Bledsoe's Leadership Style: Blah

Why is everyone so upset about the Bills' offense? After all, they scored in every quarter against the Texans.

OK, so twosies and threesies aren't exactly your idea of a potent offense. What can be done to inject a touchdown into the mix?

Big parts of the problem are an offensive line that can't protect Drew Bledsoe and receivers who can't catch the ball on the rare occasions when he has enough time to hit them. There's also an issue as to whether it's Bledsoe or offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride who keeps calling all those (unsuccessful) pass plays on third and short.

Bledsoe hasn't done much to help himself or the offense. Around here, quarterbacks are measured by the Jim Kelly standard. Where Number 12 had fire in his eyes, Bledsoe is merely sleepy-eyed.

Never was that more apparent than in the fourth quarter against Houston. As the Bills took over the ball for the final, potentially game-winning drive, their QB sauntered into the game. There was no pep talk, no exhorting his teammates, not even any real interaction with them. No fire.

I'm not one of those who think a quarterback has to be confrontational, getting in his teammates' faces. There won't be any Bledsoe-Eric Moulds blowups on the sideline to rival Kelly vs. Andre Reed. Bledsoe doesn't have to scream and yell. But please, for the love of Levy, can't he show some emotion and some direction to help inspire his teammates?

Buffalo's quarterback is in a safe place. Behind him are only Alex Van Pelt, tried and tested but grading out no better than a C during his career, and whichever QB is on the practice squad this week. The Colts are coming next, and this year there isn't even a Rob Johnson to come off the bench and shine. So at least for this season, there is job security for Number 11. (See how even there he doesn't measure up to Kelly?)

In Orchard Park, the person with the most job security these days could be the one who prepares resumes for Bills personnel, on and off the field.

After this season, one person seeking a job could be, at this point should be, Bledsoe. That points up the depth of the problems at One Bills Drive.

Quarterback was supposed to be an area of strength in Buffalo. So imagine what it's like in those areas that already were regarded as weak. Think Rian Lindell has signed a long-term mortgage in western New York? Think the offensive linemen are making winter plans after their trip to the Pro Bowl? Whoa! Just think: Most of them actually went there last year as Bledsoe's guests! Think many coaches are planning to retire to a fishing cabin on Lake Erie 20 years from now?

Again, the defense can't be spared criticism. It couldn't hold Houston's Andre Johnson late in the first half or again in the closing minutes of a 9-8 game when a stop would have meant the Bills needed just one of those small-denomination scores to win. And no matter how much the PR staff pumps up London Fletcher's number of tackles, after this season he'll be remembered more for the one he missed on Johnson.

Antoine Winfield's interception was impressive because it was like an artifact from a museum of ancient history. The offense was so impressed at receiving a short field that it failed to score a touchdown.

It's the big plays the defense often can't make. Lately though, the offense hasn't been able to make plays of any kind.


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