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Letter (Sept. 4): Our readers speak out

Bills-Redskins preseason game was terrible effort by officials

After watching the Bills vs. Redskins game, it appeared to me that the NFL officials were paying homage to the nation’s capital. This has to go down as the worst officiating I have ever seen in a football game.

The tackle of the Redskins’ quarterback in the backfield and a flag being thrown for roughing the quarterback stunk. Maybe we should tap the opposition on the shoulder and say, excuse me, do you mind if I tackle you?

Thank goodness it was a preseason game. Shape up NFL officials. There are good officials waiting to take your place.

F. Janowski

Orchard Park

Pressure is on Ryan to produce after a lackluster first season

It’s that time of year again, Rex Ryan will be talking positive and almost guarantee a winning season, and the playoffs-plus. And everyone will be jumping on the bandwagon, so they can be a part of the success of the Bills. Then around Thanksgiving Day, everyone will be disappointed again and say, that is it, I will not let myself get so absorbed in the team for a letdown again. Until next year.

Checking into Rex Ryan’s NFL head coaching record, he has been a head coach in the NFL for seven seasons. The first year with the Jets, he was 9-7, made the playoffs and won two games there, which was really good.

The following year with the Jets, he was 11-5 and won two playoff games, which was great.

The last five years, he has not had a winning record. Unfortunately in the NFL, it is all about winning and what have you done for me lately. So the bottom line is, now is the time to produce.

Rich Pietrykowski

Springboro, Ohio

Bills have to cut down on penalties to improve their standing in NFL

It is extremely hard to win if you are playing against yourselves and another NFL team in the same three-hour period. In my opinion, one of the biggest issues last year was the amount of penalties the Bills had as a team. I Just revisited the numbers, this includes all offensive, defensive, and special teams plays.

We were tied with Tampa for most with 143. We led the league in accepted yards, 1,249, Denver had less with 19 games played. We led the league with total flags, 168. We led the league in total flags at home, 79.

When we play the Ravens, I will pay particular attention to this area of the game. If we have not made substantial strides to correct this issue we will be lucky to get back to 8-8. Please refrain from the referee conspiracy argument. We need to get to the middle of the road with the penalty situation or end up at the middle of the road again in the standings.

Bobby Deese

Orlando, Fla.

Getting rid of a preseason game wouldn’t mean all that much

Mark Gaughan makes the case for eliminating the fourth NFL preseason game. Although I strongly agree with that, I don’t believe it will eliminate the problem.

Coaches usually don’t play their key players in the last preseason game to eliminate the risk of injury (not an unreasonable decision). By eliminating the fourth game, the third game becomes the last preseason game and I suspect the coaches would make the same decision.

Although eliminating the fourth game allows two weeks between the third game and the start of the regular season, the coaches are probably more concerned about long-term injuries and not one that will heal with an extra week off.

James Reschke

Amherst

Winning ‘offseason’ didn’t happen, what will happen in ‘real’ season?

Rex Ryan proclaimed earlier this summer that the Bills “won the offseason” – that proclamation turned out to be premature. In following the Bills over their ignominious losing slide, now reaching into a 17th season, could there have been a worse offseason in recent memory?

The Bills have always been successful in making offseason trades, free-agent signings, stadium renovations – anything to provide us long suffering fans with hope for the upcoming season. At this point last year, optimism was at a near all-time high with the new coach and his staff and the bolstering of the roster. Reaching the playoffs seemed likely. Could this summer be the all-time low offseason?

It seems the Bills have not made many roster upgrades of any significance and the vast majority of news out of the Bills camp can be considered negative. The major injuries suffered in training camp are unfortunate, as well as not starting the season with their much-needed top two draft picks. The suspension of a high profile player is very disappointing. It’s hard for even the most optimistic fan to predict more than perhaps 4-5 victories at this point.

Rex appears snake-bitten with all that has transpired recently. Let’s hope that this means he and his staff are focused to work hard to develop the roster as was promised last year and return the optimism. Fans would much rather win when it counts, during the real season.

Larry Dugo

St. Catharines, Ontario

Send comments to Sports Talk, The Buffalo News, One News Plaza, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, NY 14240. Letters may also be emailed 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.

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