Bills owner discusses 2017 expectations

Terry Pegula also addresses future of stadium

Howard Simon
August 02, 2017 - 3:06 pm

R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Terry Pegula was not discussing his favorite Aretha Franklin songs when he used that word repeatedly during a brief session with reporters at Bills training camp on Wednesday. The Bills owner was talking about what he expects from the 2017 Buffalo Bills.

"My expectation is that we earn some respect on the field.  I believe that’s important. Then, wherever it falls, it falls" Pegula said. "I really believe that. People respect organizations and teams that win. That’s where we have to get. We have to earn the respect of the rest of the league. When teams come into Buffalo to play, they need to be talking about it on the way up ‘oh gosh, we got to go to Buffalo, let’s hope we can get one out of here.'"

In a follow up question, Pegula was asked about wins and he replied, "That will translate into wins".

For the third time in his brief history as owner of the Bills, Pegula finds himself observing a new head coach while watching practices at St. John Fisher College. Pegula led the search that produced Sean McDermott after the Bills fired Rex Ryan just two years into a five year deal. Pegula likes what he sees so far from the first time head coach.

"I don’t like to make comparisons. All I can tell you is Sean is very detailed and very thorough and a terrific planner. When we interviewed Sean, I had the impression he was a very thorough and detailed person and it shows out in everything he does at the camp."

Pegula has been at every Bills practice thus far although he says he doesn't really have a hard set communication schedule with McDermott.

"I like things low key so I may walk into his office unannounced and we talk for an hour or he may come in my office or Brandon or whoever," Pegula said. "That’s the way I like to do things rather than being official and say ‘hey we’re going to have a meeting next Tuesday at two o’clock.'"

The Bills owner was also asked about any plans for a new stadium. Kim Pegula recently told WKBW-TV that meetings with New York State concerning what to do about the Bills stadium are forthcoming and that she and Terry are on a fact finding mission to learn what the future holds for the facility in Orchard Park. But all seems quiet according to Terry Pegula.

"We just got through with a remodeling and a major contribution from the state of New York in the stadium. I feel that, in light of that, we’re not in any planning session at all right now for a new stadium. We’re still enjoying what’s been done at New Era Field. We have a lease through 2023 so that’s a contractual obligation. That's my stance on it. This is 2017 so we’ve got a long ways to go before we start thinking about anything besides where we are at now."

Even though the meeting with reporters was at Bills training camp, Pegula was asked about one of the other teams he owns, specifically the status of a contract extension for the Sabres Jack Eichel. Pegula said he didn't want to discuss negotiations publicly and then added, "We want Jack and Jack wants to be in Buffalo." Pegula said he had not talked to Eichel in a while.

Below you can hear the entire interview with Terry Pegula:

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