Before the season started, Bills General Manager Buddy Nix responded to growing hype around his team by saying that it was time for the Bills to “step it up.”
Coach Chan Gailey is sending a similar message in the wake of the team’s total meltdown from being up 21-7 in the third quarter against the Patriots to being down 52-28 at the final whistle. Gailey said that he was upset about the way his defense got pushed around by the Patriots and the sloppiness of his offense, and the coach thinks that his team needs to get tougher mentally if they are going to be better physically.
“You can’t be ahead 21-7 in the third quarter. And if we’re mentally tough like we need to be, that game doesn’t end up the way it ended. And that’s my responsibility, to work on the mental toughness and the mindset of this football team,” Gailey said, via the Associated Press. “After a game like that, you’re dissatisfied with a lot of things. Let’s not just pick out one thing. I’ve got to work on the mindset of this football team and creating a sense of urgency every snap of every game.”
Increased mental toughness is going to be crucial for the Bills in the next couple of weeks. They have to make two tough trips in a row to San Francisco and Arizona and it looks like there’s a good chance they’ll be making them without two starting offensive linemen. Left tackle Cordy Glenn and right guard Kraig Urbik both hurt their ankles against the Patriots and Gailey said Monday that he expects to be without both players for a while.
The Bills can’t use that as an excuse for poor play, especially since two straight losses would make all that preseason hype seem like an even more distant memory.