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Report: Bills hire Doug Whaley as Assistant GM

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Jason La Canfora at NFL.com is reporting that the Buffalo Bills have offered an Assistant General Manager position to Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Personnel Coordinator Doug Whaley. Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette confirms that Whaley has accepted the job.

Whaley has been with Pittsburgh for 10 years, and has been a (very deep) sleeper candidate for GM jobs around the league for a few seasons. During his tenure with the club, the Steelers have won two Super Bowls. He reported directly to Kevin Colbert, Pittsburgh's Director of Football Operations.

Whaley also lives in blogging infamy, as a ProFootballTalk.com report from 2007 indicated that Whaley forwarded a pornographic email to former Steelers offensive line coach Larry Zierlein, who then forwarded the email to league officials - including commissioner Roger Goodell - accidentally. It is believed that neither Whaley nor Zierlein were punished for the ordeal.

Perhaps the most significant point of consideration with this news is the fact that the Bills, for the first time in several years, seem to be attempting to set up some sort of succession plan in their front office. Current Bills GM Buddy Nix, who has been on the job for a little over a month, is 70 years old. Whaley is 37. Nix won't ever be considered a long-term solution as the GM in Buffalo, but if he can turn around the roster and groom Whaley as his eventual replacement, Buffalo might actually have something cooking in the front office.

Nix comes from a background of structure in the front office, having served as a pro personnel coordinator and Assistant GM under both the late John Butler and A.J. Smith during his long career. It appears that that structure is part of Nix's plan for Buffalo, as well.