View Full Version : Bills D frustration

11-11-2005, 04:34 PM
Looks like Sam Adams has issues with Bills Coaching system

Adams frustrated about playing time

Being benched fails to motivate Buffalo's veteran defensive tackle

Leo Roth
Staff writer

(November 11, 2005) ORCHARD PARK Buffalo Bills middle linebacker London Fletcher was recently asked to describe the team's run defense.

"Poor ... terrible ... horrible ... disappointing ... disgusting," he said. "Anybody else want to help me out here?"

He then was asked if the personnel in front of him, mainly the defensive tackles, were good enough to tie up blockers for him to run to the ball carrier and do his job like he used to.

"It's a situation where ... we, we."

Fletcher then broke into laughter before saying, "Next question."

While that was hardly a vote of confidence for three-time Pro Bowl veteran Sam Adams and young cohorts Tim Anderson, Justin Bannan, Lauvale Sape and Jason Jefferson, that unit must forge on when the second half of the season kicks off Sunday at home against the powerful Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs have lost star running back Priest Holmes, whose 76 career rushing touchdowns are the most in team history, to head and neck problems for the rest of the season. But they still have dynamic third-year pro Larry Johnson at their disposal.

Johnson leads the Chiefs in rushing with 506 yards, six touchdowns and a hefty 5.2 yards-per-carry average.

He's salivating looking at a Buffalo defense that hasn't been this poor against the run in 20 years.

Buffalo, ranked 31st, is allowing an average of 150.8 yards per game on the ground, easily the worst mark in coordinator Jerry Gray's five seasons, and the most since the 1985 Bills (2-14 record under Kay Stephenson and Hank Bullough) allowed 153.9.

Buffalo has given up 13 rushing touchdowns, almost as many as the past two seasons combined. Opponents have 33 runs of 10 yards or more. The Bills allowed 42 all of last season. Four of the club's top five tacklers are defensive backs.

All of this statistical carnage has placed the spotlight on Buffalo's interior defensive wall, and in particular, Adams.

The coaches singled him out by benching him for most of the second half of a 21-16 loss at New England two weeks ago, a move that coach Mike Mularkey hoped would motivate the 12-year veteran but has instead left him angry and feeling his days in Buffalo are numbered.

"No, that doesn't motivate me at all," Adams said of being benched. "It irritates me and takes away the focus of what I need to do."

Mularkey said Adams would start against the Chiefs but the liberal substitution system that Adams detests will very likely remain in place.

"We took him out to give those younger guys a chance to play and I'm anxious to see Sam go this next game," Mularkey said.

"Anybody I know who is pleased about not playing ... if he's happy about that, you're probably in the wrong business and you're definitely on the wrong team," Mularkey added. "I know he was disappointed. Sam's a very prideful guy and he wants to play on every snap. But 12 years in the league, that's not feasible and probably not best for our team."

In his first two seasons with the Bills, Adams teamed with Pat Williams to give Buffalo one of the best interior tandems in the NFL. Adams compiled 67 tackles, 10 sacks and 2 interceptions as the Bills made a dramatic leap from the bottom of the NFL against the run into the top 10.

Management chose not to re-sign Williams, however, and his replacement, Ron Edwards, was lost for the season in Week 4 with another shoulder injury.

Adams' numbers (10 tackles, 1 sack) have suffered without Williams, but he said he feels he's playing well for what the team asks him to do, occupying space and not shooting gaps.

Mostly, "I need to be on the field," Adams said.

He promised not to be a distraction, however.

"If someone can outplay me, you need to put them on the field," Adams said. "If (Mularkey) feels that, that's fine. That's their choice."

Last year, Adams had a strong second half of the season after being taken out of a game against Miami and arguing with Gray.

"I think it's a similar situation right now," general manager Tom Donahoe said. "Mike's addressed it. I will say this about Sam Adams: Sam's been a very good player for us since he's been here. He's done everything we've asked and he's played at a very high level. Last year, after a disagreement or spat or whatever you want to call it, he came back and played at a Pro Bowl level. Hopefully, we'll see a repeat performance of that."

Adams said he'd wish his coaches would just dispense with the mind games.

"You have to play with passion, and feel confident that the people around you support you and are in your corner," he said. "Because it takes a lot to prepare for this game, to play this game, it takes a lot to be good at this game. You need a clear focus on what you're trying to do to get that done."

Fletcher, who is tired of fending off guards and centers, is counting on Adams.

"We need Sam to be as disruptive as he has been in order for us to be as good as we want to be defensively," he said. "There's not a guy in the league with his size and quickness. We need that from Sam."

And that's no laughing matter.


11-11-2005, 04:36 PM
Hopefully internal struggles will make this weekend even easier.

11-12-2005, 07:13 AM
Good news.

Taking whatever advantage The Enemy throws his way.