Orchard Park, NY (WGR 550) -- Now that 73-year old Buddy Nix has moved on from his three-and-a-half year stay as General Manager of the Buffalo Bills, it's fair to wonder if the promised analytics department will lift off for the team.
Back on January 1, Team President and CEO Russ Brandon proudly proclaimed that the new-age Bills would be venturing in to the world of statistical based research in certain ways, and said it in a way that got fans excited.
"We are going to create and establish a very robust football analytics operation that we layer into our entire operation moving forward," Brandon said. "That's something that's very important to me and the future of the franchise."
Through a big portion of the off-season, the topic was once again revisited following the conclusion of the 2013 NFL Draft. Only this time, the groundwork hadn't been laid for the department almost four months later. On April 27, Brandon was asked if there was indeed an analytics department to that point.
"No, not at this point. It’s also something that we’ve embarked on over the last couple of years and we have people that are focused on it but we don’t have a complete department per say," he remarked. " I think when I said that [on January 1] I should’ve put a pillow under it from the standpoint that it’s a process for us that we’re going to review moving forward. A lot of it has to do with as I mention, it’s another layer to any process when it comes to football. But it’d be very focused on salary cap management and everything we do on that front. It will never take away from the scouting process that we have in place now. It would be additional information that will provide."
Now with a new GM to be named at some point in the near future, it may be time to revisit what the analytics department could become. Brandon was asked about it once again on Monday, and whether or not a new GM would facilitate the creation of the department and this is the updated outlook:
"When I mentioned on January 1 and I mentioned a few times after that, the process we're looking at ... is we do a lot of that already and we're looking to add some different elements to it," he said. "But that'll never override the scouting procedures that we've had in place. It'll be layers as we're looking at everything into our organization on our football side and the business side. I anticipate that over the next calendar year that we'll have a little bit more of that in place."
When the new GM is announced, it's likely that analytics will be one of many topics of conversation for the new man calling the shots.