Last night I had the opportunity to have a brief chat with former Buffalo Bills receiver Eric Moulds. One of the more popular—and productive players in franchise history, I let Eric know he was leading a Buffalo News poll that asked fans what Bills player from the 2000′s most deserved to be on the team’s Wall of Fame.
During our banter I recalled an extensive interview I had with him in late 2010. Amazingly, many of the things he pointed out at the time hold downright true some two years later.
To be sure, I dug up the interview and searched for a few specific topics.
I asked Moulds at the time on his feelings about Ryan Fitzpatrick, who overtook Trent Edwards earlier that season as the starter.
Moulds said then “I like Ryan. He is a solid quarterback, playing really well right now and has given them a spark, but in my opinion he is not our long term answer at that position.”
Maybe, Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey should’ve listened. Nix passed over both Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick in the following April’s draft in favor of cornerback Aaron Williams, and by the midpoint of last season Fitzpatrick was given a six-year, $59 million extension, essentially a sum reserved for franchise quarterbacks.
We all know how that’s worked out. Buffalo is likely to draft a quarterback nxt April and develop him, something they could’ve—and should’ve started nearly two seasons ago.
Moulds knows a thing or two about quarterbacks. I’ll never forget what he told me when I asked about the team’s decision to start Rob Johnson over Doug Flutie in Buffalo’s last playoff game in 2000. Moulds said he thought it was the dumbest decision made in history of pro sports. Literally, he said that.
Looking back at that interview, Moulds was just as poignant when discussing the repercussions of firing Wade Phillips after the Bills lost to Tennessee in the playoffs.
“I think that move set us back 10 years as an organization and the Bills are still trying to recover now,” Moulds said. “ We had a playoff team, great coaches and a lot of Pro Bowl players and the powers that be just ripped it up like a piece of paper. Still till this day it bothers me.”
Mind you, Moulds made those comments to me two full years ago. It’s been 24 months later and much of the same thing—The Bills are still trying to recover. Chan Gailey has been a disaster in his third year and appears a lock to join Dick Jauron, Mike Mularkey and Gregg Williams as failed head coaches post-Phillips.
By the way, I know Twitter is the hotbed for fans to interact with athletes. I urged Moulds to join and he said he’s likely to set up an account soon, so look for him.
Don’t expect softball answers to your questions either—he’s not wired that way.