Earlier on Wednesday a Pro Football Talk post was brought to my attention by a few Bills fans via email in which Duke Preston was portrayed as a player that had some critical comments for his former team. I’ve since heard from Duke himself and he’d like to set the record straight on just what he said in the radio interview referenced in the PFT post.
In regards to the mis-quotation concerning the amount of times we beat New England during my four years in Buffalo; I’m fully aware that we never beat them during my tenure in Buffalo. In the interview, the context of the aforementioned quote, they asked whether or not having a better chance to win in a conference like the NFC North played a part in my decision.
My answer alluded to the fact that the AFC East is unquestionably one of the toughest, if not the toughest, division in football. To emphasize my point, I said that “in my 4 years in Buffalo, I don’t think we beat New England once.” Whoever quoted me must’ve missed the fact that I said “DONT”. That’s a fact.
I’m not back tracking from my comment because it’s not a shot or in insult that I said that, we just never beat them. I also said, Buffalo is trying to “claw” their way to the top of the division.
In fact, in my years there, that’s what we talked about. We talked about changing the tide and becoming the team to beat in our division like the Patriots have established themselves over the last several years. I did say “claw” because that’s the mindset of those tough *ss dudes that I fought, bled and cried with for four years… They’re going to fight, scratch and claw and bite and do anything they can to win football games.
I’m well aware that my current team had a worse record than we did in Buffalo last year and in potentially a weaker division. I’m also aware that this team was only one play away from the Super Bowl two years ago too. I was talking about going to a team that had recently had the type of season to garner the respect of being the team to beat within their division; something that we never did in Buffalo.
Nonetheless, my intent was not to put down or bash the Bills but rather state the assessment that I’ve made regarding the state of where both teams are in relation to the rest of their division.
I never said anything about the potential in Buffalo or the opportunity to advance and become that top dog within the AFC East, I was more so talking about the difficulty in reaching that goal with the teams in that division, like New England who has been the most dominant team in all of football the last few years.
Lastly, my “grasping at straws’ comment was accurate with the exception of the fact that I don’t believe I said “this off season”. I meant that in regards to the course of my career there. As a player, I felt that at times, there was so much change and so many moving parts, that a defined direction was hard to see.
I’m not saying that the players should be given an explanation for every personnel or coaching move, but I just felt that some actions taken provided a lack of consistency.
I was very vocal at the end of the season in regards to keeping the coaching staff in tact for that very reason. I felt it then and I believe in it now, you have to give the players a chance to maximize what that can do when they’re comfortable in the system, with the coaches, with the offense / defense that they’ve had for multiple years.
So to be clear, I felt like in my tenure in Buffalo, it seemed as if the organization was grasping at straws at times searching for an answer to end the playoff drought and get Buffalo back to where they should be at the top of the division.
Is that a parting shot? I don’t believe so. It’s just a players opinion that honestly doesn’t mean much aside from a sentiment I felt in my time there.
So obviously Duke felt the report from PFT on his radio appearance was well off the mark, and reading Preston’s explanation it clearly was.
I’m not going to pretend I know Duke as a person, but in my dealings with him he’s always been a professional. I should’ve taken the PFT post for what is was and left it alone instead of giving it some legs here in this forum.
Duke still has a strong respect for the Bills organization and his now former teammates, and he communicated what a difficult decision it was to ultimately sign with Green Bay.
Hopefully this rectifies the misreprensentation of his comments on Pro Football Talk, which were linked here and in hindsight should not have been.
Tags: Duke Preston
Posted in Inside the Bills