A Bills-heavy "Sports Talk Sunday" rolled through topics like expectations for Preston Brown, the contract situation for Tyrod Taylor and a debate over how the team should approach a new stadium.
WGRZ's Jonah Javad stood in for usual host Adam Benigni, and he was joined by fellow Mizzou grad Jerry Sullivan, News columnist Bucky Gleason and Bills beat reporter Vic Carucci.
Here are five takeaways from the show that aired originally at 11:30 p.m. March 27 on WGRZ-TV Channel 2:
1) Rex Ryan calls out middle linebacker Preston Brown: During owners meetings, the Bills head coach called out Brown to be more vocal and a better communicator for the defense. Vic adds that it's the second time that Ryan has called out the Louisville alum, with the first coming during the NFL Scouting Combine.
Sully chuckles when the other hosts agree that it's yet another deflection of blame on Ryan's part, and Bucky adds that many of Rex's excuses -- Mario Williams and defensive line coach Karl Dunbar, for example -- have been removed, leaving even more pressure on Ryan. Sully offers a slightly different take, noting Brown's disappointing sophomore season in the NFL and imploring him to play better, or else he shouldn't be running the defense.
[Dunne: Brown responds to Rex's call-out]
Vic adds that Rex Ryan's defense is more complicated than many, and perhaps he trusted too much in Brown. Javad echoes the sentiment, pointing to the differences between Ray Lewis, Ryan's middle linebacker in Baltimore, and David Harris, who made the defensive calls in New York.
2) Potential for ugly contract situation with Taylor: The hosts explain the jockeying in the media between Ryan and Tyrod Taylor's agent, Adisa Bakari, over a new contract for the Buffalo quarterback. Javad mentions how Ryan said that the football team is more than just one player, and Taylor needs work throwing over the middle and connecting with Charles Clay.
[Rex Ryan: Tyrod Taylor deal not a worry]
Bucky doesn't think Ryan should be involved in these contract talks -- that's up to Doug Whaley -- while Sully notes that Taylor only threw 7 percent of his passes over the middle. The hosts agree that this storyline will make for an interesting season.
[Taylor's agent's full-court press on the Bills]
3) Impact of new NFL rule changes: Javad highlights the two major NFL rule changes -- touchbacks moved to the 25-yard-line and two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties result in an ejection. Vic argues that these changes weren't thought out enough -- kickers are adept at kicking short, meaning there will likely be more returns than fewer, which doesn't make the game any safer.
Carucci continues that this rule change means the elimination of kickoffs is the next logical step, while Sully advocates getting rid of them entirely.
[Read Sully's argument for elimination of kickoff returns]
The line of scrimmage for extra points, the opposing 15-yard-line, has been deemed permanent -- solidified by how Stephen Gostkowski's miss for New England in the AFC Championship changed the game's complexion. Sully laments that extra points are boring, and he'd be open to more two-point conversions. Bucky advocates moving the extra point line of scrimmage back even farther, forcing coaches into a tougher choice.
4) Vic sounds off on the Bills stadium plans: Carucci recaps his article in which he spoke to a few NFL owners who claimed that the 43-year-old Ralph Wilson Stadium was a competitive disadvantage for Buffalo and should be replaced sooner rather than later. These owners thought that the money from the $130 million renovation should have been spent on a new stadium.
[Read Vic's most recent update on Bills stadium details]
Vic clarifies the renovation was a project of Ralph Wilson and Governor Andrew Cuomo -- not the Pegulas, so it's not fair to fault the current regime for that. Even so, there's more stagnation than progress now, as Russ Brandon says the organization is "in no rush" to move forward with stadium plans, and the working group has suspended meeting.
5) Extra points:
Sully: Says that Bills fans can be small-time -- people like Bucky puff out their chests and say, "The NFL can't tell us what to do" when it comes to a stadium. Sully argues that, with Buffalo on the upswing, it's time to get serious and build a new stadium. The News columnist predicts that public money will be part of the deal, too.
Bucky: Argues that the Bills don't need a new stadium before or after their current lease deal runs out. The organization shouldn't be pushed around by filthy rich people. The Ralph is a great place to watch a game still, and the tailgating is fun as long as "people don't set themselves on fire and split tables in half."
Jonah: The Sabres have raised ticket prices again, and in the past it's been met with diminished returns and empty promises. Finally, after seeing Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart and Hudson Fasching score in the Sabres' win over Winnipeg on Saturday, Javad sees the light at the end of the tunnel and isn't angered by another price increase.
The next episode of "Sports Talk Sunday" runs at 11:30 p.m. April 3 on WGRZ-TV.