Sign in to follow this  

Buffalo Bills Video Dynasty (Madden)

Recommended Posts

Aug. 22, 2012

When Bryan Hurst hung up the phone, Ralph Wilson knew immediately Hurst had failed.

"They won't do it," Hurst said. The disappointment was evident on his face.

"That's unfortunate but there's no point in dwelling on it," said Wilson, the Buffalo Bills owner.

The Washington Redskins had been offering their middle linebacker Lorenzo Alexander for trade to teams around the league.

If there had been one thing that had been painfully clear in the Buffalo Bills preseason it was that their existing linebackers couldn't stop the run. They had allowed 142 yards against Minnesota and 125 against Washington.

It was no surprise to Hurst. The Bills couldn't stop the run last year, the run the year before and -- for all Hurst knew -- the past decade.

They needed Lorenzo Alexander. They needed him like a fish needs water.

But the Redskins had rejected the Bills offer of defensive tackle Dwan Edwards.


"If we can't stop the run .." Hurst didn't need to say more. Every coach from pee-wee football to the NFL knew if you couldn't stop the run you couldn't win.

"This is a passing league now. It's more important we have good defensive backs and great schemes," offered Wilson.

Hurst shook his head. "There's no scheme invented that can make our linebackers look decent."

 "You have to be positive. You're the leader of this team," said Wilson.

"Nick Barnett led our linebackers last game with three tackles. Three tackles! That just isn't going to cut it," said Hurst.

"Why did I hire you if that's the attitude you're going to have?" Wilson glared across the room at Hurst. "You promised me a playoff team when you took this job and less than a month later you're already saying we can't do it."

Hurst knew his criticisms had gone too far. "We're going to make the playoffs, Mr. Wilson. But there's a difference between making the playoffs and having a legitimate shot at the Superbowl."

Hurst sat down across from Wilson.

"You're in charge here," Hurst continued.  "I'm only here to give you advice on personnel decisions. But I'm not going to tell you what you want to hear. I'm here to tell you the truth. Our linebackers are terrible."

"Okay," Wilson relented. "We need to cut six players this week to get down to the roster maximum of 59 players. We'll cut one of the linebackers but I think we should give the rest a chance against Pittsburgh this week."


Great, thought Hurst. Pittsburgh never shied away from the running game. The Steelers would further expose how inept the Bills linebacking corps were and more importantly, how Wilson needed to listen to Hurst's advice.

Football was about power -- the ability to dictate the game to your opponents on your terms, to push them back into their end zone, to punish their mistakes. Without the power to make personnel decisions Hurst couldn't see how that was going to happen.

Hurst was the one who was going to be pushed with this roster. Opponents were going to march the ball down his throat and he would wear the failure of each loss. He had to have more control, he had to wrestle the roster decisions from this senior citizen.

But that wasn't going to happen today.

"Now let's get to the rest of the cuts," said Wilson.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Aug. 29, 2012

Bryan Hurst knew it wouldn't be a good idea to gloat but he couldn't resist.

The Buffalo Bills coach had warned owner Ralph Wilson their linebackers weren't good enough before their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and sure enough the Steelers ran over them.

"I hate to tell you I told you so. When Jonathan Dwyer has 100 rushing yards against us we've got a problem," said Hurst.

Wilson didn't respond. He looked out his office window overlooking the stadium on this warm, late summer morning.

Maybe he hadn't heard Hurst. You couldn't expect a 92-year old man to hear everything.

"Mr. Wilson?" Hurst asked.

Wilson seemed to be far away. What was he thinking?

"Mr. Wilson, are you okay?" Hurst repeated.

"I heard you," Wilson turned in his chair to face Hurst. "But I don't think I understand you. You're telling me our big problem is our linebackers?"

"That's right," said Hurst.

"We scored 15 points against Pittsburgh and 17 points against Minnesota and you think the problem is our linebackers. I just want to make sure I understand you correctly," said Wilson.

