Buffalo Bills' ties to Steelers: Doug Whaley tip of the iceberg

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills will be linked to the Pittsburgh Steelers as long as Doug Whaley is GM, but the ties run much deeper than just one man.

The Buffalo Bills have had loose ties to the Pittsburgh Steelers organization ever since they brought in Doug Whaley as their Assistant GM in 2010. Now that Whaley is the team's football operations chief, however, the Steelers-Bills pipeline is that much more intriguing - and from the front office to the roster, the Bills have been picking off ex-Steelers left and right for years. Here's a look at the ex-Steelers in Buffalo:

Doug Whaley, General Manager

Whaley, 40, came to Buffalo in 2010 after spending the previous 11 years (from 1999-2009) as Pittsburgh's coordinator of pro scouting. He took the title of Assistant GM in Buffalo, which he held for a little over three years before his promotion to GM last week.

Kelvin Fisher, Director of College Scouting

One of Whaley's first two hires, Fisher comes to Buffalo after spending the previous 13 seasons as an area scout for the Steelers, where he focused his efforts on the west coast. He joined the Steelers in 2000, one year after Whaley began his job there.

Former Steelers players

Kraig Urbik, guard (Round 3, 2009): Urbik was waived after just one season in Pittsburgh, and the Bills quickly scooped him up. He has been a full-time starter since the 2011 season began, and has performed well enough to earn a four-year contract extension as of last December. He may now be Buffalo's best offensive lineman.

Frank Summers, fullback (Round 5, 2009): The Bills were in need of a fullback this spring, and signed Summers to the 90-man roster after a tryout before the 2013 NFL Draft. Pittsburgh took the 5'9", 241-pound bowling ball of a player with a fifth-round pick, but he only appeared in two games for them.

Chris Scott, guard (Round 5, 2010): A legitimate contender for the team's starting left guard position, Scott was a tackle in college that spent parts of three years with the Steelers before eventually landing in Buffalo last fall. It would be very interesting, indeed, if both Bills starting guards end up being Steelers cast-offs.

Crezdon Butler, cornerback (Round 5, 2010): Butler was taken 13 picks after Scott, but only spent a year there before getting waived. He landed in Arizona with his former position coach, Ray Horton, but an ankle injury landed him on IR and he was waived before 2012. Now he's in Buffalo, where he could conceivably win a nickel or dime back role.

Keith Williams, guard (Round 6, 2011): The third former Steelers offensive lineman on the list, Williams was let go by Pittsburgh during his rookie season and has been in Buffalo ever since. A practice squad player for the last two years, Williams is a darkhorse candidate for a roster spot this summer.

Corbin Bryant, defensive lineman (undrafted, 2011): Bryant, a former undrafted free agent out of Northwestern, spent parts of his first two seasons on Pittsburgh's practice squad before landing there with Buffalo last season. He'll benefit from a move to a defense with more 3-4 looks under Mike Pettine.

Other notables

Tyrone Wheatley, running backs coach: Wheatley, a former pro running back and Michigan Star that followed Doug Marrone to the Bills from a coaching gig at Syracuse, got his start in coaching as a minority coaching fellow with the Steelers in 2008.

Greg Lloyd, inside linebacker: Added to the roster as a deep reserve and specialist last season, Lloyd is the son of the former Steelers great by the same name, who recorded 54.5 sacks, made five Pro Bowl appearances and was selected to three All-Pro teams in his decade-long career in Pittsburgh. Buffalo's Lloyd is a former seventh-round draft pick in Philadelphia.

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