the capabilities, and defenses have learned how to play one formation, if that's all you do. Jim's in total agreement with that."
"There's no question that he's going to come back," said backup quarterback Todd Collins, who scoffed at the booing of Kelly at Rich Stadium Sunday. "Everyone knows he's the leader on this team. If you ask anyone in the locker room, Jim is supposed to be in the game. We all know that."