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I think the new Bills' coaching regime better put their hard hats on and zip up their jackets for the storm that's approaching -- the Indianapolis Colts.

Indeed, if Sunday's performance was in any way indicative of how the offense runs, it will be a long season. Ineptitude in the red zone, turnovers, missed assignments on the offensive line, missed tackles in the secondary. Sound like last season under Wade Philips? Well, it was Sunday and Mr. Williams gets all the credit.

As a longtime Bills fan and Orchard Park native, every year my optimism is renewed as the nights cool and the leaves turn.

This year my optimism was tempered by cold injections of reality such as the cutting of Henry Jones and John Holecek. I clung to my hopes that, although it's now a younger, more inexperienced team, the enthusiasm and athleticism of youth would somehow compensate for lack of experience, and big plays would still be made.

I saw a promising young running back in Travis Henry Sunday. I also saw a struggling offensive line allowing unobstructed alleys to its quarterback.

I saw a confused quarterback and a frustrated all-star wide receiver not getting any touches. Mike Sheppard had better find new, inventive methods of getting the ball to Eric Moulds, as the management is paying dearly for his services.

Defensively, there was a brilliant first half, and a second half of missed tackles and exhaustion. Raion Hill might hit like Blaine Bishop, but he'd better learn how to tackle like Jones did. The veterans on this team better step up and lead by example or the retooling of this team next summer will see their departure as surely as Jones and Holecek did.

Mr. Williams has a long laundry list of items to work on the before the Bills head for what could be a really long season.
Battle Ground, Va.

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