One would be hard pressed to find even a few football fans outside of Buffalo who know who the Bills' secondary receiver is. I am sure you have all heard of the Bills' athletic, explosive, all-pro receiver Eric Moulds, but who is that mystery man on the other side of the formation?
Meet Peerless Price, the Bills underachieving, all-talk wide receiver. Ever since he was drafted, the Bills have been waiting for him to mature into the game-breaking receiver he was in Tennessee. Well folks, don't wait up.
Early in Sunday's 20-3 debacle against the Pittsburgh Steelers, with no score in the game, the ball was in the hands of Steeler cornerback Dewayne Washington as he picked up Travis Henry's fumble at the Pittsburgh 37-yard line. Bills quarterback Rob Johnson reacted instantly, chasing after Washington, but coming away with only jersey. Washington looked home free.
From behind, however, Price used some of his amazing speed to catch up to Washington. At about the Bills 15-yard line, he was a forearm's length away, and gave up. He slowed down as Washington sprinted into the end zone for what was to be the game-winning touchdown.
Most of the Bills' sideline seemed too upset at the prospect of being down seven to notice this lack of heart, but as a football coach, it drives me crazy. About the only thing I cannot stand is when a player doesn't give 100 percent. It shows a lack of maturity, and a lack of desire.
Peerless Price needs to mature as a football player. This does not mean averaging 5 catches, 80 yards, and a touchdown a game. It means doing the little things that help your team win, like run blocking, or running down a defender after a turnover. I'll bet the Bills coaches won't see much of that on the film.
"It's like a repeat of last year. ... We're three games into the season and I haven't been in the offense not one week," Price said in a post-game interview.
Newsflash Peerless, you're on the field about 70 percent of the time. Instead of criticizing the fact that you may not be the number one option on every play, run your pass route and get open. Give Johnson someone to throw to, and do the job the Bills pay you to do.
Maybe Price should look elsewhere to lay blame. Rob Johnson is playing behind what is possibly the worst offensive line in the NFL due to recent injuries, and first-year offensive coordinator Mike Sheppard also has weapons like Moulds, full-back Larry Centers, wide-out Jeremy McDaniel (now injured), and tight end Jay Riemersma to give the ball to.
If I were Rob Johnson, I wouldn't throw to Price either. His patterns look sloppy this year, and he's dropped more than one very catchable ball.
The problem is not that he's having a bad year; the whole Bills offense is struggling, and there is a time to question your teammates. In fact, that time has come. Someone needs to challenge Price and soon. Until they do, Moulds is going to have lots of company every time he goes out for a pass.