Here are my three thoughts on the Buffalo Bills as they enter final preparations for Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles:
1. I had the pleasure of attending Wednesday night's screening of ESPN's "30 for 30" retrospective on the Super Bowl Bills called "Four Falls of Buffalo," which airs Saturday at 9:30 p.m. The title is somewhat misleading. Yes, the nearly two-hour program does focus on the agony of the Bills' four consecutive losses in the big game. But in the process of telling that sad story, it shares a much more important and uplifting perspective of exactly what the Bills mean to Buffalo. It captures the long-lasting love affair in ways I have never seen in the numerous other video and written accounts of that run. A more appropriate title would have included words such as "resilience" or "perseverance," or something that addressed Buffalo's undying loyalty to the team. The primary voices (Jim Kelly, Steve Tasker, Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith, Andre Reed, Marv Levy and Bill Polian) do an amazing job of explaining how their journey of escalating pain actually strengthened the incredible bond they felt with Western New York even as the rest of the country felt growing disdain toward the idea of another Bills Super Bowl appearance. Anyone watching is going to have a hard time not crying as Scott Norwood opens up his soul about "Wide Right."
I was proud to have been able to contribute to the piece as a close observer who covered all four of those seasons, and what occurred to me when the final credits were rolling on the screen inside the beautiful North Park Theatre was that "Four Falls of Buffalo" should be required viewing for every current player and coach on the Bills. It's a must-see history lesson to remind them of who they're playing for.
2. I was sad, and even a bit surprised, to hear the ominous news about the future of Bills safety Aaron Williams. I wasn't sure if he would end up returning to action this season from his neck injury, but I wasn't expecting to hear him put his chances of ever playing again at "50-50" after he revealed he had undergone a medical procedure on his neck last month. I wasn't expecting him to talk about having already looked into what he might be doing with his post-football life. I know it caught others covering the Bills by surprise. But whatever the future holds, I can only hope the best for Williams, who has been one of the true leaders of the defense and a spark plug of a personality. If his playing days are, in fact, over, he could be an asset to the organization in a front-office or media-related capacity.
3. While we're on the topic of emotions, one of the biggest keys to Sunday's game is LeSean McCoy's ability to keep his in check. That is something the Bills' coaches have been addressing with the running back all week. Although they want him to have the monster game he is looking to have against his former team, they don't want his desire to have the last laugh on Eagles coach Chip Kelly to cause him to take unnecessary chances that could lead to turnovers or other mistakes on the field.