"It's the preseason," Hurst moved uneasily in his chair. "We're giving all three quarterbacks --"

"Stop right there," commanded Wilson. "I've given you a chance to speak. Now it's my turn."

"I don't want to hear it's just the pre-season because that will quickly turn into 'It's only the first four games of the season', or 'We need the first half of the season to work out some kinks.' I've heard all the excuses during my ownership of the team. I don't have enough years left for more excuses."

"At the end of the day, we had 234 yards of offense against Pittsburgh. That's not good enough. That's not going to win any games. That's not going to have those seats," Wilson pointed to the empty seats in the stadium. "Full of cheering fans. The ones who are going to be here will be booing."

"I don't care what you need to do in this final exhibition game in Detroit. Show me your vision for this team. You want to be a running team with Spiller and Jackson, show it this game. You want to pass the ball 40-to-50 times a game, show it this game. Show me why I -- and more importantly the fans -- should believe in you."

Once again Hurst realized his mouth had sunk him into trouble. Why did he have to gloat? Why did he have to open his mouth? He had awoken a sleeping giant.

"I used to be a patient man, Bryan, but you'll have to excuse me if I've run out of patience," said Wilson

Hurst didn't know what to say. In the fourth and final exhibition game, coaches played their starters for only one series. You didn't want to get anyone injured with the regular season only a week away.

That wasn't going to work. He needed to win this game.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sept. 4, 2012

Bryan Hurst's hands were clenched together as he sat in the Buffalo Bills boardroom. His eyes were closed and he looked deep in thought. If you didn't know any better you would have thought he was praying.

"We're going to keep Vince Young and Tyler Thigpen and have them both backup Fitzgerald," Bills owner Ralph Wilson had just announced.

It was incredulous.

Wilson and Hurst were discussing the Bills final six cuts to get the roster to the league maximum 53 players. But there was no discussion. Wilson was simply going to tell Hurst the six players named and that was it.

But never did Hurst think Wilson would keep all three quarterbacks. There simply wasn't enough depth at other positions to find six cuts.

What was the likelihood of a third string quarterback ever getting on the field? Not very likely. Hurst knew that if a quarterback got hurt and was going to miss the next game, a quarterback could be picked up off the waiver wire. There was no point having two quarterbacks holding a clipboard on the sidelines every game.

"We're going to cut Chris White-"

"What?" interrupted Hurst. He clenched his hands tighter together. It was all he could do from pounding them on the table.

"Don't worry. He's young. He's only 23. You can't treat every player cut like he's your son," said Wilson.

"He's also a 23-year old, 6-foot-3, 240-pound linebacker who is going to be pretty damn good. And you know we're weak at linebacker," said Hurst.


"He may be good in five years. Today he's not good," said Wilson sternly. "We don't have time to wait. I want results now not tomorrow. I don't have time for tomorrow."

Hurst wondered if the bones in his fingers would crack if he held his hands together any tighter. He lowered his hands below the table where they couldn't be seen. He realized they were trembling. He needed a drink.

"I'm just worried about our depth, Mr. Wilson," Hurst said.

"I'd keep 60 players if I could. But we can't. That's the reality," said Wilson. He seemed oblivious to Hurst's rising anger.

Hurst wondered if Wilson noticed that his hands were trembling uncontrollably now below the table.  This had happened to him once before when he stopped drinking cold turkey for five days.

Wilson coughed and cleared his throat. Either he was oblivious to Hurst's shaking or he didn't care.

"Also cut are Searcy, Eddins, Asper, Miller and Young," Wilson said. "Deliver the news to them right away. It will relieve some of the anxiety for the remaining 53. Bryan, you're sweating."

"It's just always a difficult thing to tell young men they haven't made the team. You're right. I do consider every player like a son," Hurst scrambled to give Wilson a plausible explanation.

Telling players their dreams were dead was the last thing he wanted to do. This wasn't the time to quit drinking. Maybe he did need help. But right now he eda shot to stop the trembling, to get on with the business at hand.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create a GM profile or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create a GM profile

Sign up for a GM profile in our community. It's free & easy!

Create a GM profile

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.