Back in-house at One Bills Drive for another John Murphy Show as inch our way towards the start of the 2014 NFL Season. We asked the viewers if they’re optimistic or pessimistic about this year’s Bills team and their chances this weekend in Chicago? We introduced a new segment to the show as we went Around the Locker Room. We heard from a handful of players including Sammy Watkins, EJ Manuel, Mario Williams, and even head coach Doug Marrone.
Our first guest is a Youngstown, NY native and Lewiston-Porter grad, Daryl “Moose” Johnston. Johnston will be the color analyst for Fox’s coverage of this weekend’s Bills game. He discussed the move from the playing field in the NFL to the broadcast booth and says he still gets excited for the NFL opener because he says he still remains a big fan of the game. As he readies for this Sunday’s game, he weighed in on EJ Manuel and what he hopes to see from the second year quarterback and what he believes is the strength of the team, the defense under Jim Schwartz.
“You saw what they did last year. You see the talent in that group. That’s going to be the key and I think people are going to enjoy Jim Schwartz’s style of defense…Jim brings a swagger. He brings a personality to the defensive side of the ball. He’s going to be very aggressive and you look at the talent that they have there. I think it meshes well with the style of defense and the tenacity that Jim requires and requests from his players. I think the big thing from a positive standpoint is the defense should be good.”
Johnston also talked about his relationship with Doug Marrone and how he acquired the nickname “Moose” during his rookie year in Dallas.
At the bottom of the second hour, Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas called in to the show. Thurman weighed in on the Bills preseason and his hopes come the regular season. With the Bills kicking things off on the road, Thurman said it might be better for the team to start away from home and hopefully pull out a win to build confidence.
“I’m optimistic about what lies ahead. I think this is a big test for them. Obviously, with having (Alshon) Jeffery and (Brandon) Marshall on the offense with Jay Cutler and (Matt) Forte, I think it’s huge for them. I think it’s huge for them to come out and try to steal a road victory. I’m very confident in the players. I’ve been talking to a lot of the players throughout training camp and will continue to talk to them until they leave to go to Chicago. I’m excited for the season. Yes, I’m excited for every football season, especially the Buffalo Bills because I keep saying to myself this is the year.”
Thurman also talked about C.J. Spiller returning kickoffs and said if you can give a talented player a chance to put the offense in good field position, then they should.
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