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SB Nation's NFL blogs are proud to be sponsored by Sprint. This is the fifth in a series of six Sprint-sponsored posts entitled 'Game Changers.' View the first four installments here, here, here and here.
The Buffalo Bills made game-changing moves left and right during the 2010 off-season, starting with key hirings (GM Buddy Nix, head coach Chan Gailey and his staff) and followed by changing up their defensive scheme and adding the electrifying presence of rookie running back .
Perhaps the most understated - yet very radical - change that's occurred with this organization, however, is simple efficiency. Up until recent months, the Bills were a dysfunctional organization, with a muddled front office picture, a complicated, possibly non-existent decision-making structure, and a coaching staff in turmoil. For much of the 2008 and 2009 football seasons, the Bills organization gave off a very distinct "they're flying by the seat of their pants" vibe.
Then Nix came on board. His arrival allowed the team to return to a more traditional front office power structure. The team hired an Assistant GM (Doug Whaley), overhauled its pro personnel staff, and got its coaching staff in place (which might have been the most haphazard process the team has thus far endured).
Free agency was a cautious endeavor, as the team took its time in inking three projected starters to highly reasonable deals. The 2010 NFL Draft was a blueprint for top-notch organization, as the Bills had their card up to the podium literally within seconds for each of their nine picks. Speaking of those draft picks, six of the nine are already under contract, and we're not even half-way through June. The Bills didn't sign their first rookies until July 7 in 2009.
None of this will ultimately matter if the team doesn't start winning games. That much is certain. But after watching this organization slowly self-destruct for the past four seasons, the speed with which Nix and company have restored efficiency and decisiveness is perhaps the most refreshing development of the off-season. If that factor trickles down to the field of play on Sundays, the Bills are in good hands over the long haul.