Kelly's Call: Players only meetings have their place

Hearing that the Bills called a players only meeting earlier this week was a good thing. You just want to make sure it's a productive meeting that gets your objectives accomplished. You want to come out of a meeting like that knowing you got something out of it.

It's not a forum for somebody to stand up and scream and yell. You want to have the right people speaking, the right people that players respect and listen to.

When we'd have players only meetings back when I was playing I would speak, Darryl (Talley) would speak, Kent Hull, Steve Tasker. Bruce (Smith) and Thurman (Thomas) didn't do a lot of talking. They led mostly by example on the football field. It was mostly the four of us, and when other players felt they had something to say they said it.

We had a few of those meetings in 1989. I know that for sure, and we made sure it was a quality meeting where you got a specific message across and everyone got something out of it. The whole point of those meetings is to get everybody to re-focus their efforts as a team.

Some people on the outside might think that a players only meeting is a time when players get called out by other players for poor performance or lack of dedication. That's not what those are about at all. Fans that think it's a negative thing have obviously never been in a locker room.

The majority of the players meetings we had were positive. Granted there was a time here or there where we may have missed the mark, but in most cases we felt that it served the team well and hopefully that's the case with this year's Bills after their meeting earlier this week.

Now I'm not saying there aren't times where someone will air their frustrations. Sometimes that's what a player might feel is necessary, but those speeches are never directed at one individual. In most cases players are best served to just sit back and listen.

Agreeing with Mr. WilsonI read the comments that Mr. Wilson made to the Associated Press earlier this week about the offseason priority list with quarterback at the top and how this effort to make this team at One Bills Drive a contender again could take some time.

There's no doubt the Bills have to go into the draft looking at what's available at the quarterback position, especially with the way the season is going knowing the team will probably have a top 10 pick. You definitely have to take a strong look at it.

Right now I don't think the main problem is quarterback in terms of play on the field right now. I think there are a lot more issues besides the quarterback position. We need a pass rusher, another linebacker, another wide receiver, another offensive tackle. There are so many positions that the Bills need to fill that I have to agree with Mr. Wilson that it could take up to three years to get all the pieces in place. I don't know if it's going to be next year or the year after, but if you're counting this year as the first year, it's possible that it could take that long.

Who knows for sure how long it will take to get this team back to being a perennial playoff contender because with what might be out there in free agency and draft choices it's hard to say how long it could take to turn it around. Just a couple of quality free agent signings could make a big difference. If the Bills really want to compete they need to look at the free agent market in addition to the draft to somehow improve this football team in a more immediate fashion.

It's clear to everyone that watches this team that they need more difference makers.

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