After games the head coach is the one who typically addresses the team win or lose. On Sunday Bills head coach Doug Marrone turned the tables on the players after their most disappointing performance of the season. Marrone had the team captains begin the postgame conversation Sunday.
"He just told us he wanted us to have a locker room talk amongst ourselves and see what we were feeling and kind of clear the air. He allowed everybody a chance to speak," said co-captain Fred Jackson. "He gave not only myself, Kyle (Williams) and (Eric) Wood and a couple of other guys an opportunity to say what we thought after this game. That's what the long period in the locker room was about—talking about the things we need to do to get situations like that fixed and keep them from coming up again."
Jackson, Williams and Wood are the elected team captains. All three of them spoke to address the collective feeling of frustration that permeated the Bills' locker room after an embarrassing 27-6 loss.
"Guys have every right to be frustrated after a game like that," Jackson said. "We kind of talked amongst ourselves and decided what we need to do to get things turned around."
The other players sounded on board with the subject matter of the postgame commentary.
"Just accountability," said Stevie Johnson of the discussion postgame. "We have to be accountable for what's going on. We can't be afraid to speak our minds to each other. That's how you win with each other. We can't be just be, quote-unquote 'yes men.' We have to be real with each other. That's what they were saying."
"We just talked about how we need to improve," said Kiko Alonso. "We have to improve. Our record speaks for itself. We have to improve and start winning games."
After the players were done discussing the problems that keep cropping up in games and how to address some of those shortcomings, Marrone followed up with his own comments.
"He wanted to see what we had to say and he just kind of wrapped it up," said Jackson.
The move by Marrone to have the players address their own problems was almost certainly a move to create more accountability on the part of the players with one another.
"First time since I've been here that the coach gave us the floor," said Jackson. "It gives us an opportunity to talk among ourselves, and see what it is we feel like. He didn't want to come in here and give some kind of speech. He wanted us to clear the air from a players' point of view."
Jackson understands that fans are at their wits end with a team that appears headed for another disappointing finish. He just hopes they understand the players want to succeed more than anything.
"I'm sure they're upset but so are we," he said. "This isn't just about them, this is about us, too. We don't want to be a part of this situation. This isn't how we want to be remembered for our 2013 season. We're going to keep working. I'm sure fans are going to start throwing in the towel and saying we're the same-old, same-old Bills and they have every right to do that. That's fine.
"That's what they have the right to do, but we're going to keep working. This thing is far from over for us. We've still got a lot to play for this season and we're going to continue to do that."