Kelly's Call: A coach, a QB and a rebuttal

With the Bills currently without a permanent head coach, I think it's very important that the Bills take a look at every avenue possible as far as big name coaches. To this point it appears that the front office is doing that. When you see the coaching candidates that the team is pursuing, as a season ticket holder it's encouraging.

I guarantee that Russ Brandon and Mr. Wilson will do whatever it takes to land the best possible coach whether it's an established coach or a top coach that they target. I have total faith in Russ and Mr. Wilson to do whatever it takes to bring this team back to where it once was.

They've talked to Bill Cowher and they've talked to Mike Shanahan and that's a good start. For us to land a permanent coach right now is going to be tough, but you do what you have to do to be prepared to strike when the time is right. As we know there are a lot of other teams in the league that at the end of the season will have a head coach opening and will be looking for a big name coach as well. But it's commendable that the Bills organization is being aggressive in getting a gauge on all of these coaching candidates now.

I think it's safe to say that Mr. Wilson is committed to getting it right with his head coach once and for all. I don't believe he wants to take a chance with a coach. He wants one that is established with a reputation. I haven't spoken with him myself, but I'm sure he doesn't want to go through what he has these past 10 years, which is hiring and firing and hiring and firing.

Ideally I think he wants to bring a guy in that will have some longevity and coach for 10 to 15 years, much the way Marv Levy did.

On the field
Looking at the offense from this past week and moving forward with Ryan Fitzpatrick it's clear that Perry Fewell is going to take a week by week approach at quarterback and is likely doing the same at every other position. The players know that they're putting together a six week resume and coach Fewell is in the same boat.

It's a six-game interview, from the quarterbacks to the coaches and the rest of the roster. When you play in the National Football League you're always playing for your job. And the players will continue to play hard knowing that.

As for Fewell, who knows? He might turn out to be a quality head coach. That's why it's important for him to rally the players and take a hard run at these last six games. I'm hoping Perry does well, but if he doesn't Mr. Wilson and Russ Brandon will do whatever is necessary to bring this team back to the level it once played at year in and year out, and they know it starts with the coach.

To a certain point I saw some more enthusiasm from the players last week at Jacksonville. I was encouraged by the interaction between Fitzpatrick and the coaches and going over things with the receivers. That's what I want to see. I liked the excitement that Fewell brought to the sideline. You want that excitement and you want the players to feel that and that's what I think he brings. I'm pulling for him. I hope it works out.

RebuttalI wanted to take the time to make a point about some of the USA Today story excerpts from earlier this week where one of their reporters interviewed me. I've seen a few different write ups based off of my interview with them. I always talk about how it's not what you say, but how you say it. Unfortunately with some reporters it's not what they hear, but what they want to hear. And that's pretty much how it went with a couple of the story excerpts I saw unfortunately.

They were talking to me about Trent (Edwards) and the offense and having a quarterback from California. There's no debating that I have said we need a top quarterback here. But what I want to make straight is that my philosophy is they need to take a hard look at the quarterback position in the draft.

And though the USA Today write up led ESPN to think I definitively stated they need to get Tim Tebow, I didn't talk about him alone. I named some of the other top quarterbacks that are coming out. Whether it's Colt McCoy or Sam Bradford or Jake Locker, as a franchise the Bills have to take a hard look at who they have ranked as the top three quarterbacks and make a decision about the team's future.

The NFL is a quarterback-driven league now more than ever. That's how you build a franchise with a quarterback and a good, solid offensive line. The line just didn't come together as quickly as they had hoped this year and what made it hard was losing guys like Brad Butler and Eric Wood for the season and Demetrius Bell a couple of times.

ESPN was criticizing my comment about how the Bills have struggled with California quarterbacks with the last three for Buffalo being Rob Johnson, J.P. Losman and Trent Edwards. They tried to counter that statement by saying what about Dan Fouts, Troy Aikman and Warren Moon?

Well they missed the point. Dan Fouts played in San Diego, Aikman played in Dallas and Moon played in a dome in Houston. The point was not to knock California quarterbacks. It was more a point about what Buffalo needs to consider at the quarterback position in addition to physical talent. The Bills need to have a quarterback that's mentally tough enough while also possessing the skill set needed to adjust to playing in the poor weather that Buffalo dishes out each and every November and December.

It was not a blanket statement that California quarterbacks haven't been successful. The recent track record of Bills quarterbacks from California just isn't very good in terms of adjusting to Buffalo weather, and it's my contention that they need to look at a signal caller that's perhaps more suited to dealing with what Buffalo offers late in every football season.

Now a guy like Tebow, who grew up in the south, is a guy that I believe is mentally tough enough and has a skill set that can successfully adapt to playing in poor weather. And a couple of the other top QBs from the south may be as well. That's up to Bills' scouting staff to determine whether they can adapt to throwing in a much more challenging weather city like Buffalo. It's an important factor. Hopefully my opinion is clearer now for everyone. See you all at the game on Sunday.

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