We're just days away from the close of the 2012 NFL regular season, and four days away from "Black Monday" - the day in which coaches and personnel executives for bad teams are unceremoniously fired. Don Banks of Sports Illustrated has kicked off the speculation phase of that event by writing a bit about several poor teams, including the Buffalo Bills.
Here are the highlights of Banks' Bills blurb:
- Banks writes that the Bills are expected to fire head coach Chan Gailey after the season concludes. This topic has reached foregone conclusion territory in recent days; I'm still in "I'll believe it when I see it" mode.
- Reportedly, Bills CEO Russ Brandon is "in favor of a full house-cleaning," meaning that he'd like the front office overhauled, as well. That flies in the face of Brandon's persistent public support for GM Buddy Nix; then again, that's what Brandon is supposed to do publicly. Banks correctly points out that Brandon's opinion on the matter is irrelevant, because that type of call comes down to Ralph Wilson - the man who handed the job to Nix three years ago. Brandon is merely Wilson's proxy when it comes to football decisions at One Bills Drive.
- Banks mentions a tweet from Thurman Thomas in backing his claim that change is forthcoming. Here's the thing: Thurman Thomas is completely unbearable on Twitter, and has since gone on record saying that his info has nothing to do with the front office or the coaching staff. So seriously, people: forget that Thurman is involved with social media at all.
- Two names are thrown into the ring of speculation as replacements for Nix should he get the axe: Doug Whaley and David Caldwell. Whaley, as you know, is Nix's top assistant at the moment. Caldwell, a Western New York native who has considerable ties to the Polian family, is currently the director of player personnel for the Atlanta Falcons.
- Banks talked to someone in an NFL front office that said that the Bills should fire Nix because he's "desperate" for a rookie quarterback, and may "give up the farm" to do so. This, of course, would be music to the ears of Bills fans, regardless of the dangers involved. It should be noted, also, that what someone in another front office thinks of the Bills is irrelevant to what might actually transpire early next week.
The team's favorite word through November and early December, "continuity," has died a quick and noticeable death over the past couple of weeks. At minimum, that implies that the team recognizes that the status quo at the coaching level is an impossible sell, and that could trickle into the front office situation as well. If history tells us anything, however, it's this: if you're expecting change, limit your expectations to the smallest scope possible.