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How Much Pressure Was Doug Whaley Under To Win?

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Listening to the Brandon Beane press conference this morning, I caught Beane indirectly insult Whaley and the previous administration.  He first took a shot at Whaley’s cap management and said that by breaking to bank to be aggressive in Free Agency you end up in a bad situation like the Bills used to have.  This was a direct shot at Whaley’s aggressive approach in Free Agency.  

 

I also thought the comment about “drafting based on need” could also be a shot at Whaley.   As his big move of trading up to draft Sammy Watkins pretty much sealed his fate.

 

It made me think about the moves that Whaley made.  While some might consider it “aggressive,” they come off to me as “desperate.”  He seems like a fighter who knows he’s behind on points, so he’s going to swing for the fences and hope for a knockout.  If he misses and gets KO’ed, he would have lost on points anyway.  So he was either really desperate or just purely clueless how to build a team long term. 

 

It makes you wonder how much pressure Doug was under to win.  It seems very apparent that McDermott and Beane are not under pressure to win ASAP, and the Pegulas are going to be very patient.  Doug never really seemed to take a meticulous calculated approach.  He was always about making the big move to end the drought.

 

Ironically, I got the impression that Whaley’s predecessor Buddy Nix was given a lot of time when he first signed on as GM under Ralph/Russ.   His first few years as GM were vert quiet and he didn’t try to make huge moves.  Both Buddy and Ralph preached “patience” to fan base (which infuriated me at the time.). But when Ralph’s health took a downturn and speculation started about new owners, that’s when Buddy started doing things like breaking the bank for Mario Williams, signing Mark Anderson to a ridiculous deal, and of course wasting a 1st round draft pick on a QB with a 3rd or 4th round grade.  

 

It makes you wonder how much pressure Whaley was to win and the effect that the change in ownswrship (or potential change in ownership) had on the decisions made.

 

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I heard he was under a lot of pressure, over 2,500 Newton’s per square meter, some days even more. 

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3 minutes ago, Bob in STL said:

I heard he was under a lot of pressure, over 2,500 Newton’s per square meter, some days even more. 

 

LOL 😂😂😂😂

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Gonna be lots of pissy people here when he doesn’t blow all the cap on free agents 

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2 minutes ago, CaptnCoke11 said:

Gonna be lots of pissy people here when he doesn’t blow all the cap on free agents 

 

Im sure.  But was Whaley’s decision to blow all of his cap space on free agents based on the urgency to win or was he just plain incompetent?

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2 minutes ago, CaptnCoke11 said:

Gonna be lots of pissy people here when he doesn’t blow all the cap on free agents 

 

not me. I expect smart judicial signings.

 

 

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Whaley's legacy is how many of his draft picks remain on our team, and how many remain in the league as impact players.

 

That says it all... he legacy as a poor drafter is THE key. Overspending is but the secondary issue. If your drafted players aren't great, you are in trouble.

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I think there's plenty of evidence that Whaley was incompetent.  A few examples:

  1. Lobbying for EJ to start in 2016, before we were eliminated from the playoffs
  2. Trading up for Sammy Watkins, then saying there wasn't much of a difference in how they ranked Sammy compared to other first round WRs
  3. Trading a 2014 5th to the Bucs for a 2014 7th + a 2015 5th.  Small potatoes, but it was horrible value.  Seriously, what is the point of a move like that?
  4. "Stealing" Charles Clay away from the Dolphins.  We'll be paying $4.5mm this year for him to not be here
  5. $13.6mm we paid for Dareus not to be here in 2018
  6. Rex Ryan: "National Brand", "finding the person you're going to marry", "completing each other's sentences".  Many will say that Doug didn't want Rex.  If that's true, I'd say he went way beyond the company line with all that nonsense.  Also, the once popular argument that Doug really wanted Hue Jackson doesn't sound so good anymore

 

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3 minutes ago, EasternOHBillsFan said:

Whaley's legacy is how many of his draft picks remain on our team, and how many remain in the league as impact players.

 

That says it all... he legacy as a poor drafter is THE key. Overspending is but the secondary issue. If your drafted players aren't great, you are in trouble.

Quite a few are contributing on other teams. Not a great drafter, but changing scheme's constantly probably didn't help. That fault lays at the feet of the Pegulas because they picked the coaches. 

