Tonawanda News

Columns

January 5, 2013

DUVALL: More of the same from sad sack Bills

Tonawanda News —

As I write this, the NFL playoffs have just kicked off. For the 13th year in a row, they won't include the Buffalo Bills, a team striving for — and attaining — new levels of irrelevance in professional sports.

In the wake of the team's latest failure, owner Ralph Wilson Jr. announced he was ceding full control of the organization to CEO Russ Brandon. It is only the second time in the team's history that Wilson won't call the shots. The other was when Tom Donahoe was given the same title from 2001-05. 

Here's hoping Brandon's tenure goes better than that.

The team's other big move? Firing inept head coach Chan Gailey. 

Gailey's dismissal likely means a new starting quarterback to replace Ryan Fitzpatrick. I've always liked Fitz — in fact, he's my favorite of the long line of mediocre replacements since Jim Kelly retired — but he simply isn't talented enough to be a full-time starting quarterback in the NFL.

On one hand, I'm extremely excited to think I won't have to watch Fitzpatrick overthrow open wide receivers and wonder when they're going to hand the ball to dynamic runner C.J. Spiller.

On the other hand, I have precisely zero faith they'll hire someone with any better judgment.

The reality is simple. The Bills have not had a competent head coach or quarterback since Marv and Jimbo were running the show, now nearly 20 years ago. 

Speaking of 20 years ago, we marked the anniversary of the Comeback Game Thursday. Frank Reich's heroics against the Oilers made for great fun to recall. Here's a sad fact: The entire franchise, from the nonagenarian owner down to the peanut vendors, needs to pull off a comeback that would dwarf Reich's unbelievable effort if this team is ever to be taken seriously again.

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