It might be the bye week for the Bills, but veteran linebacker Reggie Torbor saw it as a time to re-focus his teammates. After sinking to the depths of 0-5 on Sunday in their most recent loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, when the players only meeting was called, Torbor made the decision to stand up and be heard.
"I was the only one that spoke, but I think it was received well," said Torbor. "I think the point I was trying to make was conveyed correctly. As guys left here today I would hope that they go home and let it soak in and come back here ready to keep this thing going and not pack it up so to speak."
Torbor chose not to get into specifics saying what he said to his teammates was heartfelt and not meant to gain publicity. Though he did confirm that he referenced his experience with the New York Giants, a team that went 6-10 his first year with the club, which included losing seven of the last eight games.
"People look at us winning the Super Bowl and think that it happened overnight," he said. "My first year there we were 6-10. People just all of a sudden see the benefits of the hard work that we put in. We were doing it for three years.
"Coming here this organization hasn't been where anyone around here wants it to be, but it's not going to happen overnight. It takes time. Once you put in the hard work and you reach the playoffs and win the Super Bowl you can look back and remember when we started 0-5."
"He hit on every point that you could point out," said Terrence McGee. "He pointed out several things and how it does carry over and leads to a win. Like a lot of guys have been saying, you just can't talk about it. You have to go out there and do it, make plays and make it happen."
"We had a couple of the older guys step up and kind of get some things off their chest," said Ryan Fitzpatrick. "It was good just to clear the air a little bit. We've got a bye week. Re-focus and reevaluate where we are right now and some of the goals and some of the things we need to do pushing forward here."
Torbor said he just felt that Monday was the time to deliver this message.
"For the first time in my career we don't have those Michael Strahans or Jason Taylors," Torbor said. "I kind of woke up this morning and thought, 'Oh I'm one of those guys.' I've been fortunate enough in my career to play with Hall of Fame guys and guys who've done things the right way. I'm not even talking about on the field. I'm talking about off the field where character sells.
"I learned from them so I just relayed some of those messages that I've learned over the years to them about just being a professional. Coming to work every day and not taking this for granted. Everybody thinks they're going to play 10 years in this league and it just doesn't work that way. You never know what day is going to be your last. Having a young team I thought that was important."
The players that listened seemed to recognize that they need to re-dedicate themselves to the team and the cause, which is winning games.
"It was really just to get guys focused on the job a little bit more and paying more attention to detail and putting in that extra work that you may not be doing," said McGee. "If practice is over at 4 o'clock, let's not leave at 4 o'clock. Let's stay until to five o'clock and watch some extra film and get some extra things ironed out so we won't have those mistakes on Sunday."
Torbor also didn't shy away from the 0-5 record he and his teammates have mustered thus far. It's reality. But the linebacker doesn't believe it's what has to define their 2010 season.
"You can't hide being 0-5. The world knows we're 0-5," he said. "As far as the rest of the world, it may sound bad, but I don't care about the rest of the world. The way we win is to take care of in house first. If we can take care of what we're supposed to take care of and get things rolling, win some ball games everything will fall into place."
Head coach Chan Gailey upon hearing of the players only meeting believes they can serve a purpose if done at the right time.
"I think players only meetings are effective if people listen and people decide to heed what is said in a meeting like that," said Gailey. "Normally they're positive, what's said in those kinds of meetings. You can't have a players only meeting every two weeks. You can have one or two a year and that's about the extent of it. If you start doing it every time you turn around they sort of lose their effect. But I think they can have their effect at the right place and the right time. Hopefully they have that effect."
By and large it sounded like Torbor's intent was successful.
"It's one thing to listen to the coaches talk, but to hear some of your peers talk and really from the heart, just guys that have been around it for a while are kind of pouring out their feelings and what they really think it's going to take to turn things around. When it's a guy that you respect, I think teams tend to respond to the guys that they respect."
"A lot of guys took a lot out of it," said McGee. "Hopefully we'll get some good work in with this being the bye week. A lot of guys are looking forward to making that push for the second part of the season."