By Mark Gaughan
Buffalo Bills General Manager Buddy Nix said today he thinks his team simply needs to play with more urgency. Nix stopped to talk about the Bills' two-game collapse in between recruiting visits to Arizona State University and the University of Arizona.
Asked what he sees from the Bills' defense when he watches film, Nix said:
"To be completely honest with you, what I see is not enough intensity and urgency. ... And that could be on any segment or as far as any part of our group. But to play defense you've gotta play fast and you've got to play reckless and you've got to play aggressive.
"For some reason, especially in the second half of both games, we didn't do that. We were a step slow reacting. We missed tackles. We didn't get off blocks. When you miss tackles, usually it's one of two things, it's talent or lack of effort. We've seen these guys do it before so I think they can. We gotta get that urgency back somehow."
Does he think the defense is playing tight?
"I don't think that's the case," Nix said. "I think against Cleveland we had a chance to fold when the score got 17-14. But we didn't. We stopped 'em. We got off the field three-and-out. Now you can say that's Cleveland. But they're a good team. They're not as good as these two [New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers], but Cleveland's got good players. So I think it's refusing to lose. Just being determined to compete and not lose the game. Somehow or another we're missing that."
On losing 45-3 to San Francisco: "Thank God that wasn't the last game, and I've got to live with that 'til next year. We got a chance to play Sunday. So let's do something about it."
Does Nix think coach Chan Gailey can get the team focused and back on track?
"I go back to the first year we were here and we lose eight straight games." Nix said. "Then last year we start off big, everybody's patting you on the back and telling you what a smart guy you are, and then all of a sudden you lose seven in a row and you've got absolutely no friends, not even your family. You can't go home.
"And Chan never lost 'em. He's even-keeled. He's the same every day. He's not going to panic. He knows what he's doing. He won't lose this team, either. We will get 'em back. I've got great confidence in that."
Nix on why it was worth trading for Tarvaris Jackson, given the fact he isn't getting practice snaps with the offense because he's the third-string quarterback: "I think when you say worth it, you've got to be talking about a roster spot. It's not anything else. I remember Tarvaris Jackson doing a really good job several different times in this league. We needed some insurance. I've said that before. Our quarterback takes some shots. He'll try to block. He won't slide, you know, so you've got a chance of losing him. And we want more than one option if that happens. I guess that's the best way to put it."
Nix's view of the focus for the team this week: "I think the focus is that we compete, we get our intensity to the point where it needs to be, and then we compete for 60 mintues -- not 30 and not 35, but we battle 'em for 60 minutes and we stay competitive throughout the year. And if we do that, then this will be an interesting season for us, as bad as things seem right now."
(Photo: James P. McCoy/Buffalo News)