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Bills take page out of the politics handbook

I decided to go on twitter after the Doug Whaley press conference to read reactions from my colleagues in the media as well as Bills fans.  I’d say there were a variety of reactions which included, anger, despair, depression, frustration, skepticism and incredulity.

As for me, I didn’t believe a lot of what I heard but I can’t tell you I was surprised at anything that was said.  My expectations for anything enlightening to come out of the press conference were very low.  I thought I’d hear Whaley say the Bills were disappointed, that 7-9 was not acceptable, work on making them better starts right away and this will be fixed.  That was pretty much what I got. 

You need to remember two very important things:  

1.  Doug Whaley is NOT Bill Polian.  He will not speak his mind and give you an unfiltered answer.  Doug Whaley will say what the Bills want him to say.  He plays the role of good solider to a tee and takes the bullets for the organization while giving you the team response to a question and not his response. There were numerous times where Whaley’s answer didn't address the question that was asked but I’m guessing it was the one he was told to use and he’d stick with that specific response if the same question was asked later in the press conference but in a different way.  It sure sounded like Whaley was advised to keep his answers short, the less is better approach.

2. Teams lie.  If that is too harsh or mean spirited then I’ll go with teams don’t tell you the truth(same idea, different phrasing).  If there was a lie detector in the room, it would have gone off so many times, the noise would have drowned out the press conference. But that is how the game is played and the Bills are FAR from the only team that conducts business this way. 
It isn’t a good look, it doesn’t sound good and typically the fan base will be unhappy because they feel they are being fed a load of bull.  

Having said all of that, here are some of the things Whaley declared that probably caused you to roll your eyes at the very least:

1. He had no idea Rex Ryan was about to be fired.  That would make him the only person in Western New York who could say that. My advice to Doug is to check the internet more often and then you would have known what was coming down.

2. Whaley had no opinion about Rex being fired and never asked the Pegulas why they decided to make the move at that point. I’m sure he had an opinion but didn’t want to share it.  Of course, the easy answer would have been to say he supported the decision made by the owner.  But if he truly had no idea Rex was going to be fired, how would he not ask the owner why?  I would if I was a Bills employee and someone who was supposedly a part of the decision to hire Rex in the first place.

3. Whaley said sitting Tyrod was a business decision because they wanted to evaluate what they had at the position.  Really? You hadn’t already figured out that EJ Manuel isn’t good?  And for the last few weeks during his segment on WGR, Whaley maintained Cardale Jones wasn’t ready to play.  All of a sudden he was?  Is it so hard to say we haven’t made our mind up on Taylor yet and we didn’t want to run the risk of Taylor getting a serious injury, leaving the team on the hook for guaranteed base salary of more than $15 million from the next two years. That was the business decision.

4. Russ Brandon hasn’t been involved in football decisions and won’t be involved going forward.  I’ll just say “baloney” and I’ll leave it at that. 

5. Whaley said he is responsible for final language on contracts. Can I play the baloney card again? We’ve always been told that Whaley wants no part of that. Same thing with Buddy Nix before that.  Contracts and dealing with agents falls to Russ and Jim Overdorf. The Bills themselves have said that numerous times over the years.

6.  Whaley had no opinion about whether the Bills should have the head coach report to the GM or directly to the owner.  Rex didn’t report to Whaley, he spoke directly with ownership.  What GM would be happy with that?  In the chain of command, the GM is above the head coach on the chart so I’d think the GM would like to deal directly with the coach and not have to find out what’s going on by asking the owner.

Whaley also said he had absolutely no input on the firing of Rex.  Which makes sense if he’s telling the truth about having no idea that the head coach was about to be canned.  How is this even possible?  I know the Pegulas are the owners and ultimately they can do whatever they want since its their business but how do you not even consult with your GM when you are about to make such a significant move?  Wouldn’t you at least get an opinion?  Even if the GM disagrees you just tell him you are the owner and this is what is going to be done.  But you have to tell the head of your football operations you’re about to remove the head coach.