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Whaley was never in lockstep with the head coach. Everyone in that time period (Nix, Gailey, Whaley, Marrone, Rex) was under enormous pressure to break the drought but without a comprehensive plan or philosophical agreement within the organization. His shortsightedness was really self-protection - he didn't have time to be patient so he started throwing hail marys.

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17 minutes ago, Trogdor said:

Quite a few are contributing on other teams. Not a great drafter, but changing scheme's constantly probably didn't help. That fault lays at the feet of the Pegulas because they picked the coaches. 

 

Who is really an impact player as he suggested?    I believe there are some decent players, but again, no impact players

 

Also I agree the Pegulas are at fault.  Not for hiring coaches but for enabling Whaley he should have been fired when Marrone left in 2014.

3 minutes ago, Flip Johnson said:

Whaley was never in lockstep with the head coach. Everyone in that time period (Nix, Gailey, Whaley, Marrone, Rex) was under enormous pressure to break the drought but without a comprehensive plan or philosophical agreement within the organization. His shortsightedness was really self-protection - he didn't have time to be patient so he started throwing hail marys.

 

This is more of what it looks like in hindsight. Thanks for sharing

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28 minutes ago, EasternOHBillsFan said:

Whaley's legacy is how many of his draft picks remain on our team, and how many remain in the league as impact players.

 

That says it all... he legacy as a poor drafter is THE key. Overspending is but the secondary issue. If your drafted players aren't great, you are in trouble.

 

 

There was a stat out there that Doug Whaley HS more players starting on NFL rosters than any GM in the NFL that were drafted during his tenure.

 

His biggest whiff was EJ. His biggest blunder was forcing him down our throats.  Not allowing him to hire his own coach sort of hamstrung his “process”.

 

All things considered, I think he was an above average GM. Not the best but not bad either. He had a good eye for pro scouting. Made some good trades as well. We won the Shady and Hughes trade, hands down. I do know this team is better with Darby, Glenn, and Dareus on the roster. 

 

Im still unsure if Beane is better or worse to date. 

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1 minute ago, Mango said:

 

 

There was a stat out there that Doug Whaley HS more players starting on NFL rosters than any GM in the NFL that were drafted during his tenure.

 

His biggest whiff was EJ. His biggest blunder was forcing him down our throats.  Not allowing him to hire his own coach sort of hamstrung his “process”.

 

All things considered, I think he was an above average GM. Not the best but not bad either. He had a good eye for pro scouting. Made some good trades as well. We won the Shady and Hughes trade, hands down. I do know this team is better with Darby, Glenn, and Dareus on the roster. 

 

Im still unsure if Beane is better or worse to date. 

 

He said Whaley didn’t draft any “impact players.”  Name an impact player that he drafted.

 

Also were they really better with Darby, Glenn, and Dareus on the roster?  Didn’t the Bills make the playoffs last season?

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28 minutes ago, Buffalo86 said:

I think there's plenty of evidence that Whaley was incompetent.  A few examples:

  1. Lobbying for EJ to start in 2016, before we were eliminated from the playoffs
  2. Trading up for Sammy Watkins, then saying there wasn't much of a difference in how they ranked Sammy compared to other first round WRs
  3. Trading a 2014 5th to the Bucs for a 2014 7th + a 2015 5th.  Small potatoes, but it was horrible value.  Seriously, what is the point of a move like that?
  4. "Stealing" Charles Clay away from the Dolphins.  We'll be paying $4.5mm this year for him to not be here
  5. $13.6mm we paid for Dareus not to be here in 2018
  6. Rex Ryan: "National Brand", "finding the person you're going to marry", "completing each other's sentences".  Many will say that Doug didn't want Rex.  If that's true, I'd say he went way beyond the company line with all that nonsense.  Also, the once popular argument that Doug really wanted Hue Jackson doesn't sound so good anymore

 

 

1. This is fair

2. Pre-draft and during the draft this is absolutely false. There was talk of Watkins possibly going first over all. 

3. Meh. 

4. We and the staff asked for a TE. He was the best tight end available. We overpaid. But that’s FA. I don’t hate Clay as much as others on this board. His knees are breaking apart. It’s a shame. Won’t throw a fit if he leaves though. 

