Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula outlines one simple objective he would like to see his team achieve this year: Respect.
Earn that, he says, and the rest will eventually follow for a once-proud franchise whose reputation has been tarnished during a 17-year playoff drought — the longest active streak in North America’s four major professional sports.
Pegula shared his expectation during an 11-minute news conference at training camp Wednesday. He spoke at a time the Bills usher in their latest fresh start under new coach Sean McDermott and new general manager Brandon Beane.
Though not dismissing the possibility of the team making the playoffs this year, Pegula says he will remain patient while McDermott and Beane rebuild the roster with an emphasis on attracting players with leadership ability.
Pegula also stresses a need for continuity, which the Bills have lacked during the three years since he purchased the team from the estate of Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson. McDermott is Buffalo’s third coach under Pegula, after Doug Marrone opted out of his contract following the 2014 season and Rex Ryan was fired in the final week of last season.