Whaley said they are constantly trying to find the right quarterback.  No you aren’t and that is one reason why the drought just turned 17.  Draft a quarterback every year.  That is constantly looking to find the right one.  Exhaust every avenue to bring in quarterbacks in hopes one of them will pan out.  

All in all, it was not a good day for the Bills.  Players change, coaches change, GM’s change.  Even ownership changes and yet the Bills seemingly are in a constant state of mediocre football and disorganization.  It is a new year but it sure seems like the same old Bills.

01/02/2017 7:15PM
Bills take page out of the politics handbook
Please enter your comments below.
01/02/2017 7:45PM
FAULT ON GM Doug Whaley
For the past few years It's painfully clear that Doug whaley is only a part of the problem. Equally Painfully clear is the factor of being charge of less talented people under him. Sorry you blamed the coach the quarterback, the defensive line, even the kicker. Shortcomings in these area become major problems when the GM not addressing these needs actively. Last draft with the highest yield of quarterbacks in years, of the five that started only 1 was a failure, where was Buffalo Bills on draft day? Sorry, your kicker is a joke needed replacing two years ago. Sorry Doug But The Bills Fans should be calling of a change at General manger!
01/02/2017 7:56PM
... I think the WGRZ, WGR and BN sports writers and "experts" (?) are out of line and whacked out of their minds. They appear to be using every little news "crumb" to twist a story and "grind an ax" over their lack of access to the Pegula's, Whaley, etc. They are coming acrossas petty. The organizational structure is fine to mea sI would want the GM and coach both reporting directly to the owner. The owners should serve as the cross checks and ultimate decision makers and I believe they are holding people's feet to the fire. As for Rex, although I am just an outsider, my perception is he wanted to walk now with that guaranteed contract and talked the Pegula's into firing him. Despite his words his behavior over the last year or so (missing the Senior Bowl, going on vacation, to world series when other coaches are working) speaks volumes that his heart wasn't in this gig. He saw his defense underperforming and knew they weren't going to the playoffs in any of his remaining years here, even if the Pegulas wanted to keep him. I also think Doug got the message from ownership and understands that priority # 1 is to fix the ongoing quarterback
01/02/2017 8:04PM
Same old disfunction
When will amateur hour end? This is a Billion dollar company and no one seems to talk? Please blow up the whole thing, get an experienced football VP. The NY Giants had 17 losing seasons too, worse than Bills and got George Young from Miami/Baltimore andthe rest is history. Please blow it all up get rid of Ralph's guys.
01/02/2017 8:05PM
"IF" it's true that Whaley had "no idea" Rex was in danger of being fired -- despite, at a minimum, having the issue staring him in the face every dam* day because he was being asked about it REPEATEDLY by the media throughout December, then I submit he DIDN'T WANT TO KNOW ... i.e., he deliberately buried his head in the sand, which is a DERELICTION OF DUTY for a GM !!!! Alternatively, he's LYING to us -- either way, the organization is dishonest and dysfunctional. Next question: if it's your sense from being at the press conference that WE ARE BEING LIED TO (and I believe we are), WHO at One Bills Drive is directing Whaley to "be a good soldier" and LIE to the press (and by extension, to the PEOPLE WHO BUY THE TICKETS and all fans who support the team)? BRANDON ????? The PEGULAS themselves ?????? Another Q: WHY is Brandon involved with football operations ????? NO, NO, NO, NO, a thousand times NO !!!!!! His job must SOLELY be to sell tickets and come up with marketing strategy -- I thought we had the promises and assurances from the Pegulas that Brandon was going to disengage from sports operations and focus on what he actually does well (i.e., making $$$ on the business side)??? If Brandon is in truth going to continue to meddle with football/hockey operational decisions, we will be LOSERS FOREVER BECAUSE HE IS TERRIBLE AT THIS (proven 17 year track record) !!!!!!!! And you're correct that the Bills are LYING if they claim to be on a perpetual search for the right QB -- because if they were, they would in fact be drafting at least 1 QB EVERY year !!!!!!!! So ... we have a LYING Bills organization whose deceitfulness and incompetence has finally been exposed on many fronts, owners that won't be straight with their fans and who gutlessly hide from legitimate criticism, a disingenuous GM, a meddling business manager who is GREAT at business but LOUSY at sports operations who REFUSES to stay in his business lane because as an ex-jock he selfishly covets the opportunity to "run" a pro team ... and players and administrative personnel who are BAD at their jobs (bad character players, poor scouting, no motivation, bad coaching). Much as it pains me to say this, the answer and "way ahead" has revealed itself: WE MUST NOW BOYCOTT THE BILLS AND ALL MERCHANDISE UNLESS/UNTIL THE PEGULAS FINALLY LISTEN TO US FANS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO MORE LIES !!! NO MORE LACK OF TRANSPARENCY over what's going on and who's making it be that way. Yes, the Pegulas may own the team and be entitled to keep the profits, BUT the team also BELONGS TO THE ENTIRE WNY COMMUNITY, and WE DESERVE A VOICE ... or we vote with our feet. The only way to force them to listen is to hit them in the wallet and in the embarrassing TV image of playing before an EMPTY stadium !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
01/02/2017 8:24PM
stop buying tickets
Boycott the 8 games if you truly want to send a message. And yes, there will only be 8 games at Rich Stadium in 2017.
01/02/2017 8:35PM
Move the team...
...we'll never see another winner in Buffalo, NY. Too small a market anymore to play with the big boys. Just move the team already...
01/02/2017 8:50PM
No Integrity.
After a performance like that, how could anyone believe a single word that comes out of this guy's mouth from here on out? Once a liar, always a liar.
01/02/2017 9:50PM
Bill's take a page out of Sabre's
history more like it. Nothing came out of that question & answer session that was a revelation, surprise, or the whole truth. As Simon said: "teams lie". Makes it far easier to sell hope, hype, and season tickets. What does disturb me is the feeling of deja vu. Substitute Whaley for Regier, Lynn for Nolan and you will feel on a familiar path. The Pegula way: we tried our best, didn't work out, so blow it all up and rebuild! Sully, I think you were to optimistic in your 17 - 31 3 year record outlook.
01/02/2017 9:55PM
Glad your being objective
Perfectly said Howard. Just treat us as adults and people that can handle the truth. Rex obviously was a mistake, sets us back at least a year maybe. If they are smart they find a outside head coach like Reich, a experienced DC/Assistant HC like Philips, OC Lynn and maybe a stretch but a ST coach like Tasker. If offense can stay and continue to develop, Philips has proven before he can get defenses together pretty quick and he has his big man in the middle in Darieus. I think Philips likes Reich and at his age would be happy working with him. If they are smart, they can make something like this work.
01/02/2017 9:58PM
Welcome to Palukaville
After watching Doug Whaley insult every Bills fan's intelligence with his bu11 ship today I cannot support this joke of an organization any longer. I am officially a Steelers fan from this point forward. This is amateur hour at One Bills Drive. Kelly, Thurman, Bruce etc must be sick to their stomachs watching this kraal. Laughingstock of the NFL. And the Sabres aren't far behind.
01/02/2017 10:05PM
Elton John
Elton John once had a line in one of his songs that fits perfectly with the Buffalo Bills organization. "It's a sad sad situation and it's getting more and more absurd."
01/02/2017 10:18PM
Who reports to who
I was over Under, and Under was over Dunn. Great comedy today Doug.
01/02/2017 10:57PM
Right on Howard
You hit the nail on every point!if I've said it once I've said it several times if you spend 1.4 billion for pro team...wouldn't you want to make it succeed instead of making your loyal fans and your team the laughing stock of the sports world. Did you buy the team for a tax deduction or to be a winner. This team needs a director of football operations.....somebody with football knowledge not these flunkys!
01/03/2017 1:35AM
Terry and Kim are the main problem!
