One of the key traits for success is being self motivated and wanting to be the best. Working tirelessly at your craft and living that life generally means great things in your future, especially if you have the necessary talent to accomplish your mission. Two of the best examples that I can think of are Michael Jordan and Jerry Rice. Guys that had physical talent but also were extremely motivated. Guys that wanted to be the best and made it their mission to be the best. Obstacles be damned, i'm going to be the best type of mentality. Fortunately for us, I feel that one of the requirements for the front office when acquiring players is having players with that mentality. Guys that want to be the best, period.
I don't have to tell you two shining examples of this are C.J. Spiller and Stephon Gilmore. Anyone that's seen C.J. on TV or in an interview immediately notices how insanely jacked up he is. I think he lifts weights in his sleep to be honest and you can tell that his work ethic is phenomenal. Stephon Gilmore is the same exact way, if you listen to Coach Pettine he just raves about his work ethic, how he's striving to be the best. It's no surprise that those two players are already two of our best players.
There are a few other player that fit this mold that go unnoticed, probably because it can take a while to make an impact in the NFL. Torell Troup, Alex Carrington, EJ Maneul, Fred Jackson, Eric Wood, Leodis McKelvin, Kyle Williams, C.J. Spiller, Stephon Gilmore and Arthur Moats are all guys that we're heard from coaches and other players praising their work ethic and dedication to their sport. I'm sure their are a few more guys that could be on that list but these are the players I can think of off the top of my head where i've heard either coaches or players specifically mention them by name about wanting to be the best and having tremendous work ethic. Note that I haven't heard much about Mario Williams and Marcel Dareus but that could be because of circumstance, even if Dareus was praised a bit by Marrone for being in good shape.
So what does this really mean at the end of the day? Well for one i'm not sure, but what I do know is that I see a group of players being assembled that want to be the best and I honestly don't think that's the case for a lot of NFL players. Saying you want to be the best and working like you want to be the best like Spiller or Gilmore are two different things. Walk the walk as they say.
This type of mentality has certainly been evident by our new coaching staff as well. If you haven't watched a Nathaniel Hackett interview then do yourself a favor and watch one. This guy couldn't be more excited about his job. He obviously loves football and is extremely passionate about it. Same goes for Pettine and Marrone, these are guys who won't settle and will take nothing but your best effort. If not then it's hit the highway for you.
When I think about the formula of a large amount of dedicated, motivated and wanting to be the best players (who already make up the core of our roster) teamed up with a coaching staff that his highly energetic, results driven, no nonsense and wanting to be the best I see a bright future for the Buffalo Bills. You never know how the season will play out but you can guarantee that these guys will fight to the end and will keep fighting to be the best. Because they want to be the best and they're putting in the effort to be the best.
I'm sure some of you remember hearing stories about guys in years past that didn't even care if the Bills made the playoffs because that would mean that their season is over and they can go on vacation and get out of Buffalo. Players like this won't last in Buffalo. That type of mentality, I believe, will be purged from the locker room by our current coaches and the players here who want to be the best and only want people around them to be the best. I think of Michael Irvin and how he said that when he went to the Cowboys and Jimmy Johnson was hired that he told him about a couple of guys that needed to be cut from the team because they weren't all in. Guys that were prominent on the roster but guys that weren't giving it all to be the best and those guys were removed from the team. I feel that guys like Eric Wood and Kyle Williams would take a similar role because they don't want to settle, they want to be the best and they want to win.
So in all, what I see in the current Bills roster and coaching staff is a make up of highly driven, self motivated and wanting to be the best players and team in the NFL. That right there is a formula for success and I believe we will see that success sooner rather than later because of the current makeup of the team. This team will surprise people because of hard work, talent, speed, strength and a never say die mentality.
As a fan who has had to suffer through some truly awful rosters I couldn't be more excited about this current group that we will be watching in 2013. This team is finally on the right path to do something other than go on vacation in early January. I don't think we're going to have to wait too long before the Bills are creating havoc in the NFL.
Being driven and self motivated are two key ingredients to success. If you don't have those two things you better prepare for mediocrity or failure. That's also a life lesson, FYI. Strive to be the best and you will be successful, settle for anything less than the best and that's what you'll get.
I'll end this with one of my favorite quotes: "We have the tools, we have the talent" Fortunately for us Bills fans, we also have players with the mindset of wanting to be the best.