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Sal Capaccio, Bills Beat & Sideline Reporter

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
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September 20, 2022 11:24 pm

Sal Capaccio, Bills Beat & Sideline Reporter

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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September 20, 2022 11:24 pm

Sal Capaccio joins Zach to discuss how far the Buffalo Bills can go this season.

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Visit slash tech. Now back to the Zach Gelb show. Buffalo Bills 2-0 to start off the season. They just destroyed the Tennessee Titans last night on Monday Night Football with the 41-7 victory.

Let's go out to Buffalo right now. Welcome in a long-time Bills reporter, their sideline reporter as well, Sal Cappaccio. Sal, always great to hear your voice. How you been? Pretty good, man. Working on just a couple hours sleep today, but it's always a lot easier to handle after a night like that. Fun night at the stadium last night.

Yeah, what is this like for you last now? Because Brandon Bean, we know, is a great general manager. Sean McDermott is a really good head coach.

You have one of the best quarterbacks in the league. It's weird because for the last 20 years, it was the Bills stink, the Bills aren't good, and now everyone's thinking they're going to the Super Bowl already, and it's only September. It's pretty amazing, you know, to really think about where this team was just five, six years ago, really.

I mean, now it has been actually about five years, right, since Sean McDermott and Brandon Bean took over. But really, for 17 years, not being in the playoffs, the drought that was the longest North American professional post-season drought in sports, it was pretty amazing. And honestly, guys, the last two times Buffalo Bills fans have seen their team play in a home game, in a real game, not preseason, was last year's wild card against New England when it was just an absolute party in that stadium and they just rolled New England. And then last night, and it seemed like an extension of that game, and what's ironic is these are the two teams, New England obviously for 20 years essentially, and then Tennessee for the last couple years, the Bills fans just took out a lot of frustration on to be able to party and bask in it.

So I think that's what made it kind of doubly sweet last night was this is a team that kind of held you back from some of your goals the last couple of years, and then to do that on top of what they did in New England in that stadium at the end of last season was pretty special. We know Bills fans are extremely loyal, but when you've been bad for that long and then you also go back to the heartbreak of the 4th straight Super Bowl losses, you wonder how they processed this success. You should be confident, but is there still some skepticism at all, like something wrong is going to happen at some point during the season?

Well, look, there is a lot of scar tissue built up, right? I mean, no matter what, anytime you talk to any Bills fan, you're going to have some people somewhere say, well, same old Bills, they're just waiting for the shoe to drop. And that's going to happen if they lose a game. When they lose a game this year, you're going to get people saying that, because that's what we've been through, and this is a city that's never won a major professional sports title, at least not in the modern era, right? A couple AFL titles, some lacrosse championships, no Super Bowls, no Stanley Cups, they've come so close, they've had heartbreak all the time, we've been through it. We have not only the scar tissue, but we're tough about it, right?

We know that we get back up, we're blue collar, we go back at it again until it's going to happen. So sure, that is there, but I think for the first time in a really long time, guys, there truly is a belief that this is going to happen sometime soon. Hopefully this year, and I think people think it can happen this year, but even if not, because this team has number 17 now, it's going to happen at some point. The quarterback just keeps on getting better and better. I didn't know he could play better than last year, but what he's done these first two games has been really special, and the way that he's just developed from what he was when he was a rookie to now, it's mesmerizing to watch, because I tweeted this last night, I don't know how you stop him. He's fun to watch, he's a unicorn.

I mean, honestly, there used to be a TV series, I don't know if a lot of your listeners remember, it was called In Search Of with Leonard DeMoy, and I think you could do a special In Search Of because teams are looking for this, that's what they're looking for. What Josh Allen is, it's incredible. The size, the power, the strength, the ability to throw the way he can, pretty amazing, and last night, he really was doing things that, I said to myself at one point, nobody else can do these things in this league. That is not to take away from the incredible talent of a Patrick Mahomes or Aaron Rodgers. I mean, this guy, on top of throwing dimes 50 yards downfield, completely accurate, is also throwing off-platform, running the other way, and a laser beam a couple of times to Stephon Diggs. He's running over people, we say that every week, he can run fast and get first downs when there doesn't seem like there's a lot of room there.

The things that he can do are pretty amazing, and yeah, for sure. I would say that Josh Allen could lay claim right now to the best player in the NFL. I'm not just talking quarterbacks, you could say that, and I don't think you'd be, people would say, okay, that's a fair thing to say.

