I first posted this comment in MRW's fanshot quote from Chuck Knox from his book, Hard Knox: The Life of an NFL Coach: Chuck Knox (I've been talking up that book since I read it about a month ago) . Then I was going to post this again as a comment in fansince60's fanpost "Right or Wrong." So I decided to make it a fanpost of my own. One thing I think is different in this current situation is that Chuck Knox had a proven record of success. He won everywhere he went: LA, Buffalo, Seattle, at least to a certain degree - div. championships, playoff wins. Knox had proven himself a success as an NFL coach.
In this current setting, Nix has never yet proven himself as a successful GM. This is his first GM job. So there is some rightly placed skepticism about Nix in this fanbase.
I currently work in an industry where there is so much money flying around, things don't have to be managed very well in order for a company in that certain industry to succeed. There are tons of wasted resources (money, time, talent, etc.). It's also an "inbred" industry - you can only break into it if you know someone and can convince him to take you on and train you up. It took me 3 1/2 years to break into this industry. Because it's inbred, it hardly gets anyone from outside the industry with a general understanding of business principles and professionalism who also has the credibility and guts to come in and say, "You guys are wasting so much money it's crazy! Here's how you could be doing it better." That hardly happens in my industry, and the industry as a whole and many specific companies in the industry suffer for it.
In my case, just weeks after starting work, I could see several very specific ways in which this particular company was sloppily managed, and was in many ways extremely unprofessional. The things I was seeing cut across many industries and simply had to do with professionalism and basic business principles. I didn't need to have any experience in that industry to see how poorly managed this company was. In less than 4 months, I got a better job with a much more professionally run company in the same industry.
This is what I see with the Bills. The NFL is an inbred industry - you can't break in without knowing someone. Most of what people don't know to perform a job like NFL GM has to do with lack of ability to break into the industry - not because they don't understand professionalism or general business principles or basic HR principles.
I don't know what it takes in specifics to be an NFL GM, but this team exists in an industry such that the team (as a corporation) will never fail unless the entire NFL fails. They could be run pathetically, but they will continue to operate as an NFL team. But until they prove themselves to be consistent winners, I will know that there are management problems with this organization - problems that have existed for decades.
In fact, it was a Knox quote (about Ralph Wilson) from the very same book by Chuck Knox that MRW quoted that clued me in to just how poorly run the Bills have always been. Knox knew it – that’s why he left. We all know that’s exactly what happened with Polian – he’s the one GM who built the Bills into a consistent winner – and he was forced out. When Polian left, Polian continued to succeed. When Polian left, the Bills did not.
Does Buddy Nix want slack from the fan base? Fine – in his own words, show us the baby. That is the only thing that will show us that his unconventional decisions are cutting it. He has gotten plenty of slack from me so far. I don’t even disagree with the concept of trading Lee Evans, especially if Lee wanted the trade himself (he probably did - no surprise if he did).
But to use Knox’s quote to suggest that this organization should be given slack is, IMO, faulty. To suggest that people with any kind of brains and experience are wrong for suspecting incompetence in the Bills' organization by using this Knox quote is the exact opposite of what Knox meant by it. Knox was the proven winner who came into the Bills organization and showed them they didn’t know what they were doing. He proved it. And then when they wouldn’t reward him for his success, he left. Same with Polian.
So Buddy Nix - you said it. Show us the baby. That is the only thing that will convince most of us rational people that the Bills FO isn't still a complete dysfunctional mess.