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When Tom Donahoe left the Buffalo Bills organization after the 2005 season, team owner Ralph Wilson needed a new direction for his franchise. Marv Levy was hired as GM, Dick Jauron was hired as head coach, and the team began its annual march to 7-9. Four years after the fact, Levy and Jauron were both gone, the front office was a mess, and Wilson had officially migrated back to square one.
Enter Buddy Nix.
Hired by Wilson as the Bills' new General Manager on December 31, 2009, Nix literally ushers in a new era - and a new decade - of Buffalo Bills football. At the ripe age of 70, Nix is getting his first shot at running an NFL team, and in his first four months on the job, his work has been steady and calculated.
Nix fired pro personnel chief John Guy, replacing him with former Pittsburgh Steelers pro personnel chief Doug Whaley, who also doubles as the Assistant GM. He hired Chan Gailey as the team's new head coach; while this wasn't a popular decision, it helped establish a clear direction for the organization. While the likes of Miami and New York have pursued the big names this off-season, changing the face of the AFC East, Nix has remained calculated, signing lower-tier free agents such as Dwan Edwards, Andra Davis and Cornell Green.
We're Buffalo, and there's a lot of work to be done. Baby steps are acceptable for the time being.
A week from today, Nix will have made his first draft pick as GM. The NFL Draft is Nix's comfort zone, and it's where the true art of his re-build, should it be successful, will take place. Nix's steadfast philosophy and calculated approach, for better or for worse, has changed the face of this franchise. He's four months into the gig, but his real work begins next Thursday. Do us proud, Buddy.