Does anyone else see the similarities to our current situation and our situation in 1985? Am I the only one here old enough to remember?
In the mid 80's we had strung together some miserable seasons Our record was 16-41 the previous four seasons and our current general manager, Terry Bledsoe was generally despised by everyone in Buffalo. In 1984 Ralph hired a relatively unknown Bill Polian as director of pro personnel. When Terry Bledsoe was finally fired in 1985 the fanbase was screaming for a house cleaning. This team clearly needed sweeping changes. But instead of looking outside the organization, Ralph decided to promote Polian to GM. The local media and fans decried the promotion as just more of the same.
When it came time to hire a coach in 1986, after Hank Bullough was fired midseason, Polian chose not to go with one of the hot names at the time but instead with an old football guy with former head coaching experience and a mediocre track record. As head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs Marv had put up a 31-42 record before being fired. He also had stints in the CFL, USFL and as a coordinator in the NFL with varying degrees of success. Again the local media and fan base were generally not happy with the move. Instead of making a big splash, Polian and Ralph went with a perceived retread, someone they were comfortable with.
The Bills were also in desperate need of a franchise QB. Joe Ferguson was gone and the Bills were making due with two journeyman, Vince Ferragamo and Bruce Mathison. Jim Kelly had been drafted but opted for the USFL.
I guess it shows that Ralph really hasn't changed much in the last 25 years. But this formula did work for him once, hopefully it will work again. We just need to find our Jim Kelly.