Not sure why so many Buffalonians love Terry and Kim so much. They have had over 5 years now with the Sabres and the Sabres have been a bottom 5 team ever since they have owned them and will continue to be a bottom 5 team for as long as the Pegulias own them. The Bills have gone in the wrong direction and gotten worse each year since the Pegulias have owned them. The word in the professional circles in both the NHL and NFL is that the Pegulias are amateurs who don't have a clue what they are doing and surround themselves with incompetent and immature people in the front office and managing side of their two teams. It is also widely known that Kim Pegulia runs most things with both teams and is a micromanager and difficult to get along with. Buffalonians are slow to process facts and reality and love to give people way to long to prove themselves. In addition, Buffalonians will continue to buy all the merchandise and sell out all of the Bills games and Sabres games giving the Pegulias no reason at all to change what they are doing. Neither the Bills or Sabres will ever make the playoffs as long as the Pegulias are the owners and that is simply a fact and reality. Pegulias found the perfect city to buy 2 "pro" sports teams in because it will take at least another 10 years or longer before Buffalonians even start to realize what terrible owners the Pegulias are.
01/03/2017 6:07AM
The Bills
should be embarrassed by that joke of a press conference. Why is it that this organization talks like the fans and media are stupid and will believe the you know what that comes out of their mouths. I listened to that baloney and all I could hear was Russ Brandon talking with a Whaley mask on. This press conference had Brandon all over it and you would be a fool to think otherwise. the Pegulas need to stop listening to Russ, he is the reason we are where we are. Its time for the fans to speak and stop selling out the stadium and then and only then will this stop.
01/03/2017 6:14AM
Lower than pond Scum
Not the owners but all of sports media covering the Bills. It’s been handled that way for 40 years. Also the associate Press article sets you guys up for a lawsuit for defamation
01/03/2017 6:16AM
Are you kidding Me Simon?
So prove it!
01/03/2017 6:24AM
What are you announcers trying to accomplish?
Really. Why do you continue for 17 years attempt to destroy Buffalo? They said what they said so, so what. There is nothing to be gained from your inquisition as you already know the lay of the land. You attempted to put both Kane’s in jail and convicted both before any trial. So the system is corrupt? Then go out and hire a private investigator to dig up factual evidence. Oh there isn’t any. Were you also part of the pounding on Tom Bauerle and what did the lawsuit cot you? I know the real reason and it begins with the Seoul but you won’t touch that.
01/03/2017 6:26AM
puppet man
that is what Whaley is. it was a show starring Russ Brandon as the ventriloquist and Whaley as his puppet sitting on his lap Everything that came out of his mouth had Brandon written all over it.
01/03/2017 6:59AM
Buffalo Bafoons
Buffalo Bills Russ Brandon = DYSFUNCTIONAL. The common denominator is Russ Brandon and he has always been calling the shots. Until he is gone its ground hog day over and over.
01/03/2017 8:08AM
whaley should be gone
if the pegulas had a clue they would've fired doug whaley and rex ryan together. russ brandon this point we have no hope for improvement, excuse me if i don't believe whaley can find a good head coach or produce a good draft class. how can the pegulas be so blind??
01/03/2017 8:54AM
Really not that big of deal
If Doug Whaley doesn't want to give his opinion on if Rex Ryan shouldn't get fired or not, then so be it. Try getting that from any other GM in the league. Concerning the Anthony Lynn and the Taylor benching. Rex got fired. Doug and Terry agreed on playing Manuel, Doug, Terry told Anthony Lynn that Manuel would start. So for Lynn to say he wasn't in the room when that decision was made is correct. I hope Bucky Gleason's son dies in 2017.
01/03/2017 9:18AM
Pegulas need to gut the front office (Brandon, Whaley, Scouts, Medical Staff, all of it). Hire a consultant or President of Football Operations (Coughlin comes to mind) before hiring anyone else.
01/03/2017 9:45AM
Whaley=21st Century Stepin Fetchit
The guy doesn't know what's going on. He doesn't care. Just as long as the boss says so, he goes and gets it. He always gets the wrong thing and always gets blamed for it but inexplicably keeps his job.
01/03/2017 10:40AM
Simon's opinions
