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Teammates defer to Kelsay on effort

By Mark Gaughan

Bills players this week deferred to veteran defensive end Chris Kelsay regarding his comments about defensive players not playing hard enough all the time. Teammates generally acknowledged his right to call for a higher standard of performance.

Said defensive end Kyle Moore: "Chris is a 10-year-plus vet. You have to listen to a guy like that. He’s been around. He’s sees. He’s been on defenses where they’ve stopped the run and just played great defense overall. When he starts calling guys out like that, guys need to listen and really take heed to what he says."

Receiver Stevie Johnson: "What Kelsay said is relevant. And coming from him, it has to be. So hopefully whoever he’s talking about is listening and we step it up for the rest of the season. ... I think it’s all good words. I don’t have a problem, I don’t have an issue with it at all."

Linebacker Nick Barnett: "I’m too busy trying to figure out what I do wrong and what I need to do better. As I look at the defense I think everybody can get better in a lot of different aspects, whether it’s effort or mentally."

Defensive end Shawne Merriman: "This is a brotherhood in here. You’re not helping the next guy out if you don’t pull him to the side and say hey we need to pick it up. I think we have numerous leaders in here capable of doing that."

Defensive tackle Kyle Williams: "I think guys are playing hard, but there is a difference between playing hard and playing fast. What I mean by that is you play fast with your eyes. Do you know what you are looking at? Do you know what to expect?"

Running back Fred Jackson: "First, I do not think we are mentally weak, so to speak. I think it is just something we need to fine tune. We need to know where it is we need to be in the scheme. We have to bust our butts to do that. We have to rely on each other to be where we need to be to get things to go the way that we need them to. I think a lot of guys are just going to have to do some self-reflection during this bye week. Whatever it is you do to take your game to the next level, that is what we are going to have to do when we come back off of this bye week."

Kelsay on the feedback he got from his comments: "I think everybody’s on the same page. I’ve talked to a few of ‘em – Kyle, Nick and Fred, all those guys. Obviously I speak for the defense. I think we all see it the same way. We just need to come together and stay focused on the task at hand. It’s a long season we still have a lot of football left to play."


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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |