Jerry Hughes is not sure about the future with the Bills, he wants to come out on top
Jerry Hughes, the Buffalo Bills’ longest-serving player in his position, didn’t think much of the potential of Saturday’s AFC game against the New England Patriots being his last game to wear the Bills’ uniform.
Hughes is in the final year of his contract and will turn 34 before the start of next season. He climbed to number four on the all-time Bag Bills chart last Sunday with his 53rd career dismissal as a Bills member. He will go down as one of the greatest passing strikers in franchise history when he finally finishes playing at Buffalo.
Any game Hughes plays the rest of the way might be when it comes to his Bills career. But his focus is on the present.
“I want some hardware. Everyone in this building wants some,” Hughes said. “We were close to achieving that last year. And now we know what it takes to get back to that stage. And if this is my last chance to be a Buffalo Bill, I want to come out on top.”
Saturday will be the 21st time that Hughes has played against the Patriots in his 12-year career, more than any other team in the NFL. Hughes hasn’t scored a single press in his two games against New England this season, but no Buffalo player is more familiar with the attack led by Josh McDaniel than Hughes.
When asked about the biggest difference between the two regular seasons encounters – a close loss at Buffalo and a convincing win on the road in Foxboro a few weeks later – Hughes said the Patriots came to the Highmark and “punched us up front”.
“So we knew that going back to where they were, we had to give back,” Hughes said. “But we have to do it our way and our way. I think the guys rose to that challenge and we were able to do it. Now we know it’s round three and we’re going home. The stage is now higher because the loser goes home. And I guarantee you no one in This building wants to come home. So we’re going to do everything we can. If it takes more, you know, an extra quarter so be it. But I think everyone here in this building is ready for that challenge. We’re excited about that and I can’t wait for Saturday.”
The difference in the rubber match could be down to the details, Hughes said. He said the Bills would have to play a disciplined game and the fielding position would be huge.
“For us, it’s all about the ball, getting off the blocks and trying to get out of there swinging,” he said. “I think for us it’s just going to be an old school hammer. We’ve seen them twice this year. The third time like Ali said. It’s that whole Thrilla in Manilla thing. It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be ice there. It’s going to be cold there. It’s going to be a ball.” Introduce Buffalo Bills. So we’ll need to be mentally strong, it’ll be physical.”
The Patriots rushed to a season high of 222 yards again on Dec. Quarterback Mac Jones only needed to throw three times and New England still managed to escape Haymark Stadium with a win.
But Hughes doesn’t worry too much about what the Patriots will do on Saturday.
“I know they’re a top-tier competitor,” Hughes said. “Even though we’ve struggled with that organization in the past, we don’t focus too much on who we play for.”
As far as what comes after Saturday – win or lose – Hughes hasn’t thought about his future yet.
“[Whether I come back next season] It’s not in my control, man. “I am here to play football and win trophies,” he said. “So that’s what I’m trying to do now.”
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