The Bills were a vogue pick to turn the corner in 2012 and start a run of success. Now, with a 3-5 record that seems quite likely to be 3-6 by nightfall Sunday, the Buddy and Chan Show is entering its blue period. And that includes trying to determine if the quarterback sucks permanently or if he's salvageable.
One of my favorite columnists, Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News, puts Ryan Fitzpatrick in the crosshairs today. And that's only because Bills general manager Buddy Nix put Fitzpatrick there earlier in the week when Nix said of the quarterback decision, Let me be as honest as I can. I think we really need to address it this year."
I picture Buddy cleaning a shotgun as he says this and old Fitzy The Dog asleep at his feet, head resting on Buddy's shoes, unaware that the party is nearly over.
But Fitzpatrick knows that, despite his six-year, 59 million deal, the posse is closing in. Sullivan asked Fitzpatrick if he is playing for his future now.
I mean, I . . . I cant do that, he said. I cant go into a game and say, I need to play well or else. Im a guy that was a seventh-round pick. Ive waited for an opportunity for a long time, and now I have this opportunity.
I understand what happens in the NFL. I understand that its a performance-based business for quarterbacks. You have to win games or else. I understand all that. I appreciate this opportunity as much as anybody, because I had to wait a long time to get it."
The Bills as a team are in desperate straits and Nix has nudged Fitzpatrick out in front of the angry masses. And that's the dynamic the Bills bring in to Foxboro today.
The only college team that I believe could have legitimately beaten a professional team was the 1990-91 UNLV Runnin' Rebels basketball team. Larry Johnson, Stacey Augmon, Greg Anthony, Anderson Hunt, read this article to gain a little appreciation of them. But that's basketball. Five guys, the physical demands wholly different than football. I bring this up because there's been conversation about whether Alabama could beat an NFL team. They could not. They almost lost to LSU. Saturday, they did lose to Texas A&M. I really like this Alabama team and enjoy watching it, but the myriad pieces on a football team -- offense, defense, special teams -- and the strength and physics of the game at the NFL level would make it impossible for a college team to even be competitive with the worst NFL team.
Two good pieces in the Boston Globe today. Greg Bedard's highlighting of relevant excerpts in a new book called, "Coaching Confidential: Inside the Fraternity of NFL Coaches, by New York Daily News columnist Gary Myers. I'll let you read Bedard's summation but there is a lot here from Robert Kraft about his relationships with Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick. There's a bit of spin from Kraft on the long-ago dustup with Parcells over draft pick Christian Peter that I'll delve into later this week.
The other is a sitdown between Shalise Manza-Young and Tom Brady delving into Brady's health so far this season (fit as a fiddle).
One other quick Brady-related note: that question about him dressing funny that I posed . . . it was at the end of the press conference and I really don't care how he dresses. And when I asked him later if he was offended, he said, "You know me better than that . . ."