Bills take page out of the politics handbook

January 02, 2017 - 2:04 pm
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.
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