You know what's also wild? I know that NFL top 100 list is dopey, but he wasn't in the top 10 entering that season, I don't get that one. Well, I'll tell you, I think there might have been a little bit of a needling, Bills and fans, he was number 13, and the 13 second thing last year, right? I think Bills fans kind of took that to heart a little bit and kind of felt pretty disrespected and made fun of in a lot of ways, and I don't know if Josh did personally, but I know Bills fans noticed that, so yeah, you're right about that. Now look, my yearly predictions, I pick MVP and Super Bowl, and I pick the Bills to win the Super Bowl.

I do think they're the best team in the league, and I think they're trending that way right now, they're showing that. I did not pick Josh Allen to win MVP because I don't think they're going to have to put their foot on gas every single game for him to have to put up the kind of numbers that you're going to see. And last night, guys, he was pulled before the end of the third quarter, I believe it might have been right at the beginning of the fourth, but you might see that a few more times this year, which Josh might have this amazing year, but he might not approach some of those MVP type numbers that we've seen from players in the past because of it.

Sal Cappaccio here with us. What do you think this team learned from the final 13 seconds and just the devastating ending of what did transpire last year? They have to close things out, and how do you do that? You go get a guy like Von Miller and hopefully he closes things out. I mean, he is the closer, that's why they brought him in. Von Miller, I believe this organization believes that if Von Miller was on this team last year, they would have gotten to Patrick Mahomes either in that final 13 seconds or the drive before that that they scored and the Bills had to come down.

I think that's what they learned, that they have to finish the game and they have to be able to do it with a defense that can get after the passer to make sure that they don't give up what they gave up in the final two minutes of that game. It's the perfect scenario right now because the Bills under Sean McDermott have always had a philosophy of rotating defensive linemen and they don't really get more than 65% is a pretty high mark for somebody to play. But then you get Von Miller, you pay him all that money, you're like, how do you do that?

Well, here's how you do it. You get up really big and you lay off him and you allow him to get a nice rest where he only plays 50% of the snaps. Von Miller is not here to play 90%. He's here to be the closer, he's here to play a lot in a close game when you need him, but he's here really for a Super Bowl run and to play a lot when you get towards the end of the season and into the playoffs.

Sal Capaccio here with us. I've been a big believer in Brandon Bean, clearly the last few seasons. We've seen what he's been able to do. It's weird to say because he just won Executive of the Year, but I still feel like he doesn't get enough credit nationally for what he's been able to do with not only this team, but just the whole feel of the organization from where they were to where they are now.

It's remarkable. Yeah, look, I mean, you go back to those Super Bowl teams and I grew up here and I went to games during those years and then I went through the 90s and then I went through the drought and I've been here for a lot of regimes, whether it's as a fan or a professional covering this team, I've seen it all. And the one thing that's really striking to me is truly how that matters, how it matters to have a buttoned up front office that is on the same page with the coaching staff, on the same page with ownership, on the same page with the medical staff and the training staff. I think the biggest difference in this league, it's been so eye-opening to me, Zach, to be honest with you.

I think that's the biggest difference in this league a lot of times between the winners and losers, even from these teams that have so much talent. Why don't they win? They're not aligned.

They're not structured. They don't have that philosophical part of their organization to be able to do that. The bills do and it starts with Brandon and Sean working together in unison. They get what they want from ownership. They have great communication. And then on top of it, boy, can they find players.

I mean, look up and down. Look at the draft picks they've had. Look at the undrafted pre-agents, the guys they brought in. The player development they have in this organization.

Guys, look what happened last night. Reggie Gilliam? I mean, Reggie Gilliam. I was like, who's that?

Right, right, right. And there's a guy, they signed him to a two-year contract extension back in training camp because they know what they have in Reggie Gilliam. They developed an undrafted pre-agent out of the MAAC. How about what's happening at cornerback? They drafted a kid in the sixth round out of Villanova who is starting and playing lights out in the NFL over his first two weeks and beat out their first-round pick Kyrie Elam. Who, by the way, bad optics that you don't beat out a six-round pick. But he's played really well.

There's nothing that he's done wrong. Well, it's wild, Sal. The Bills are now becoming an attractive destination and other people in this league not only want to be a part of it, but they also want to take players and coaches and executives from it with just the way that we've seen this go the last few years.

That's right. And for the first time, they really did lose some high-level guys. Obviously, Joe Shane now is the objective manager. He was the assistant GM.

He's in New York. He hires Brian Dable, comes over from the offensive coordinator, the head coach. But let's go back to what you just said about Brandon Bean a little while ago, Zach, which is Brandon Bean is so good. He has a stable of front office personnel. He has built a great roster on the field. He's also built a great roster off the field.

