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Bills Promote Brandon as Levy's Replacement; Restructuring Continues

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Update [2008-1-12 17:40:38 by Brian Galliford]: With the news that Russ Brandon has been promoted to COO comes further news of new titles for John Guy and Tom Modrak. Guy (formerly Director of Pro Personnel) is now the Vice President of Pro Personnel, while Modrak (formerly Director of College Scouting and Assistant GM) is now the Vice President of College Scouting. Essentially, Buffalo has set up a 1-1-2 front office structure, in descending order, of Wilson, Brandon, and then Guy/Modrak. No word yet on whether or not head coach Dick Jauron will be getting additional powers. End Update

Update [2008-1-12 17:29:34 by Brian Galliford]: Official announcement has come down from One Bills Drive - Russ Brandon gets the promotion under the title of Chief Operating Officer. Check out the article for the full update; the quick summary: Brandon gets promoted, Wilson wanted to promote from within and likes Brandon's leadership skills, and he'll have further announcements in regards to the restructuring of the front office. New titles make everyone happy! End Update

Figures. Literally moments after I chalk the weekend up to news outside of the Bills' organization, ESPN.com is now reporting that the Bills are set to re-structure their front office early this coming week. The one man set to get more power in said restructuring? VP of Business Operations Russ Brandon:

Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson will stay in-house to fill its top front-office vacancy, ESPN.com has learned through multiple league and team sources, and Bills executive vice president of business operations Russ Brandon has emerged as the frontrunner...

If Brandon does land the job, as anticipated, it will probably result in a reconfiguration of the Bills' front-office structure. Because his background is more in the business and marketing side of the organization, and he does not have direct experience in personnel matters, it is unlikely Brandon will receive the title of general manager.

He would report directly to Wilson, however, and would be ranked below only the Buffalo owner in the front-office structure.

Under a revamped chain of command, and without a traditional general manager in place, assistant general manager Tom Modrak and director of pro personnel John Guy probably will oversee personnel and scouting matters. It's also possible that coach Dick Jauron, with such a revamping, will have more input into personnel matters.

This is hardly surprising, folks. The massive amounts of inactivity over the past week - i.e., the Bills avoiding interviews from outside of the organization - pretty much alluded to an in-house restructure all along. What may be surprising is that Brandon gets the nod over John Guy, whose coaching, playing and talent evaluating experience made him the logical in-house candidate. The reasoning behind Brandon, ESPN reports, may be this:

With Wilson having petitioned the NFL to allow him to play one home game annually in nearby Toronto, Brandon's marketing strengths may be increasingly critical to the future of the franchise.

If it happens - and let's face it, there's a very strong likelihood it happens - I'm all for it. I'm all for the front office playing to its strengths, and maintaining continuity in the scouting departments and personnel evaluation processes. My only concern is that additional powers granted to Jauron effect his real job, much like GM duties did with Mike Holmgren when he first coached in Seattle. These are, however, the cards we've been dealt. Continuity is great in the front office; we'll soon learn if Dick Jauron feels similarly about his coaching staff.