By Sal Maiorana and Leo Roth - Rochester D&C
Sal: There are so many reasons why this franchise is a perpetual joke - bad coaching, underperforming players, absentee ownership, good ol' fashioned bad luck, and yes, the complete lack of common sense at times.
Leo: Well Ebenezer, you're 5-for-5 on this sweeping assessment of our local NFL franchise.
Lack of common sense. The inability to do the obvious. It's all part of this ongoing debacle we call the Buffalo Bills.
Sal:Start right at the top with Ralph Wilson. I have tremendous respect for the 94-year-old owner of the Bills, as I know you do, and while I've resisted saying this, I think it's time.
For the good of the franchise, Ralph needs to step away, sell this toy that he has enjoyed for more than half of his life, and allow the team to move forward. Seriously, is it still possible that he derives pleasure from owning the Bills?
Leo: Of course he does. It keeps him engaged with the greatest league in pro sports, which he helped create. You know there's a Pandora's Box concerning ownership.
Sal: And that would be?
Leo:If Ralph sells, or he passes away, the new owner can just pack up the team and move it. It's the biggest fear we've all had in terms of Ralph's mortality.
Sal:I understand that, which is why it makes sense for Ralph to publicly declare what the succession plan is so at least we know what we're dealing with.
Leo:Unless he has a new buyer lined up, there is no succession plan. I don't think anything is changing on the ownership front today, so let's move on. How about your favorite coach and mine - not - Chan Gailey? Talk about having no common sense. He's starting to make me miss Dick Jauron.
Sal:Normally I'd scream at the mention of Jauron's name but his record through 43 games with the Bills was six wins better than Gailey's is. Incredibly, his mediocrity was better than Gailey's, though they are equal in one category: Zero playoff appearances.
Leo: I take it you've officially eliminated Buffalo from the wild-card race?
Leo:The way Spiller is being used so sparingly, he'll probably play until he's 50. One of the excuses Gailey used is that Fred Jackson is a great player, too. And he also said C.J. still isn't very good in pass protection. Are these valid points?Sal:Well, both of those points are true, so here's a pretty easy solution - hand the ball to Spiller and watch him run. What a concept, huh? The guy's only averaging a league-high 6.7 yards per rush.Leo:Apparently, it just makes more sense to Gailey to have his mundane quarterback drop back 37 times - as opposed to 21 called runs - and throw passes to his equally mundane corps of receivers.Sal:Again, simply baffling. Do you realize Fitzpatrick in nearly four years with the Bills has never started and won a road game in which the team he beat finished that season with a winning record?Leo:No, but that doesn't surprise me. He's won at Cleveland and at Arizona this year and those teams are a combined 7-15.This is the Chosen One Gailey and general manager Buddy Nix gave all that money to? Maybe you're right. Mr. Wilson can't possibly be deriving any pleasure in owning this team.Sal:Someday this team might finally figure it out but I'm not going to hold my breath because, well, that wouldn't make much sense.Leo:Football isn't rocket science, but the Bills seem to make it more difficult than it needs to be because they lack one of the most useful attributes anyone, in any walk of life, can possess: simple common sense.It makes no sense that they have no common sense.