Saturday, July 31, 2004

Hey, look at Coach! He's turning red and jumping up and down!

During the off-season, the Buffalo Bills (who begin training camp real soon, yay!) brought in a whole new coaching staff (except for the defense), on the heels of last year's disaster of a season in which the team set new records for offensive futility. Among these new additions is Sam Wyche, who takes over as quarterbacks coach. His primary responsibilities are to pull Drew Bledsoe out of the apparent tailspin he's in, and to prepare rookie J.P. Losman for duty as the eventual starter.

I never liked Wyche all that much before, when he was head coach in Cincinnati, but I figure he's older, wiser, and anyway, he's a Bill now, so there it is. And he is most definitely experienced and noted for his teaching skills, which is what the Bills really need after stumbling badly last year.

The most interesting thing about Wyche's arrival with the Bills isn't just that it's his comeback to the NFL, but the story behind it. Wyche endured some serious health problems a few years back, one of which required surgery -- and in the course of one of those operations, his vocal cords were damaged to the point that he is physically incapable of speaking in anything louder than a normal speaking voice. That's quite an obstacle for an NFL coach, and it will be interesting to see how he gets by once the season starts and he's trying to make his points in a stadium surrounded by 75,000 fans.

Here's an interesting story about Wyche and his recent trials. It's definitely one of the more unique "sports comeback" stories I've encountered.

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