I read and for the most part I see you have a bias. WGR and BN have a death wise for the Bills. You will not be happy until the team leaves WNY. The Bills have made mistakes but did you know since Tom Brady was drafted....205 QBs have been selected. Only dozen or so panned out. Finding the right one is difficult but they have tried. Manuel was the best of a horrible draft class. The Bills had to get a QB that year. No quick solutions this year either.
01/03/2017 10:46AM
If I had just purchased a business that had been barely making it...I would, ASAP, look for replacements in the entire to bottom...players, coaches, trainers, medical, Stadium staff, scouts, CEO and all other management personnel...
01/03/2017 11:05AM
Howard stick to being an on air talent
Corporate America at its highest levels works a lot different than the average person thinks. Passion, ego and privilege out weigh common sense. That's how you get to the top. It is extremely plausible that Doug didn't know. Doug is a buffer that Rex chose not to use. He pushed for a meeting and got his answer. Snap gut decision based on where he was headed after loosing to Miami. When you are successful in life usually your first thought is your best thought. Don't second guess, just move on. If you don't, you will not be successful. Second on the Tyrod issue. You want to believe you have the guy and want to support your staff by empowering them. Terry and Kim placed a big bet that they could pull back (This isn't $30, it's 30 million. He was Rex's guy and obviously not a Doug Whaley guy (See Tim Murray's roster work). You sit the guy the last day especially if he has been playing through pain and is injured. Why do people feel the need they need to be told more than it is a business decision. Doug was simply backing his coach earlier in the season. He knew Tyrod while not ideal gave them the best chance to win and ultimately that is what he is paid to do.
01/03/2017 11:05AM
Be a Bills fan... or don't be a Bills fan
Go Bills! 2017
01/03/2017 2:02PM
Shilltime 550
the station is just as bad, has whaley on and asks him softball questions LOL
01/03/2017 2:44PM
Organizational timidity
The Bills are an organization that is more comfortable drafting a safety in the first round than taking a gamble in the first round and lower for a qb. It's not surprising that since the retirement of Kelly two decades ago the Bills have not found their replacement franchise qb. It's also not surprising that during that period with the one time exception of the Philips tenure we have had a playoff drought. The Raiders selected Derek Carr at the top of the second round while the Bills passed on him. The Raiders then took a quantum leap forward into the playoffs this year while the Bills continue being stuck in the muck of mediocrity. There comes a point where enough is enough. Stop being so cautious and be bold in securing a qb. Whaley was bold in giving up assets to draft Watkins, a receiver. What was the point when he didn't have a qb proficient enough to utilize his talent?
01/03/2017 3:35PM
Ha! Remember these optimistic days?
"One Town, One Dream"........a dream, indeed.
01/03/2017 4:03PM
tell me exactly WHY , Buffalo, New York still has teams in both the NFL and NHL ? ? ? The market is just too dammed small to compete with NYC, Philly, Dallas, LA, SanFran, Chicago, Toronto and Montreal. It's a city the size of an AHL or an AFL city. How does this city qualify as major league in anything???
01/03/2017 5:38PM
Along with Rex...
Get rid of Schopp & the Bulldog! I'm a lifelong fan who listens in from afar to get the lay of the land, so to speak. When they're (the two buffoons) on, I get Fred Flinstone, and Barney Rubble, and wish there was someone else. Now, the young announcers who come on later try to be them... BAD journalists. Whaley? Ownership has spoken, and he'll get his chance ot prove he can pick a coach. A forever Bills fan! GO BILLS!! (in 2017 & beyond)
01/03/2017 6:15PM
Russ Whaley
Here's the plan; We force Russ Brandon & wife to give up there first born son....We force Doug Whaley to give up there first born daughter. We force first born son and first born daughter to mate and make a Whaley Brandon Hybrid baby boy...we wait 45 years for this savior baby to grow this point we should be somewhere around 65-85 years with out a winning season. We make savior Brandon / Whaley baby head coach.....and we give that guy 2 years to win. If he's what we do.....we fire that guy and hope for the best.
01/03/2017 11:47PM
tank next year anybody watch the usc quarterback in the rose bowl just great for a freshmen we need him bad
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