ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Ask observers of the NFL to name a head coach whose seat is hot entering this season, and most would agree that Rex Ryan is near the top of that list.
"Honestly, I love Rex," Watkins said at his football camp Tuesday. "I love our whole coaching staff and organization. If anything would change, I would definitely be sad. I know what type of guys they are. They're for the players; they're for the team. They're for winning. Nothing can just change like that. We have to change it as a whole, as a group, as an organization. It will be sad if somebody just got fired off of losses. And I know it's a business, but that's how things work."
Watkins' vote of support for Ryan sets the table for the start of training camp next week, when Bills players will surely face further questions about Ryan's future. The discussion will be fueled in part by speculation from Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly last month that Ryan could be fired if the Bills fall short of the playoffs for a 17th consecutive season.
As the Bills' stumbled to an 8-8 finish last season, Watkins called on himself and other players to take ownership of the team and rely less on coaches, including Ryan, to fix problems. He reiterated that plea Tuesday.
"It's really up to us," he said. "We can't put anything on the coaches. The coaches do their job. They call the plays; they put us in the best situation. Now it's time for the team and the leaders to take leadership. Practice hard, get off the field, take care of each other. Nutrition, sleep, film -- all that stuff starts with the players and I think if we do the right things, if we handle our business like we should, we should be in a great situation."