This has been a strange, strange week. Since the Buffalo Bills lost to Washington, 35-25, Mario Williams sounded off, Sammy Watkins said he wants players calling each other out, Preston Brown said calls are coming in late defensively, defensive backs disputed Rex Ryan’s “confidence” remark, veterans responded to Williams .
And running back Boobie Dixon? He noted there haven’t been any players-only meetings all season long.
The beat goes on for the Bills.
On Wednesday, inside linebacker Nigel Bradham made it clear he doesn’t like “the blame game.” What needs to improve? “The chemistry for one,” he said.
“All this finger-pointing,” he said. “That’s the first thing that has to go, I think. We just have to get on the same page. The blame game is only going to take you so far. So I just feel like we have to get rid of that and then focus on us, focus on ourselves and forget about what everybody’s saying and all that. We have too much talent to be losing at the end of the day. Right now, we’re losing. So we need to get this fixed obviously.”
Bradham can’t remember this much finger-pointing on any of his four Bills teams here.
“So it’s just one of those things we have to get up out of here,” he said. “It’s never been here, so why is it here now?
“I think we have enough leaders. I think it’s just guys being frustrated. We’re all frustrated. We came into the season thinking we were going to be hot stuff. And we’re not, at the end of the day. So it’s one of those things where we pretty much have to get this extra stuff out and get back to being us.”
To him, winning should drive everything, whether you’re asked to do one thing or another thing by the coaching staff.
The obvious backdrop here is that Ryan has asked players defensively to do things they may not like to do. Williams has dropped into coverage at times, rather than rush exclusively as he did under Jim Schwartz.
Speaking generally, Bradham said, “It doesn’t matter who likes what or who wants to do what. We have to figure out a way to win games.”
Thus, all of this frustration, unhappiness, discontent, whatever you want to call it started with losing games. Winning tends to cure all. And Bradham says, “We can’t let that come between what we started and what we’re trying to do.” It’s too late for anything to get fixed internally as far as 2015 playoff hopes go.
At 6-8, the Bills are done. All they can hope for now is to finish with a dash of positive vibes against Dallas and the New York Jets.
At which point, Bradham and many others will be free agents. Williams could be released. This Bills defense could look a lot different in 2016.
Bradham does like Ryan’s approach on not muzzling players. The head coach lets players be themselves which certainly gives fans a true look at the team – rare and important in what can be an overly sanitized NFL these days.
“I think guys should be able to say what they want to say,” Bradham said. “It’s their opinion. They have a voice. I agree with the way Rex says that and goes by that plan. It’s a good plan. But at the same time, we’re all grown men so you should know what you should say and shouldn’t say.”