Buffalo Bills' high-priced defense not paying off just yet

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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) Coach Rex Ryan insists it's premature to start judging the Buffalo Bills' high-priced defense on a few inconsistent performances a month into the season.

Get back to him at the end of the season, and see how the numbers stack up, he says.

And yet the ever-confident Ryan couched his assessment Wednesday by adding: ''But it's just we're not there yet.''

Not even close.

The ''No. 1 or bust'' expectations Bills defensive players openly boasted having in early September have yet to materialize for a team off to a 2-2 start in preparing to play at Tennessee (1-2) on Sunday.

What's troubling is how a veteran-laden unit that features two $100 million players has sagged at critical times because of poor on-field communication, lack of discipline and poor tackling.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL