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GW's Career in Buffalo

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Old 01-09-2008, 09:03 PM   #1
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GW's Career in Buffalo

We all know that Gregg Williams had a rough time as Buffalo's head coach, but I wanted to research a little more to find out what type of team he inherited in Buffalo and how it compares to the team he might inherit in Washington.

First off, the three seasons Buffalo had under Wade Phillips were pretty good seasons. The Bills went 10-6 the first year, 11-5 the second, and dropped to a medicore 8-8 in his third year. During this time, The Bills still had guys like Bruce Smith, Andre Reed, and Thurman Thomas. Doug Flutie was constantly challenging Rob Johnson for the starting QB position and actually left Buffalo with a .677 winning percentage. Toward the end of Phillips Head Coaching reign in Buffalo, the old faces of the Bills (Smith, Thomas, and Reed) left and were replaced by guys like Antowian Smith and Eric Moulds. However, these guys left when Wade Phillips left, leaving some holes for Gregg Williams to fill.

Now, the team that Gregg Williams inherited in Buffalo was not the same team that finished above .500 the previous three years and went to the playoffs two of those three years. Gregg had to start from scratch in some very key areas (WR, QB, RB.) that first season was horrible, having the Bills going 3-13. The second year was medicore with the Bills finishing 8-8 and barely missing the playoffs. Williams went 6-10 his third year and was fired. His defense in Buffalo ranked 5th, while the offense was ranked 30th.

When you look at the numbers, it kind of leaves you with a bit of uncertainity when it comes to Gregg Williams as a head coach. I believe in a situation where he has to rebuild a team, he's not the guy. At least not at that point. But, in relation to the situation here in Washington, we know several positives that can help Gregg Williams:

1. He's been here the whole four years on the coaching staff.
2. He's witnessed how Joe Gibbs builds solid teams, so he has something to go by now.
3. He will inherit a team of good players who are battled tested, have played together, have been to the playoffs, and who want Gregg to be the head coach.
4. He will still have Joe Gibbs in some form of fashion there helping him along (even though Gibbs wont be there constantly.)
5. He's got all his draft picks for the next two seasons.
6. He's got Al Saunders running the offense.

All in all, I believe this is a great position for any coach to come into. Gibbs left things in great shape, something he didn't do when he left in 1993, and certainly not when Spurrier left. I believe things can and will be different for Gregg Williams if he takes the position now. It won't be another Buffalo Bills of the early 2000's.
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:27 PM   #2
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Re: GW's Career in Buffalo

That's why I always thought Gregg is best candidate for and should be head coach.. I am sure that when Snyder tried to resign Gregg by promising him a head coach position after Gibbs retires - Gibbs played a big part in it..
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Old 01-09-2008, 11:12 PM   #3
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Re: GW's Career in Buffalo

Wasn't GW hired away from the Titans tough Defensive Coordinator position, and had no prior relationship with the Bills?
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Old 01-09-2008, 11:19 PM   #4
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Re: GW's Career in Buffalo

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Wasn't GW hired away from the Titans tough Defensive Coordinator position, and had no prior relationship with the Bills?
The man started his career as an assistant to Jack Pardee (good man) at the U of Houston, became an assistant w/ the Houston Oilers working for good old Buddy Ryan (old jerk but great defensive mind) and of to Tennesse w/ Jeff Fisher.
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Old 01-10-2008, 08:09 AM   #5
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Re: GW's Career in Buffalo

Pettiebone inhereted a team on the downslope...this team is much better
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Old 01-10-2008, 09:01 AM   #6
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Re: GW's Career in Buffalo

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Pettiebone inhereted a team on the downslope...this team is much better

Exactly! Our team was getting pretty old at the point when Richie took over.
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:33 AM   #7
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Re: GW's Career in Buffalo

we actually do not have all our picks. we're lacking a 4th round pick in this draft (as well as the player whom we traded the pick for - t.j duckett).

but i pretty much agree with everything else threadstarter has said. i really hope gregg takes over. and i really, reallllly hope we don't lose joe bugel!
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:49 AM   #8
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Re: GW's Career in Buffalo

Agreed, i hope Gibbs is the only person we lose......and brandon lloyd's salary
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Old 01-10-2008, 11:23 AM   #9
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Re: GW's Career in Buffalo

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Exactly! Our team was getting pretty old at the point when Richie took over.
And Mark Rypien was the qb!

