On New Year's Day, Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson made a historic decision when he handed not just the team presidency, but final decision-making authority for the entire organization over to Russ Brandon. Now the team's President and CEO, Brandon has made several big decisions over the past two-plus weeks, leading to the inaugural Brandon approval poll here at Buffalo Rumblings. Much like with the GM and the head coach, this will be a monthly poll going forward. Now, to establish the base line:
- Before his big promotion, Brandon was the driving force behind a new 10-year lease for Ralph Wilson Stadium that includes $130 million in renovations, a $400 million relocation penalty for the first seven years of the deal, and the establishing of a committee that will investigate the possibility of building a new stadium in Western New York.
- Retained Buddy Nix as the team's general manager, telling reporters that he never considered firing the veteran talent evaluator. He also would not address reports that the team is planning to transition Nix out of that role - and Assistant GM Doug Whaley - at some point in the near future.
- Conducted a week-long search for a head coach in Arizona, with Nix, Whaley and VP/Football Administration Jim Overdorf alongside him. After five confirmed interviews (the other four being Ken Whisenhunt, Ray Horton, Chip Kelly and Lovie Smith), the Bills have agreed to hire Doug Marrone as the next head coach.
- On the day that he was given full authority over the Bills organization, Brandon announced that the team would be implementing a "robust department of analytics" that will use Moneyball-esque statistical analysis to help the Bills make decisions at every level of the organization.
From this point forward, all Brandon approval polls will be archived in our Brandon Approval Polls hub, which also links to approval poll hubs for Nix and Marrone.