The Buffalo Bills announced some tweaks to their front office today. They're getting a new director of college scouting, and a couple trainers are being promoted. Read on for the details!
Adjusting the player personnel
The most notable name to be listed in Buffalo's press release is Kelvin Fisher. Now in his third year with the team, Fisher's role is changing from Director of College Scouting to Player Personnel Advisor. Fisher spent 13 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, joining Buffalo in 2013 right when Doug Whaley was elevated to General Manager. This appears to be a sort of promotion, increasing Fisher's responsibilities from College Scouting to Player Personnel (which usually encompasses Pro Personnel and College Scouting). However, Jim Monos already has the title of Director of Player Personnel. Does this mean Monos might be taking a new role soon, or is Fisher just being named as the 1B to his 1A? We'll have to stay tuned.
The person who will be taking on Fisher's role, it would seem, is Ryan Hollern, who was named College Scouting Coordinator. The title is different, but the responsibility should be the same - bringing together the team's scouts and organizing the college research. Hollern joins the team from the New Orleans Saints, where he spent seven seasons. He started with the Saints as a Combine Scout, and worked his way up to Area Scout before joining Buffalo.
In other player personnel news, Pete Harris was promoted from BLESTO Scout to College Area Scout. Taking his place was Bo Taliaferro, who was promoted from College Scouting Assistant. Finally, Collin Dotterer was hired as a Player Personnel Assistant.
That's a long list of fancy job titles. What do they all represent? Here's a quick summary:
Player Personnel - Relating to the combined work of pro personnel and college scouting. Essentially, they manage everything involved with the players on the roster.
College Scouting Coordinator/Director of College Scouting - This person directs all of the scouts who analyze players to be added in the rookie draft.
Combine Scout - As the name would suggest, these people are employed specifically for tracking players who attend the regional and national scouting combines.
Area scout - This is the mid-range level of responsibility for an NFL scout. They handle a geographical area of the country, driving between schools and checking in on the players. For example, an Area scout might handle all schools in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.
BLESTO scout - This person is usually one of the entry-level scouting positions in an organization. For the teams that pay for the national scouting service BLESTO (the Bills are one of them), they assign at least one scout to write reports for the organization. BLESTO is mainly used to create profiles for underclassmen, helping NFL teams to narrow their scouting focus heading into the college football season.
Assistant - Like quality control coaches, assistants are usually entry-level positions that usually involve the dirty work of the business. Taking long trips, cutting and labeling tape, and copying down reports, or whatever the task of the week is. Remember, we're talking Assistant to the Regional Manager, not Assistant Regional Manager.
Promotions in the training department
The Bills also promoted three members of their training staff. Bud Carpenter, entering his 32nd season with the Bills, was promoted from Head Athletic Trainer to Director of Athletic Training Operations. This is a new position, so the details of any new responsibilities are unknown.
Shone Gipson was promoted from Assistant Athletic Trainer to Head Athletic Trainer, effectively taking on Carpenter's old position. Finally, Chris Fischetti was promoted from Assistant Athletic Trainer/Physical Therapist to Head of Rehabilitation & Injury Management Services, another new position.