5. His cap hit had we waited until the next league year, 2019, instead of getting a bag of footballs would have allowed us to make more moves this year. The decision to drop Dareus with that price tag falls on this FO alone. Would have dropped the cap hit to 4.5 mil-ish. Managing personalities is part of the job of a coach. 

6. A lot going on here. He didn’t hire Hue. He didn’t hire Rex. Other than that, we don’t know. His presser though. That was brutal. 😂

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2 minutes ago, Mango said:

 

1. This is fair

2. Pre-draft and during the draft this is absolutely false. There was talk of Watkins possibly going first over all. 

3. Meh. 

4. We and the staff asked for a TE. He was the best tight end available. We overpaid. But that’s FA. I don’t hate Clay as much as others on this board. His knees are breaking apart. It’s a shame. Won’t throw a fit if he leaves though. 

5. His cap hit had we waited until the next league year, 2019, instead of getting a bag of footballs would have allowed us to make more moves this year. The decision to drop Dareus with that price tag falls on this FO alone. Would have dropped the cap hit to 4.5 mil-ish. Managing personalities is part of the job of a coach. 

6. A lot going on here. He didn’t hire Hue. He didn’t hire Rex. Other than that, we don’t know. His presser though. That was brutal. 😂

 

I can agree he was pretty good at scouting pro talent and did make some good trades and acquisitions of steet FA’s. 

 

I feel that at drafting he was average at best.  He missed several times on high picks and got very poor ROI.

 

His cap management was terrible. 

 

Overall I will say his strengths were pro personnel and scouting, but as a GM, he really wasn’t very good.  It’s not surprise to me that he hasn’t been hired since the Bills moved on

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6 minutes ago, BillyWhiteShows said:

 

He said Whaley didn’t draft any “impact players.”  Name an impact player that he drafted.

 

Also were they really better with Darby, Glenn, and Dareus on the roster?  Didn’t the Bills make the playoffs last season?

 

I took this as quality starters in the NFL:

 

Tre White

Dion Dawkins

Matt Milano 

Karlos Williams- Karlos messed that one up. 

Ron Darby 

Robert Woods

Marquis Goodwin 

Kiko Alonso 

Preston Brown 

Ross Cockrell- PFF grades him well

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 minutes ago, BillyWhiteShows said:

 

I can agree he was pretty good at scouting pro talent and did make some good trades and acquisitions of steet FA’s. 

 

I feel that at drafting he was average at best.  He missed several times on high picks and got very poor ROI.

 

His cap management was terrible. 

 

Overall I will say his strengths were pro personnel and scouting, but as a GM, he really wasn’t very good.  It’s not surprise to me that he hasn’t been hired since the Bills moved on

 

This is a fair take 

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I think Whaley had coaches that were not his choice forced on him.  I also believe Whaley wanted to take a QB in 2017 but was overruled.  I know he was high on several of them Trubisky and Watson to name two.  I have always suspected that Anthony Lynn was his choice for HC not McD.  It was also evident from the beginning Rex was not his guy.

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2 minutes ago, formerlyofCtown said:

I think Whaley had coaches that were not his choice forced on him.  I also believe Whaley wanted to take a QB in 2017 but was overruled.  I know he was high on several of them Trubisky and Watson to name two.  I have always suspected that Anthony Lynn was his choice for HC not McD.  It was also evident from the beginning Rex was not his guy.

 

It’s all speculation.  I didn’t get the impression he wanted Anthony Lynn.  Also who ever said he had coaches forced on him?  Whaley has said the opposite in all of his media appearances.  

 

 By most accounts in the media, Pegula had decided to move on from Whaley after the 2016 season.  But he wanted to keep him in power until after the draft because he did all the scouting etc.  

 

What Terry should have done is fired Whaley with Rex.  And allowed the new GM to decide what to do at QB.  McDermott basically punted at QB, which might work out in the long run, but we don’t know 

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1 minute ago, BillyWhiteShows said:

 

It’s all speculation.  I didn’t get the impression he wanted Anthony Lynn.  Also who ever said he had coaches forced on him?  Whaley has said the opposite in all of his media appearances.  

