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Arizona isolation just what Bills need

Posted Oct 9, 2012


They’ve heard all the criticism of the past two weeks and they don’t deny that most of it is deserved. Two humiliating losses have forced the Bills to do some introspection and measure their pride while also coming up with solutions to the problems that are plaguing them on Sundays of late. The team literally has to hit the reset button and the seven days they're spending in Phoenix this week could prove fruitful in steering their season back on course.

“I think that being out here in Arizona is really going to make us come together as a team,” said C.J. Spiller. “Not saying that we were not close, I just think this will draw us closer here. Guys get to know guys more now, closer on-and-off the field. Once you do that, once you have guys come out here and they’re treated like a family that will translate over to the game field.”

Though some players admitted Monday that they’re worried about the team’s morale after two record-breaking defeats, they’re encouraged by the focus they feel they’ll be able to have in an isolated environment.

“Right now I can confidently say now that we’re here all together as a team all week, guys aren’t going home to be with their families or going to do this and that,” said Kelvin Sheppard. “We’re here together as a team all week and that’s going to add a lot to help us jell as a team for the situation that we’re going through.”

The situation is not unlike training camp as players and coaches are using their hotel’s conference center for their team and position meeting rooms. Coaches and players are steps away from one another in their hotel rooms if additional or individual meeting time is required. The athletic training staff is also on site.

Head coach Chan Gailey addressed the team Monday reminding the players of amount of talent that exists on Buffalo’s roster while also discussing the team’s collective psyche.

“The biggest thing is he let us know the things he knew about us as a team and the things that are still up in the air in terms of maybe our confidence level and how we’re going to respond and the things he wasn’t quite so sure of,” said Ryan Fitzpatrick.

“We have the talent. That’s something we know we have. So he touched on some of that stuff and some of the stuff he wasn’t so sure about, but I think it was a great message. It was a speech that everybody took to heart and I thought it was a necessary speech and a good one.”

As effective as Gailey’s message may have been it’s the time together for the players themselves this week that could prove most valuable.

“I think this is a perfect week to get things fixed,” said Eric Wood. “We’ve got an isolated setting. We don’t have a whole lot of distractions out here and it’s time to get it straight.”  

“We will do that,” said Spiller. “We are not using this trip as a vacation. We are using it as a business trip. Hopefully it will pan out for us.”

“I think it can be very helpful,” said Gailey. “Time will tell on that one. Being here and being away with just ourselves… the people that are going to change this and rectify this are in that team room over there. It’s not anybody else.”