BUFFALO, NY - The Buffalo Bills have officially promoted Doug Whaley to General Manager. He becomes the Bills 12th general manager in team history.
Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon said in a statement released by the team, "It is with great pleasure to name Doug Whaley to the position of General Manager today. Doug has been involved in every level of player personnel throughout his career and he will lead our efforts in reestablishing a winning tradition for this organization and our great fans. Doug is a passionate and committed leader who will work tirelessly with his department to build a team our fans and all of Western New York will be proud of heading into the future."
Brandon said with a new president, new coach and GM there is a new news to the organization, but that the big test for the overhaul will be what happens on the field. "When you look at it from that standpoint obviously there's a lot of newness to the organization, no question. We all embarked on the process of hiring Coach Marrone a few months ago. And at the end of the day when we sit here, it's new and different but it all comes down to wins and losses. And we're all about accountability as well. From every person in this organization and I've mentioned back on January 1 that we share the fan's frustration and our stakeholder's frustration over the past 13 years. But you won't hear us talk much about that. It's all about what we do moving forward. And with Doug at the helm as our General Manager and Coach Marrone we feel very good about our future and I can stand up here and sit up here and talk about it all day, but it comes down to results and proving it. That's the next step of what we have to achieve and it's proving it on the field."
Prior to joining the Bills in 2010, Whaley worked as a pro personnel coordinator with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Whaley spent 12 seasons in the Pittsburgh Steelers organization. He was asked why they've been so successful. They don't accept losing. They set the standard of winning and competing for championships. And I think if we instill that here we'll be in the right direction."
Whaley was asked what message he has for an exhausted fan base that hasn't seen the playoffs in 13 seasons. He said simply, "We are competitive and we are committed to bring a championship to this fan base." Whaley spent 12 seasons in the Pittsburgh Steelers organization. He was asked why they've been so successful." They don't accept losing. They set the standard of winning and competing for championships. And I think if we instill that here we'll be in the right direction."
Whaley has a similar philosophy to former Bills GM Buddy Nix when it comes to acquiring players. "My philosophy is you can never have enough good players. Wherever we can get them, that is where we will go to get them."
The first big issue Whaley has to deal with is the status of free safety Jairus Byrd who hasn't reported to OTA's with his teammates or signed his franchise tender. Whaley said "First of all, we recognize Jairus as a good player, and we're in the business of collecting good players. "But we're going to continue the negotiation process. But we will also continue not negotiating in the press."
Neither Whaley nor Brandon were specific about how Whaley's promotion impacts contract negotiations. Vice President of Football Operations Jim Overdorf negotiates contracts but Whaley and Brandon will have a say in them too.
For now Whaley said he is focused on the OTA's but is leaving this weekend to begin scouting players for 2014.