Pressure to win on Nix, Gailey?February 25th, 2012 at 11:04 am by John Murphy under 4 Warn Weather
If the NFL Scouting Combine is the unofficial start of the 2012 preseason, which I believe it is, then it’s not too early to start thinking about what the 2012 season means to the Bills. In particular, what does it mean for GM Buddy Nix and Head Coach Chan Gailey, as they go into their third season with the Bills?
In the old days, 3-5 years was viewed as a reasonable time for a new football regime to build a contender. These are not the old days. Now, most teams expect to see serious results by at least the third year of a regime. In the case of the Bills, whose fans have not enjoyed a playoff appearance in a dozen seasons, serious progress is essential this year.
That puts some pressure on Nix and Gailey. And I get the sense they realize that.
The Bills have endured a string of crippling injuries the last two seasons, there’s no question about that. But they’ve also managed to lose eight straight games at the start of the 2010 season, and seven in a row midway through the 2011 campaign. Those kind of losing streaks suck the life and soul right out of a football organization.
I think the Bills have made progress in the last two seasons, despite winning a total of ten games in 2010 and 2011. They’ve found their quarterback, they have put together a viable, sometimes dangerous offensive attack. They have a core group of hard working young players who love to play the game. And they’ve taken significant steps forward in changing the culture of the Bills organizaton.
But now, in 2012, they have to win some games. They have to make the postseason, or at least come extremely close.
Nix acknowledged as much when we spoke to him at the Combine.
“I expect us to take a big step,” he said. “I expect us to be competitive towards the end of the year. I don’t mind saying that. I think any time you have a seven game losing streak there’s a lot of reasons, but there’s no excuses. We gotta be better.”
They have to be better. And the first steps towards being better this year are taking place right here at the Scouting Combine.
Let us know what you think.