Change. We inevitably want it when we don't get the result we want from one of our teams. The Bills have made plenty of changes over this 13 season playoff drought. But nothing ever really changed.
Different GM's, different coaches, different quarterbacks, 3-4's, 4-3's, none of it mattered.
Terrell Owens. Gross.
That one deserves to stand alone.
The one thing that never changed, of course, is the owner. For the entirety of my 18 football seasons working on the radio, no matter the exact subject, someone could always swing the mightiest of hammers and kill the conversation.
"Well, you know nothing is ever going to change while Ralph Wilson is in charge."
That finally changed this past January when it was announced that Ralph Wilson was giving up control of the team and turning it over to Russ Brandon. Sure, Ralph Wilson still owns the team, but clearing the deck for Brandon to run the team as he sees fit is a big deal and I'm going to treat as such until I hear or see some evidence to the contrary.
The way I see it, the early returns are favorable. The combined age of Chan Gailey and Buddy Nix is 134. Doug Marrone and Doug Whaley are a combined 89 years old. It is of course, not just about age. Gailey and Nix are good men who know the game plenty well. Still, don't you wonder if their hiring in part came about because the 94 year old owner felt comfortable with men closer to his age? I sure do. The hiring pool gets much shallower if you're eliminating younger men who might be much closer to the cutting edge of the sport
So maybe without Ralph Wilson stepping aside the Bills new coach would be a 60 something year old retread and the GM would be some guy who worked here with Marv Levy. Then we'd be trying to talk ourselves into things being really different when we'd know they really weren't.
None of this guarantees that Doug Whaley and Doug Marrone are going to be great, or even good at any of this. Really, without being too simplistic about it, much of that will be dictated by how good EJ Manuel is and how soon.
Just don't let the notion that we live in a place where it sometimes seems like nothing ever changes obscure what has happened at One Bills Drive.
Things have changed. The Bills are different. It would be wonderful if the Bills were struck by the sort of quarterback lightning that hit Seattle last year and they turn on a dime into a playoff team.
To me, there are just too many new moving parts for that to happen right away. New coaches bring new schemes and
new players, many of them young. It would make sense to me for that to take some time to take hold.
Let's see if your quarterback can play and take it from there. All the change buys them time and I don't mind feeling like that because for the first time in a long time, I really believe that the Bills have changed.