Pettibon also had a say in letting 2 outspoken but great players walk away - Gary Clark & W. Marshall.

I'm rooting for GW to take the reins, but at the same time I hope he doesn't make any drastic moves that upset team chemistry. The similarities to Pettibon are a bit eerie.
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Old 01-10-2008, 11:34 AM   #10
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Re: GW's Career in Buffalo

Williams has also had some really good draft picks and FA pickups while being here as well. Most of the "no-namers" all came under his watch.

Guys like: Kedric Gholston, Anthony Montgomery, HB Blades, Reed Doughty, Chris Wilson, Pierson Prioleau, and Ryan Clark.

The point I'm trying to make is that I think Gregg has done a good job of evaluating talent (granted its only on the defensive side of the ball) and getting the most out if his players.
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Old 01-10-2008, 12:15 PM   #11
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Re: GW's Career in Buffalo

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Williams went 6-10 his third year and was fired. His defense in Buffalo ranked 5th, while the offense was ranked 30th.
So, looking at these stats alone, Williams' problem in Buffalo was that the Bills' offense stunk. If he were to become head coach here, I think it's fair to say that that wouldn't be a problem. We don't exactly have a offensive juggernaut, but we have a system in place and some decent players who are now familiar with the scheme and capable of succeeding within it.

We can look at his record in Buffalo and drum up memories of Pettibon, but the fact of the matter is that his defense here in Washington, at least this year, was ultimately better than the sum of its parts. We have some solid defensive players, and LaRon could be a budding superstar, but Sean was the only difference-maker on the defensive side of the ball, and we were without him for the last seven full games of the season (and, of course, the final quarter of the game against the Eagles). The point being that it says quite a bit about the talent level of a coach when he can get a unit to perform better that the sum total of the individual talent might otherwise indicate it is capable of.

Furthermore, he would walk into a situation where he has already established respect within the locker room. That was lacking when he walked into the job with the Bills. I usually don't like citing such "intangibles," but there is no doubt, as we saw in the last four games of the season, the value of having a cohensive unit.

Lastly, the Bills job was his first as head coach (right?). You have to think that a professional might learn from some mistakes. No doubt, there are some who stink it up in one job and then stink it up at the next (see Norv in Washington, and then in Oakland). But consider what Williams did this year with his defense. His unit performed superbly in 2005, but in 2006, it went downhill. He somewhat stubbornly relied on his blitzing schemes, while the secondary got burned time and time again, and by the end of the season he was on the hot seat. This year, he returned with a more humble attitude, cut significantly back on the safety blitzes he loves so much, had almost his entire secondary playing center field for most of the season (how many commentators did we hear talk about this?), brought in an anchor he knew he could rely on (Fletcher), instead of someone he had only watched from afar (Archuletta). What was the result? Dramatic improvement. Yup, this guy has proved he can learn from mistakes. If he gets the job, I think that he's a guy who will reflect on where he went wrong in Buffalo, and make the necessary changes.

Bottom line--I don't think we should worry about what happened in Buffalo. He's the right man for the job.
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Old 01-10-2008, 12:42 PM   #12
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Re: GW's Career in Buffalo

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Richie Pettiebone was with Gibbs for 12 years.... How did that turn out for us?.....Im just saying.....
He was fired after one season. Didn't really get a chance to prove what he could do. Given time, he would have been a good coach. Same with Buges in AZ.
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Old 01-10-2008, 12:53 PM   #13
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Re: GW's Career in Buffalo

It hurts to be stuck with a team that isn't going anywhere. I think he can do much better here, my question is who is the next d coordinator?
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Old 01-10-2008, 12:56 PM   #14
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Re: GW's Career in Buffalo

I think Williams is an extremely competent guy. I think the decision comes down to this: If you believe in the players on this team, elevate Williams. If you don't believe in these players, go outside.

As for Petitbon, the word on him was that he lacked leadership skills and that things kind of drifted towards chaos at Redskins Park. I don't think anyone can claim that Williams is not a leader.
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Old 01-10-2008, 01:00 PM   #15
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Re: GW's Career in Buffalo

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It hurts to be stuck with a team that isn't going anywhere. I think he can do much better here, my question is who is the next d coordinator?
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