I'm on record for calling for the end of the Buddy Nix tenure. Here are a few concrete examples of why I don't believe that he is the man to lead the Bills back to relevance:
- Kelsay got a fat contract extension. While it has rightly been pointed out that he wasn't an ineffective in 2011 as he has been in past extensions, he's also not a fit at the OLB slot that Nix insisted on pounding Kelsay into. The money could have been better spent locking up players who haven't very clearly hit their ceilings.
- We've all known Good Fitz and Bad Fitz; I think those nicknames are pretty much in standard usage by NFL watchers. We all know that Good Fitz will show up for a while, sometimes entire games. Mostly though, Bad Fitz either puts in an appearance or hangs around for a game or three. Nix gave him a fat contract extension as well. Meanwhile, Dalton looks like a promising franchise QB.
- With Fitz there is the possiblity of Good. With Thigpen, who may have to play at any moment due to Fitz's tendency to run and sometimes take on defenders, there doesn't seem any chance of Good. Nix speaks of stacking talent--inconsistent on top of consistently dreadful probably wasn't what you thought he meant.
- Nix has converted several first rounders into late round draft picks. Wouldn't it have been handy to have had Lynch when Jackson's leg was broken instead of a Choice waiver wire acquisition? Stacking talent again....
- Nix looked at a roster with holes everywhere and burned his very first pick as a GM on a running back. That's not a shot at Spiller, who is showing signs of becoming a real weapon. With Jackson and Lynch on the roster at that point quite a few of us were mystified by the selection when it was made. Some suggested (not me) that it was lunacy to draft a RB who would be on his last legs by the time the rest of the team was built....RBs are the final piece, not the first.
- Nix wouldn't sing Stevie Johnson to a contract extension at what certainly seems like a fair price. Instead, we may wind up watching yet another promising player depart and reach his full potential with another team--probably in the AFC East knowing Buffalo's luck.
I'm sure there are more reasons that people can come up with for why Nix should get the axe--and do feel free to add to the list in the comments section. These were just a few that popped into my head while typing late at night after helping a friend drown her woes.
If Nix isn't the answer - and I'm becoming more convinced that he isn't - it may be best to look elsewhere now for a new GM. How about Chris Polian, with Bill in the background? HIs father turned the Bills around from laughingstock to contenders for an entire decade. He then went to Carolina and, if memory serves, cobbled together a team that went to the NFC championship game two years after it was founded. He followed that up by turning a moribund Colts franchise into contenders for an entire decade. I'm assuming that Wilson won't re-hire Bill a la Billy Martin/George Steinbrenner but he could, just perhaps, hire his son with the old man in the wings giving counsel.
I know I'd feel a lot better about the future of the Bills with Nix out and a Polian running the front office but what are your thoughts?