Jim Kelly believes Sean McDermott gives the Buffalo Bills exactly what they need.
Without mentioning Rex Ryan by name, Kelly made it clear the Bills' ship had gotten too loose under their previous coach's watch during the past two seasons. The Hall-of-Fame quarterback expects that all to change with McDermott in charge.
"I think the biggest thing we've got to do, each player has to hold himself accountable for everything," Kelly said at his annual football camp at One Bills Drive. "And I think in the past, everything's been relaxed so much. I think Coach McDermott brings something to the table that we haven't had here in awhile, and that's discipline."
Kelly was impressed with what he saw while watching mandatory minicamp practices. He was especially pleased with the fact there were more players practicing than watching from the sidelines.
"From what I saw last week, the majority of guys are healthy," he said. "That's what we need. It's not like we have so much depth. The guys that we have that are starting right now, we need to keep them healthy, period. You can't win when you've got your star players in the treatment room, getting rehab all the time."
Kelly is anxious for the Bills to return to the glory days they enjoyed when he was their quarterback.
"I want to turn this around," he said. "Not only for the coaching staff or the fans, but the Pegulas, all the investment they've put into it. Not only with the Bills, but the Sabres and how they came (to the rescue to keep both teams in Buffalo). I want to see it happen for them, too."
Kelly touched on other topics, such as:
Wanting his nephew, Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Chad Kelly, to be patient as he recovers from wrist and knee surgery: "First thing's first. Get healthy. Once you get healthy, learn the playbook. You've got so much time, you're not in a hurry. You need to get right. You need to rehab, get your hand and your knee well enough to be able to get out there and so far, so good. I text him all the time and so far, rehab's going exactly the way it should."
The camp, which he began while playing, reaching its 30th year: "As I was preparing for this week, I don't know why, but I was more excited than I have been in a couple years. Even though a couple of years ago, when we had it right after my cancer, I wasn't feeling real good, but I was glad I was able to make it. But now, this being my 30th anniversary, I'm almost in awe that we've been able to do it for this long. I always visualized 20 years maybe. That would be really cool if I made it to 20, but now we're at 30. Now I'm thinking, 'Huh, maybe I can shoot for 40.' And as long as I'm healthy enough to continue to do this, I'm going to continue to do it. But right now, I feel pretty good."
Whether Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time: "He's top three, without a doubt. You put him, Joe Montana ... of course, I didn't ever watch Johnny Unitas, with all the championships he had. You know what? The era nowadays is a lot different than it was 20-25 years ago. It's hard to really say this person, this person, but Tom's definitely one of the greatest to ever play. There's no doubt about it."
What the campers know of his playing career, which ended before they were born: "Believe it or not, their fathers are showing them videos on VHS. I'll said, 'Hold on! You still have a VHS plugged in?' And it makes me laugh. I said, 'I think you can get VHS made into a DVD or something nowadays.' They're like, 'Yeah, we know, but it's pretty cool being able to push that thing in and watch it.' I say, 'OK, whatever.' "
His primary message to campers: "One of the things that I really, really emphasize a lot is paying attention to detail. (Monday), on opening day, I tried to really talk to the younger kids because as we all know, if you have your own kids, when you are over with 10 of your buddies or 50 or 20, you have a tendency to talk while somebody else is talking. And when I tell them to do something, they totally don't do what I said, then you know they weren't paying attention. So I really get on them hard the first day, the first morning, because I want them to understand that no matter if you're at home with your mom and dad or you're in school with your teacher, when they tell you do something, you listen. If you don't listen, you do it wrong."