And people don't realize, they have guys like Terrence Gray, Malik Boyd, Brian Gain, who was a GM in this league. They have so many guys in this organization that they've had, that can leave, the guys that have come back to the organization, the guys they can tap into to basically fill those spots, fill those voids when someone leaves. And that's what makes it. It's a program now. It truly is. It's not just an organization.

It's a program that keeps replenishing itself because they're so good at developing on and off the field. Also, that digs trade. Now, looking back at it, I don't know if there's a more fair trade in NFL history than the digs Jefferson trade.

Unbelievable, right? You know, I think the thing about trades is I think too many fans think you want to win the trade. Oh, you got to beat this guy. No, no, no, no.

That's not what you want to do. And even Brandon will tell you, it's win-win. You want the other team to get what they want. You want to get what you want, and everybody wins.

And then everybody can prosper. And that's what's happened here with that Minnesota Vikings trade with Justin Jefferson. We all know how great Justin Jefferson is.

There's no doubt about it. But the Bills needed a guy like Stephon Diggs when they got him. They needed a guy who had already been in his development, who could step into an organization, who was a pro. Credit Terrence Gray in the Bills organization. Like I said, he was with the Minnesota Vikings. He knew about Stephon. He was there with Stephon. He knew his character. There were questions about that.

He said, no, no, no, no. He understood what he was all about. So that trade is a great example of Brandon Bean working with another organization to make it work for both sides. And obviously it has. And the Bills, they're being rewarded right now with the way that Stephon Diggs and his connection is with Josh Allen. Before we let you run, this schedule is awesome for the rest of this month and then going all into October. But for the opponent this weekend, the Miami Dolphins, they're off to a really good start. How do you view that football team and what type of game do you think it's going to be? So the Bills are dealing with a lot of injuries after last night. I'm happy to report we all saw the scary scene last night on the field with Dane Jackson. He was put into an ambulance, immobilized. The team did release a statement today saying that Dane Jackson does not have a major neck or final cord injury. That's great news.

He was actually at the team's facility in the training room. So whatever that's worth, I don't know what his short-term or long-term football future holds. Who knows? I mean, at this point he could even play Sunday.

I don't know. But we all are happy that that's the case. But besides that, Micah Hyde had a neck injury last night as well. Matt Milano had a stinger. Jordan Phillips had a hamstring. Mitch Morris hurt his elbow. I mean, there's some injuries here, but you talk about that secondary.

If you're going to miss, they're not going to have Dane. If they're not going to have Micah, you're putting a lot on those rookie corners. We just talked about Elin Benford, to go against Tyreek Hill and Jalen Waddle. But I'll say this, the Bills will have a plan, and they're deep. And they'll have something that they can try and counter with what the Miami Dolphins are doing. And I think the Dolphins have played very well, obviously. I think Tua Tonga Viola deserves all the credit he gets from last week's game. But man, those receivers are very tough to handle. I do wonder, though, how is Miami going to stop the Buffalo offense? They gave up a lot of points to the Baltimore Ravens, and Josh Allen has had his best career numbers against the Miami Dolphins and any other team.

Sal Cappaccio, enjoy it. I'm a Patriot fan, and it's kind of weird. I shouldn't be happy that the Bills are doing well.

But they have been a fun story to watch, and they're really a likable team with the way that they're playing. So enjoy the ride, and we'll see how far it goes this year for the Bills. Thanks so much. All right, anytime, buddy.

Thank you. There's Sal Cappaccio joining us on the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. See, that's the thing about the Bills. The Bills are a really likable team. There's no reason, if you're just looking at this objectively, to dislike the Bills. And if those fans finally get a championship, man, that's going to be some party in Buffalo. You can't even describe what that party's going to be like. Forget just the tables and everything.

It could be more than just tables, I'll tell you that. When it's only September, but right now, they were billed as the best team in the league, and there's nothing that I've seen so far that makes me say, yeah, they're not going to be that. And this one's going to be fun this weekend against the Dolphins. Zach Gelb show, CBS Sports Radio. Take a time out. We'll come on back. We go from good football to bad football.

The AFC South. It sucks. We'll talk about it next. Looking for cloud, data or web help? There's no tech shortage in The Room. The Room is a talent community offering highly skilled, ready-to-work talent when you need it. The Room's tech talent is trained to Silicon Valley standards, vetted through a rigorous data-driven process and individually matched to fit your needs. Find top-tier tech talent fast, just like the kind of people who develop this cool streaming app you're on right now. Visit slash tech.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-17 13:53:46 / 2023-01-17 14:01:14 / 7

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