By Tim Graham
If eye rolls made a sound, then I would've heard them over the phone from Orlando on Friday.
Darryl Talley was talking about the 2012 Buffalo Bills. He wasn't impressed.
Granted, this was two days before his old team thumped the Jacksonville Jaguars, 34-18, in Ralph Wilson Stadium. But I doubt his opinions have changed too much.
I called Talley for a feature about the etiquette of being outspoken, a story that ran in Sunday morning's Buffalo News. The emotional former Bills linebacker and I were on the phone for nearly an hour, straying from the topic on a few occasions to chat about the current state of the Bills.
As I did with after last Sunday's feature on the value of special teams, I present the best outtakes from Talley here. Check back later on the Press Coverage blog for a more detailed version of what Steve Tasker thought of assistant coach Chuck Dickerson's outspokenness before Super Bowl XXVI.
Talley on watching the Bills every week:
"I won't say who they are, but a couple of my teammates will say 'Why do you even watch, man?' Because I helped build something there that I want to see sustained and I want to see move onto the next level. I want to see someone do something that I couldn't do.
"I want to see somebody else pick up the stick and reward these fans. People don't realize what it takes to come out and sit in the stands, when your ass is freezing, and cheer for you. If they don't come, you don't get a check."
Talley on Bills coach Chan Gailey:
"Just looking at Chan Gailey's record and looking at Dick Jauron's record, any similarities? I just wanted to ask. Dick Jauron got fired for some odd reason. Interesting thought, isn't it? That's just food for thought. Kind of strange."
Talley on the Bills' offense:
"From what I can see, the Buffalo Bills' passing game has turned into nothing but a screen game.
"You mean to tell me that Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck come into this league, get a grasp of it and can move the football better than the Bills can with an offensive-minded head coach? Just think about where they're moving the ball to. They probably run more screens than anybody in the league."
Talley on the Bills' defensive line:
"I thought they would be carried by their front, and they have not been. They paid a whole lot of money for two guys to rush the passer. The guys on the inside, they're holding their own. They're doing everything they can do.
"I asked Bruce [Smith] early in the season. I've said, 'Dude, what do you think me and you would be doing right about now if we were in this boat?' He said, 'We'd be fighting.' "
Asked to elaborate, Talley explained he was unsatisfied with how Mario Williams handled his wrist injury:
"I don't think he's lived up to the hype. Don't tell me about being hurt and playing. I hope his wrist doesn't hurt like mine when he's done. But I just don't get it, man. At the end of the day, you're graded on what you do. If you're good enough to put a uniform on and step on the field, then you're fit to play. So you need to play at your level, whatever that may be.
"I had three surgeries in one offseason and one six days before the season started and still made the Pro Bowl. I played every year through injuries and had surgeries after the offseason.
"There ain't no such thing as being injured. You can be hurt; we all hurt. But you're not injured. We all got to play through it, and your performance can't slack off. I really don't think they hold each other accountable because, at the end of the day, they all go home to their nice, cushy house. What about what you're supposed to be doing on Sunday and Thursday and Monday? What do you think about, and it is just a passing thought?"
Talley on Kyle Moore:
"He's played his ass off. I don't think anybody's expected him to play as well as he's played. He's played very, very well. Here's a tweener, a linebacker who's a lot like Cornelius [Bennett] and I were -- between a defensive end and a linebacker. He can rush the passer. He's had, in my opinion, one of the best seasons of anybody on that front."
(Photo: Associated Press)