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Thursday, August 20, 2009
Jim Kelly sees win-or-else season for Bills


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

The way Jim Kelly sees it, a lot of folks in the Buffalo Bills organization will be seeking employment in 2010 if they don't win this season.

When asked his thoughts on how the Bills are coming together, the Hall of Fame quarterback was optimistic to a point.

"It might take a little time. Unfortunately for the Buffalo Bills and that coaching staff, they don't have time," Kelly said Thursday morning on Buffalo radio station WGR. "They've got to win and they've got to win now. I know the pressure's on because if they don't win now they're all going to find themselves looking for a job next year.

"The pressure's on the coaching staff. The pressure's on the players because we need a winner, and we need it now. We can't wait two more years. We've got to do it now."

Kelly, who quarterbacked the Bills to four straight Super Bowls in the 1990s, cited his chief concerns are the patchwork offensive line and the defense's run-stopping ability.

But Kelly's most passionate opinions -- for obvious reasons -- dealt with quarterback Trent Edwards and offensive coordinator Turk Schonert.

"A big part of this offense is the play calling," Kelly said. "Put Trent Edwards in situations where you're not always saying, 'What was that?' There's pressure on Turk Schonert, our offensive coordinator. Do I think he can do it? Yeah. But we need to do it.

"You need to put Trent in good situations where you have a good play called. You can't run on first down all the time. You've got to mix it up. With this so-called no-huddle offense -- it's definitely a lot slower than we used to run it -- I think a lot of pressure is on Turk to get that right play called."

Kelly wasn't all that impressed with Edwards' 10-for-10 performance in Saturday's preseason victory over the Chicago Bears, but saw reasons to be confident in the third-year pro.

With receiver Terrell Owens out because of a sprained toe, Edwards threw for 79 yards. Aside from Edwards' first completion going for 36 yards, he didn't have a gain of double-digit yardage.

"The biggest question for him is getting the timing down, getting rid of the ball when he has to," Kelly said. "I watched and thought, to be honest with you, he dumped the ball off a couple times too soon. I thought he was looking to his outlet a little too early.

"As time goes on, he's going to have to get used to holding onto it a little bit longer. The biggest key for the Buffalo Bills is the offensive line, giving Trent the time to go through his progressions because he's not going to live on dinking and dunking. I guarantee it."

Kelly's running back and fellow Hall of Famer, Thurman Thomas, added: "If you're going to be dinking and dunking, get 10 yards. Don't get 2. We used to all the time dink and dunk and it would go for 15 yards. Theirs are going for like 3 and 4. That's not going to get it."

Kelly and Thomas made lengthy visits on WGR as part of its Hunter's Hope Radiothon. Kelly established the Hunter's Hope Foundation in name of his son, who died from complications of Krabbe's Disease in 2005.

WGR's Radiothon is Thursday and Friday in an effort to raise funds and awareness for universal newborn screening.