Win. Just Win.

The Bills must find a leader to play quarterback.
The Bills must find a leader to play quarterback.

Win. Just Win.

Three small words that have a lot of meaning to the fans of the Buffalo Bills franchise, a football franchise that has not played a single postseason game since Y2K.

From 1988-1999, the Buffalo Bills missed the postseason twice. Since then, the Bills have cleaned out their lockers every year after sixteen games. Why? Ask Greg Williams, Mike Mularkey, Dick Juron, and now Chan Gailey. All four thought they had the answers at one point. All four are accomplished coaches and coordinators who could not get this franchise back into the playoffs. What all four lacked is very simple. All four coaches lacked an All Pro quarterback on their roster.

Gailey took a team of journeymen, cast offs, and made them into a cohesive offensive unit. His problem? Was his offense too complex, or was it blind faith in his quarterback? Either way, there is simple solution: Find a real leader to play quarterback.

In his years with the Cleveland Browns, Coach Bill Belichick compiled a 36–44 record, hardly the record of a coaching “mastermind”, as he is considered today. In fact, coach Belichick had his only losing season with the Patriots in 2000. It might be just a coincidence, but in 2000 Belichick’s Patriots were led by Drew Bledsoe. Early in 2001, Bledsoe was injured in a game against the New York Jets. Until this injury, Bledsoe was the unquestioned starter of the Patriots. That game against the New York Jets would be the last game Bledsoe would ever start for New England. The legend of Tom Brady was born.

Tom Brady, a 6th round draft pick. Tom Brady, a replacement.

What makes a quarterback great? Win. Just win.

I often like to compare Tom Brady to Jim Kelly. Honestly, there is no real comparison in statistics. Brady’s worst years (2001-2002) came with an 85+ quarterback rating and an 18 to 12 touchdown to interception ratio in 2001 and 28/14 in 2002. Kelly’s average QB rating for his career was 84.4. Kelly has a TD to interception ratio much closer to 60/40. In fact, Bills fans would be surprised how average Kelly’s statistics look compared to Brady’s. What both quarterbacks possess is the one thing that has been missing for the Buffalo Bills: leadership. Both DEMAND that their teams win.

Jim Kelly (Rick Stewart /Allsport)
Jim Kelly
(Rick Stewart /Allsport)


Year

GP

Att

Com

Pct

Yds

TD

Int

Rate

1986 16 480 285 59.4 3,593 22 17 83.3
1987 12 419 250 59.7 2,798 19 11 83.8
1988 16 452 269 59.5 3,380 15 17 78.2
1989 13 391 228 58.3 3,130 25 18 86.2
1990 14 346 219 63.3 2,829 24 9 101.2
1991 15 474 304 64.1 3,844 33 17 97.6
1992 16 462 269 58.2 3,457 23 19 81.2
1993 16 470 288 61.3 3,382 18 18 79.9
1994 14 448 285 63.6 3,114 22 17 84.6
1995 15 458 255 55.7 3,130 22 13 81.1
1996 13 379 222 58.6 2,810 14 19 73.2

Career Totals

160 4,779 2,874 60.1 35,467 237 175 84.4

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Kelly

Tom Brady (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Tom Brady
(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)


Year

GP

Att

Com

Pct

Yds

TD

Int

Rate

2000

3

1

33.3

6

2.0

0

0

42.4

2001

413

264

63.9

2,843

6.9

18

12

86.5

2002

601

373

62.1

3,764

6.3

28

14

85.7

2003

527

317

60.2

3,620

6.9

23

12

85.9

2004

474

288

60.8

3,692

7.8

28

14

92.6

2005

530

334

63.0

4,110

7.8

26

14

92.3

2006

516

319

61.8

3,529

6.8

24

12

87.9

2007

578

398

68.9

4,806

8.3

50

8

117.2

2008

11

7

63.6

76

6.9

0

0

83.9

2009

565

371

65.7

4,398

7.8

28

13

96.2

2010

492

324

65.9

3,900

7.9

36

4

111.0

2011

611

401

65.6

5,235

8.6

39

12

105.6

2012†

637

401

63.0

4,827

7.6

34

8

98.7

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Brady

During multiple games this year, while down in the 4th quarter, Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick called his team into a huddle. He went to the line with 20 seconds on the play clock. He looked over the defense. Then he took the snap with less than 5 seconds on the play clock. Yes he looked calm and cool under pressure, but a quarterback is about leadership. He needed to hurry up his team, get them the play, and hike the ball with to get back into a game. If this was coaching, then shame on the coaching staff. A quarterback needs to will his team back into a game. Shame on Fitzpatrick for not seeing the linebacker blitzing on 3rd down against Tennessee. Shame on him for not telling Stevie to run a go pattern against the Patriots instead of throwing the ball to a rookie who runs the wrong routes.

The Bills needed to find leadership at the head coach position, and they have their man in Doug Marrone. Now they have to find two quality coordinators to allow Marrone to lead. The Marrone hire is just the beginning of a change in attitute at One Bills Drive. Let’s hope Marrone can continue this attitude change. He needs to bring in a leader at quarterback. He needs to simply just win.

About Jason Mack

Jason is a full time Electrical estimator / project manager living in Lakeview, NY. He is an alumnus of the University at Buffalo, the University of San Diego, and Hutchinson Central Technical High School in Buffalo, As a lifelong Bills fan, Jason is proud to be a member of the #BillsMafia Family.