In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last few days here is the quick update on what has happened. The Bills first fired Chan Gailey on Monday, his record with this team and an unwillingness to utilize our personnel properly was his undoing. The Bills also fired all the coaches along with Gailey leaving this team with a clean slate to start over with.
Then this morning the Bills announced a historic move where Russ Brandon was elevated to the position of Team President and CEO. Along with that move came the announcement that owner Ralph Wilson Jr was fully removing himself from the decision making process and giving full autonomy to Russ Brandon. This ground breaking decision is the second big step in what I see as the culture change we have all been waiting for.
This change is an indication to me, and should be to the fan base, of how committed this organization is to change. Not just change at the coaching or organizational level, but rather to a change at the cultural level. This is the first sign we’ve had in nearly two decades that this team understands and agrees that things have to and will change.
Now I understand most fans are going to be cautious or even pessimistic about these changes given the guys that have been charge during our latest round of failures; Brandon, Nix, and Whaley are either getting promoted or retained. I think you have to look at the larger picture and realize that this team is one that has been seen as being held back by a very old owner who refused to change with the times. Now we have in place a new CEO and Team President that understand business and the way things change and the need for innovation and forward thinking. We saw that today in the press conference.
We know now that the Bills have a new iron clad lease that locks them into Western New York for at least the next seven years. We know the Bills are creating a Department of Analytics to add a layer to their player evaluation and salary cap management. We know that the Bills are still putting out indications that they are looking into a new stadium. All of this is change and its change with an eye towards the future.
The Bills new lease gives this team a new lease on life when many people were telling us we were going to relocate. Our $500 Million dollar relocation fee makes it nearly impossible to move this team through years 1-7 and by that time the hope is that the stadium will once again be packed and the Bills will be just as popular as ever.
We’ll have much more coming on the Bills Department of Analytics in the near future as we have reached out to people in that arena to help explain what the new departments function could be and how it can help us evaluate the product on the field.
We have all seen the design for a new Bills downtown stadium and whether its that design or another one it is clear that Brandon is focused on getting the Bills a new stadium in Buffalo and locking this team into the area for a much longer period than just seven years.
Now with those changes comes lots of questions and few answers. I readily acknowledge that a bit of the faith I’ve expressed in this article is blind faith. The Bills need to rebuild some of the faith they have lost through good will and making sound football decisions. The first will be hiring the new head coach.
We have a long way to go to get back to where we once were, but for the first time in a very long time I see signs of life and fight in an organization that many considered leaving for dead and that is a very good thing.