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Letters / Our readers speak out

Fitz, Bills must adjust their styles

The Bills' season has become a nightmare, and already the indictments of Ryan Fitzpatrick are raining down like slings and arrows.

His play has been less than stellar of late. Let us also notice that there is plenty of correction to go around. As a QB, Fitz has the heart of a gunslinger, with inclination toward wanting to make a big play whenever he can. But the leader in the huddle must adapt his style to the abilities and tendencies of his receiving weapons.

Let us be blunt. There have been moments, but Stevie, David, and Donald are not All-Pro caliber "long TD bomb" threats. They drop too many passes and lack enough raw physicality to out maneuver most DBs in tight coverage for the ball. Nor are they strictly short-range possession receivers a la Roscoe Parrish. Their value is to run crisp routes of 10-20 yards and make the clutch catches to extend drives.

For a time last year and the first few games recently, the offense was explosive -- when it had to be. More often than not that was on pure adrenaline, coming from behind to win. That magic runs out after awhile. And is that the true persona of this offense?

The view here is to modify to a West Coast type or similar version, with a premium on ball control. Whether that results in more wins, time will tell. But it is hard to deny that thought must be put into moving in a better direction.

Tim Spivey

Lancaster

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Wave the white flag to beg for mercy

The Buffalo Bills head coach needs two flags for each game.

The first flag is the red one for official challenges. The second one would be much larger and would be white. It would be used for blowouts.

Chan Gailey could wave the white flag ending the game and sparing his team and the people in the stands any more punishment. Printed on the white flag in large letters would be "Have Mercy."

Herbert Bertram

Orchard Park

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Sports teams leave this fan wanting

Terry Pegula came to town and gave us great hope that we were on the road to a championship. We started out great but now -- what is happening?

We can't hit the broad side of a barn, we cringe when we get a power play because the other team scores more than we do, our goaltenders seem to be in la-la land. But the biggest problem is thinking that we can get different result by doing the same old thing. Isn't that the definition of insanity? Lindy Ruff just can't get the job done. He is soft and ineffective.

Then there are the Bills. In the beginning of the season, fans were told to be there, to believe, to show up for the games. When does the team "show up?" Yes we have many injuries, but we're missing some basics here. Do the receivers not know the play route or doesn't the quarterback? Do the receivers not know how to catch a ball that is in there hands or doesn't the quarterback know how to throw? Do we not know the numbers of the receivers on the other team (their usually in the 80s), and is that why we are 20 yards off them as they make amazing catches? What has happened? You say -- next year. We have been there for the last 12 "next years."

We love our teams. Where are they? We deserve better.

Janet Fraas

Ransomville

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No changes, just same for the Sabres, Bills

Stand by your man. This seems to be the style of the Bills and Sabres. Can sticking with Fitz and Gailey be the same as Pegula with Ruff?

With Chan, what choice does he have since Fitzpatrick signed a multi-million dollar extension for his excellent "leadership" qualities and quarterbacking ability. In hindsight, not great value.

And the Sabres, sticking with Ruff when it is quite obvious the players aren't living up to their high-priced salaries is wrong. Excuses, excuses, excuses is all I see for both teams.

Paul DiVito

Amherst

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Sabres' inner conflict battle of good vs. evil

The Sabres are like Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde. They have a split personality every game. Will it going to be the good Sabres who win or the evil ones who lose?

John Jendrysek

Orchard Park

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Sabres need to get their act together

Are we supposed to feel sorry for the Sabres? Well this season ticket holder doesn't. I am really getting ticked off with the attitude, play and leadership.

Must be terrible to have achieved a childhood dream of playing in the NHL. And that achievement comes with a pretty good guaranteed paycheck.

I was a fan before any of you and now wonder why you deserve to have us in your stands.

Let's start with two vital parts of the game -- hitting and goals. No team ever raises the Cup without putting some punishment on the other team. Hit somebody, a lot. Entertain us.

Brian Caradori

Elma

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Time has come to send Lindy Ruff packing

After seeing the woes of what the Sabres are going through on home ice right now, as well as all the news with NHL coaching changes, I hate to say it but after 14 years of unkept promises it may be time to send Lindy Ruff packing.

It's really frustrating that Pegula can't recognize it. It seems to me right now that Ruff is no longer a motivator. I say this because I'm thinking the opinion which may be negative to some that after 14 years the players are too comfortable with Ruff's coaching system (or lack or a system). We just can't keep him for life.

If a complete change won't happen anytime in the not to distant future I'd say lots of fans will lose interest in the Sabres altogether.

Paul Nathan Jr.

Cheektowaga

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Non-Sabres fan happy Ruff is behind bench

Being an avid non-Sabre fan I'd like to thank Pegula for keeping Ruff. No dreading Cup parades with him here.

Players come and go but Ruff's team still lacks the consistency, conditioning, toughness and obvious lack preparation. Their horrific first periods are becoming legendary. These faults rest entirely with Ruff. He obviously is unable to motivate his team and has a million excuses why (every year). Coaching an NHL team is not exactly astrophysics, but Ruff still doesn't seem to get it. It appears to me the league has passed him by -- years ago. So once again a thank you to Pegula for keeping him on. Instead, of the fancy locker room and other goodies for overrated and unmotivated players, maybe Pegula should put his money towards a real coach who has a grasp on the league pulse and knows how to properly prepare a team.

Pegulaville? Way corny and not very original. I don't think the near empty bandwagon is stopping there.

George Wojciechowski

Buffalo

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Same old, same old for coach, Sabreland

Here we go again. Another year of the same old Lindy. I ask just one question. How with the recession going on and no jobs does an inept coach (Ruff) get to keep his job? He yells and screams behind the bench, but the players don't respond. He looks like and old piece of furniture behind the bench. If I don't perform on my job, I get fired. Why doesn't Ruff get fired for his lack of performance? Why does Lindy Ruff keep getting a free pass?

Rich Kawner

Cheektowaga

Send comments to Sports Talk, The Buffalo News, One News Plaza, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y., 14240. Letters may also be sent via fax to 849-4587 or e-mail to sports@buffnews.com. Letters should be limited to 250 words and are subject to editing. Include name, hometown and a phone number for verification.