Hello all 2,000+ NYC Bills Fans,
I’m embarrassed. Santa surprised my 7-year-old son with tickets to the Bills/Jets game in NJ this weekend, so we’ll be heading out to MetLife on New Year’s Day to watch…well…a meaningless game. I’m embarrassed to take William, not due to the winning records of the team, but how the front office at One Bills Drive has handled the Rex Ryan situation over the last few weeks. By now, you’ve likely heard that Rex Ryan has been fired. You can’t take a top 5 defense and run it into the ground, especially when you’re a defensive “guru”, not to mention the other comedy of errors this season. I don’t disagree with the move.
What I’m ashamed of is how the team has handled the situation, that this is the organization that I’m urging my son to root for. First, you had the leaks ORIGINATING FROM THE TEAM saying Rex would likely be fired WHILE WE WERE STILL IN THE PLAYOFF HUNT. When Ralph Wilson owned the team, there were minimal leaks, however the last three years that pipe has burst. A leaky organization is a poorly managed organization, which speaks volumes of the leadership of President Russ Brandon and GM Doug Whaley. Anybody that has been a member of NYCBBB knows my distaste for Russ Brandon, who somehow has managed to get promotion after promotion despite leading a continuously losing franchise. Many will point to ticket sales and say he’s just a marketing guy. BS. Don’t kid yourself, he is heavily involved in football decisions and has been for years despite the team saying otherwise. I’ve said for years the franchise will not win while he is leading it, and sadly have continued to be right in that prediction. He’s a salesman and has no place being involved in football operations, especially being a failed former GM of the team.
Then you have Doug Whaley, who reportedly is the one who pushed to have Rex fired as the two had a falling out, his second such issue with a head coach here. Not only did he fire Rex, but made the decision (with the Pegulas and Brandon) to bench Tyrod Taylor (which I get why) after his finest game as a Bill with no coaching input. Then send out his interim head coach, Anthony Lynn, to explain that decision (which he had no part in) to an already (rightfully) annoyed press. Predictably, the hung out to dry coach stumbled through the interview. How can Whaley, Brandon or the Pegulas NOT face the press after firing your coach and send in the guy who had no role in it to explain it? This is the worst decision made (other than trading two #1s for a WR in the draft when you didn’t have a QB) since Tom Donahoe had fan signs confiscated at the games.
Leaks, hanging the team out to dry, lack of accountability and a predictably lame marketing spin has created a clear toxic swamp in Orchard Park. The national media is laughing at Buffalo. Its bush league and pathetic, and the guys responsible for it, primarily Whaley/Brandon, keep getting a pass. Names like Coughlin are being tossed out as coaching candidates…pff…no way. What respective coach will want to be a part of this mess? They’d have to deal with:
1) A power hungry GM who has already kicked two coaches out the door, who would have full control over personnel, yet has no success to justify it
2) A glorified salesman as President who has no problem throwing coaches under the bus to the press and has input into player contracts and personnel
No good football coach wants a part of that, and who could blame them? There’s only one clear thing that should happen. Remove Russ Brandon and Doug Whaley and bring in an experienced football guru to rebuild the organization. Just because it didn’t work out with Donahoe doesn’t mean it won’t ever work. There are too many lifers at OBD who have created a losing culture within the franchise. Nothing will change while they are still in power.
Sadly, Brandon/Whaley have the Pegulas’ ears, and know bringing in a real football guru would mean the end of their power (and likely jobs) so are doing everything possible from allowing that to happen (see Bill Polian last year). As long as that continues, this franchise will greatly surpass the 17 years of losing. My only hope is that the Pegulas themselves are out of the loop on much of this, and not responsible for it themselves. It’s not fair to the fans, nor the players.
For those heading to the game on New Year’s Day, we’ll be meeting up again in LOT 26, POLE A. We always have a great turnout, Kenny (Pinto Ron) will be there too. Here’s a link with details, it’s from last year so some of the things are outdated (McFadden’s won’t be supplying beer).
Hope to see you there, and look forward to hearing your thoughts on my thoughts above.
Matt “Not Talkin’ Proud about our organization right now” Kabel