I want someone else making the important decisions regarding this team. Buddy hooked his wagon to Ryan Fitzpatrick and stubbornly rode it until there was nothing but 2 axles and a frame left. He also sabotaged our drafts because of his undying affininity for SEC players. I honestly think Gailey has been a reflection of Nix’s persona and management style. They seem too much alike and this has been counterproductive in seeing the "forest thru the trees" as is necessary in most any type of management. Nix comes across as a knowledge football guy, but too often shows that he is stuck in his ways and lacks the flexibility to think outside of what he’s comfortable with. Especially in instances, where it would obviously benefit the team.
Also, I’m very nervous about the upcoming draft with Nix in charge. He’s made it known the Bills will be "aggressive" in searching for their next QB. I think this is a dangerous mindset for Nix. I understand what he’s said in the past about being a "best player available" kind of guy, but he could easily second guess himself given the mounting pressure for a QB. The desperation mentality could overcome him on draft day and that scares me.
A discernible trend in today’s NFL is in favor of General Managers who have the most college scouting and draft experience, rather than those who come from the pro personnel side of the equation. Having a full understanding of personnel, across the board, is of utmost importance for a GM, but drafting high quality players is also a vital component. Good rosters are built this way and the teams that always win -- the Steelers, the Giants, the Packers, the Ravens, and the Patriots -- they always have pretty good drafts.
New GM – David Caldwell
First and Foremost, Mr. Caldwell is from Buffalo. In his early 40’s some might consider him too young to be an NFL General Manager. I disagree. He has an impressive resume and would bring his exceptional scouting ability and experience with him. Some of which are: Prior to being promoted to Director of Player Personnel, he spent the last four seasons with the Falcons as the Director of College Scouting overseeing Atlanta’s college area and regional scouts. He also assimilated the information he received and presented it to Dimitroff with a goal of making the NFL Draft as effective as possible. Caldwell was responsible for scouting the top talent in the country.
Caldwell has served in the NFL for 15 years, 10 of which came with the Indianapolis Colts. Coming from a successful Colts franchise that claimed a victory in Super Bowl XLI against the Chicago Bears, Caldwell was part of a scouting team that accounted for multiple starters and Pro Bowl players. Caldwell is a graduate of John Carroll University, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Finance/Business Administration.
Caldwell as GM and Whaley as assistant would prove to be a very productive and effective duo.
So moving on to the head coach, Firing Gailey is a must. I will use the same adage that most others have used. Nice Guy, Not that good of a Coach. Enough said. No need to release any other coaches at this point because that will happen once the new coach is hired.
My necessities for the new head coach are as follows:
1. Recent success at some form of coaching (preferably OC or DC) in the NFL. And I’m not on board with any current supposed "hot" college coaches coming in and head coaching the Bills.
2. I’d like to hire a coach who is experienced in today’s NFL and has shown success in whatever coaching capacity he has worked in. I want someone that gets the most out of his players and who has done more with less.
3. Someone who is respected in the league for what he’s accomplished. Not someone who’s been disgraced and kicked to the curb because of lack of performance.
4. And possibly most important, I want someone who wants to be a head coach. Someone who has worked his way thru the league and whose ambition is to lead a team as an HC.
New Head Coach – Mike Zimmer
Zimmer is a defensive guru who is well known for taking a mediocre unit and turning it into one of the more respectable defenses in the NFL. It's also a safe bet that Zimmer would have similar talent to work with in Buffalo. (particularly on defense)
While Zimmer would not solve the team's offensive woes right away, he is a defensive-minded coach that would certainly get the most out of the Bills roster. The man knows defense. Cincinnati ranks second in the NFL in sacks with 47 and has 92 over the past two seasons. That total is only eight less than what the Bengals produced in their previous four seasons combined. Zimmer has achieved defensive success largely through the development of draft picks — led by Geno Atkins, whose 12.5 sacks lead all NFL defensive tackles by a wide margin.
Zimmer’s fiery style would serve in stark contrast to Buffalo’s previous dull and uninspiring regimes. Also, Mike’s son Adam is Kansas City’s assistant linebackers coach.
OC and DC
The collaborative efforts of David Caldwell, Doug Whaley and Mike Zimmer would "reel in" the top notch talent needed to serve as offensive and defensive coordinators.
Some realistic OC preferences would be -
1. Dirk Koetter (current Falcons Offensive coordinator and obvious connection with our new GM) 2. Rob Chudzinski – (Carolina Panthers – OC)
Defensive coordinator –1. Ray Horton (Arizona - DC) 2. Winston Moss (Green Bay -Linebackers coach)
Free Agency and Current Players
I need to abbreviate my opinions here in order to post this before the deadline. I will say this, though. My opinion is very similar to RonfromNM, regarding what to do with current player contracts and status.
Keep/Resign/Restructure in some shape or form
We will heavily pursue a proven WR and TE in free agency
I would find a way to make cap room available to sign the following 3 players
Wondering why no Danario Alexander? Well remember this seldom talked about fact . The Bills worked him out this past September. Yeah, that’s right. And just to pour salt on the wounds of the Bills coaches and front office, there will be no second chance. San Diego is expected to assign him a "first round tender", essentially locking him up as a Charger for 2013.
THE 2013 DRAFT!!
I understand the sentiment about drafting a First Round QB, but hear me out on this one. There is only 1 QB worthy of a top ten pick in this years draft and even this is debatable. That’s Geno Smith. The rest of this class just isn’t there. I understand there may still be a run on QB’s in the first round but so be it.
I have 4 Qb’s that I like and all are rated similarly 1. Ryan Nassib 2. Aaron Murray (if he declares, and I think he will) 3. Tyler Wilson 4. Landry Jones
I will explain my rationale for liking these QB’s in a separate post but I will say this much as far as factors that lean toward a successful translation to the NFL.
2. Completion %
5. And IMPROVEMENT which usually shows up as their best year usually being their last year (obviously not always the case, but a definite sign of a QB "getting it" Take a look at the last college season of play of RGIII, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, Brandon Weeden, Andy Dalton, Colin Kaepernick, Sam Bradford and Matthew Stafford. And then compare them to Ryan Tannehill, Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker, Christian Ponder and Colt McCoy.
So with that being said, I will not reach for a QB at #5 unless it’s Geno Smith
Round 1(#8) - Manti Te’o (how can you really justify passing him up)
Round 2 - If my mind is set on Murray or Nassib (which it is) Then I give up my 2nd and 4th (and probably next years 2nd ) to move into late first round to get one of them
Round 3 - Shawn Porter – (OLB) – Texas A&M
Round 5 - Tyronn Mathieu – CB (taking a chance on the Honey Badger before New England snags him)
My theory behind not passing on Te’o is that I, like many, believe him to be a "can’t miss" player. I have an incredibly hard time taking any one of the QB’s at this high of a draft position. I feel we will have very viable options at QB even if we wait til round 2. I prefer not to trade up into the mid to late first and lose more picks but if it has to be done to get who I want then I would do it.