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NFL Sunday Outtakes: Tact keeps quotes off bulletin board

By Tim Graham

In the latest installment of "NFL Sunday Outtakes," Steve Tasker explains why bulletin-board material is not some motivational football myth.

I interviewed the Buffalo Bills Wall of Famer for a feature about the etiquette of being outspoken in the NFL.

On avoiding inflammatory remarks about an opponent:

"Anything you say that can be bent or misconstrued or even taken out of context that another team can put up on their bulletin board will lose you football games. Plain and simple. There's no getting around it.

TaskerAP"If you have one player on your team comes out and says a player on the other team stinks, particularly if you pick a beloved member of that other team, that team will rise up and cave your head in. I've seen it happen time and again. Even if it's joking, they'll take it seriously, and they'll beat you up."

On the significance of bulletin-board material:

"The line between the best teams in the league and the worst teams in the league is miniscule, and if you get a team that plays inspired one week, they will beat just about anybody. I don't care if they're 0-11. If you can give them something to feed on, they will rise up. It's a fact.

"To have somebody say something in the media about a player or a coaching staff or even a city, it's a huge, huge mistake.

"To have somebody outside the building somehow disparage your efforts or abilities, that goes a long, long way to having guys play well. It turns up the notch of concentration. It's like playing on a completely different team when you feel like you've been insulted."

On Bills defensive line coach Chuck Dickerson ridiculing the Washington Redskins' famed Hogs offensive line before Super Bowl XXVI:

"I've never seen or played against a team or covered a team that would've beaten the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XXVI after our assistant coach said what he said. You ask them. They'll tell you that was hugely inspiring for them. Believe me, I've asked them."

(Photo: Associated Press)


NFL Sunday Outtakes
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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 |