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Bills owner warns three-year turnaround

Buffalo Bills general manager Buddy Nix cautioned anxious fans last week the franchise would not be turned around overnight.

Bills owner Ralph Wilson on Monday said it would take more like 1,400 nights.

"Well, it is what it is," Wilson told Associated Press reporter John Wawrow by phone. "Everybody can see it. It's very painful.

"It's going to take time. And I've said that from the beginning. It's going to take another three years until we get to turn this thing around."

The Bills are 0-5 for the first time in a quarter century and have allowed at least 30 points in four straight games for the first time in franchise history.

"I hope you understand that there's really nothing I can say," Wilson said. "You've seen this thing. I'm not going to try to explain it or make excuses. It's bad."

Some teams have turned it around quickly. The Miami Dolphins went from 1-15 in 2007 to the AFC East title one season later, but that was with dynamic front office changes (hiring Bill Parcells), a No. 1 overall draft choice (left tackle Jake Long) and a lot of luck (Chad Pennington falling into their laps).

But those kinds of dramatic improvements are rare. Just ask Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns fans. Maybe it's Lake Erie.

"I don't want to throw out a lot of hope," Wilson said. "I want to be a realist. I always have been. And we have to get some talent."

A lack of talent seems to be the underlying message from the players, too. For the past two weeks, players have praised the coaching staff for putting them in the right position to win and for preparing them for everything they see from the opponent. They just can't do anything about it.

"We practiced everything they were going to do," Bills safety Donte Whitner said after Sunday's 36-26 home loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. "They didn't do anything out there that we didn't see on film. We saw everything they did. We didn't see one wrinkle out there. It's disheartening when they don't have a single wrinkle and they still beat you in the fashion that they did."

Bills coach Chan Gailey said "We got whipped physically on both sides of the line of scrimmage" in the second half.

Although when asked point blank about a lack of talent, Bills players disagree.

"The blame falls on me because I made those selections," Wilson said. "And I don't want to blame somebody else. I take the blame."