Nix: Bills troubles can’t be fixed ‘overnight’
Buffalo Bills general manager Buddy Nix all but called this
season a rebuilding project on Thursday, suggesting it was too much
to expect the team’s inherent problems to be fixed overnight.
In speaking to reporters for the first time since August, Nix
expressed his frustrations over the team’s 0-4 start, and indicated
this is not where he envisioned the Bills to be when he was hired
Referring to it as a ”painful” process, Nix stressed that fans
will require patience as he intends to sticks to his plan to retool
the Bills through the draft.
”I’ll tell you we didn’t get into this situation overnight, and
we’re not going to get out overnight. We knew it wouldn’t be
easy,” Nix said. ”We’re going to stay the course and do it the
way we planned because we know it works.”
He plans to spend the rest of the season continuing to evaluate
players to determine who will be part of the team’s future. And Nix
didn’t rule out more changes to come after the team released former
starting quarterback Trent Edwards and traded former first-round
pick, running back Marshawn Lynch, to Seattle over the past two
”You don’t like to use the word rebuild, but you’ve also got to
evaluate everyday and try to do things to improve your team,” Nix
said. ”We’re putting seven days a week into trying to get it
turned around. It’ll be fun when it happens, and trust me, it’ll
Nix is the team’s fourth general manager since John Butler was
fired during the 2000 season. The Bills are also on their fifth
coach in 10 years after Nix hired Chan Gailey to take over in
The Bills, who play host to Jacksonville (2-2) this weekend, are
among the NFL’s four winless teams. They are already in jeopardy of
missing the playoffs for an 11th straight season.
The offense is sputtering, having failed to produce 230 yards in
three of four games. And the defense has allowed 34 or more points
in the past three games, and a combined 473 yards rushing in the
Part of the evaluation process has already began following the
team’s recent moves.
Nix defended the decision to trade Lynch this week, as opposed
to before the draft when the 2007 first-round draft pick had
initially requested to be dealt.
Nix noted how Lynch provided the Bills depth with a three-back
rotation, especially after Buffalo lost both Lynch and Fred Jackson
to injuries in their preseason opener. Making the trade now made
sense because it freed up space in a crowded backfield that’s
rounded out by rookie first-round pick C.J. Spiller.
The decision to keep and then eventually release Edwards two
weeks ago drew criticism because there were questions of whether
the quarterback deserved to return as starter after losing the job
midway through last season.
Nix said he and Gailey wanted to see whether the fourth-year
player could prove himself in a new system. Nix said Edwards showed
promise throughout the offseason and preseason, before he began to
show familiar signs of struggling in losing his first two starts of
the regular season.
”Buffalo has got people all over the league that have been here
that are playing good for other people,” Nix said. ”I didn’t want
to come in here and cut guys that could help us win. So when we got
into the regular season and it didn’t work out … we decided that
wasn’t the answer for us or for him. So we made the change.”
Edwards has since signed with the Jaguars and will serve as the
team’s backup this weekend.
Nix also defended the team’s decision to sign veteran linebacker
Chris Kelsay to a four-year contract extension potentially worth
$24 million. The move was criticized as being overpriced, because
Kelsay – though a seven-year starter – hasn’t made a significant
impact on defense since being selected by Buffalo in the second
round of the 2003 draft.
Nix said the deal was struck in part because Kelsay was
identified as a core leader.
”We decided that we’ve got four, five, six guys like that,
maybe not great players, but good players, who set the tone,” Nix
said. ”Chris Kelsay is a good player. He exemplifies what we want
players to do and how we want them to be.”