 

 By most accounts in the media, Pegula had decided to move on from Whaley after the 2016 season.  But he wanted to keep him in power until after the draft because he did all the scouting etc.  

 

What Terry should have done is fired Whaley with Rex.  And allowed the new GM to decide what to do at QB.  McDermott basically punted at QB, which might work out in the long run, but we don’t know 

Have you ever heard the term "saying all the right things" 

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14 minutes ago, Mango said:

 

I took this as quality starters in the NFL:

 

Tre White

Dion Dawkins

Matt Milano 

Karlos Williams- Karlos messed that one up. 

Ron Darby 

Robert Woods

Marquis Goodwin 

Kiko Alonso 

Preston Brown 

Ross Cockrell- PFF grades him well

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a fair take 

 

You can’t give Whaley credit for the 2017 draft class.  Nearly everyone reported that McDermott made the picks, and Whaley was fired days later.  Take them off the list.  

 

The rest of your picks are competent starters.   You’re also stretching a bit - Karlos Williams?  Ross Cockrell?  Come on. 

 

Again, these players are not impact players.   The closest one is Robert Woods.  Like I said above, he was average at best and I think the group you wrote down is very average.  

2 minutes ago, formerlyofCtown said:

Have you ever heard the term "saying all the right things" 

If that was the case and he was neutered and had coaches forced on him, then why did he stay?  Why did he sign an extension after Rex was on board?

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If I remember correctly Overdorf was managing the salary cap during the Whaley era.

I think Beane will need to build a winning team before he takes any shots at anyone else.

Whaley's scouting team managed the draft. If McD made the picks it was from Whaley's scouting data.

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1 hour ago, VADC Bills said:

If I remember correctly Overdorf was managing the salary cap during the Whaley era.

I think Beane will need to build a winning team before he takes any shots at anyone else.

Whaley's scouting team managed the draft. If McD made the picks it was from Whaley's scouting data.

 

Right, but McDermott made the picks...not Whaley.

 

Also if you want to credit Whaley for the picks, you also have to fault him for not taking Mahomes or Watson.  Add that to Whaley’s resume.

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2 hours ago, BillyWhiteShows said:

It makes you wonder how much pressure Whaley was to win and the effect that the change in ownswrship (or potential change in ownership) had on the decisions made.

 

This is a great topic, thank you for presenting.

 

I think with Whaley you have to trace his time with the organization back to the beginning. 

 

Whaley was brought in as the Assistant GM under Buddy Nix in 2010, at the handoff point of power from Ralph to Russ. Nix was 70 years old and so fans knew Whaley was being groomed for the job. 

 

Nix was GM for the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons. I think his chief failure was allowing the defense to switch back and forth from a 4-3 to a 3-4 to a hybrid, back a 4-3. Gailey chose weak defensive coordinators and the Bills blew all over the road on scheme.

 

He also didn’t look for a QB. He started Trent and when that failed two games in, he promoted Trent Edward’s backup and stuck with him for all three years. 

 

So fast forward to 2013. Gailey is fired, and the HC search begins with Nix, Brandon, Overdorf (this is important for later) and Russ. Five whole days out in Arizona. Marrone was a Russ hire, and they came beating the Marrone’s a New Yorker drum. At this point the Bills have no Quarterback because Nix was caught on tape bashing Fitzpatrick in the prank call with the Bucs GM. 

 

So here the trap is set. The Bills got nothing out of the 2010 Draft (Modrak), the 2011 Draft produced Dareus and remember Williams was started at corner for his first two years and was awful/hurt, and 2012 yielded Gilmore and Glenn. Not much in the Draft, no Quarterback.

 

So I think Nix was phased out and Whaley was thrust out of training and into the contrasting role of fresh, new, young GM. And with his first move he immediately over-drafted a marginal college QB. 

 

That move immediately backfired, EJ was not good. And so he went all in on EJ. Trading up, drafting Sammy, Karlos Williams, spending money. 

 

I think the key in all of this was Whaley didn’t have the whole scope/vision of what a GM had to do. First he was never the face of the franchise, Russ was, then Marrone. He didn’t pick any of the three coaches (Gailey, Marrone or Rex - Pegula’s fell in love with him). I don’t think the upper management ever really gave him 100% control of the organization on the football side. 

 

Two, in those days Overdorf managed all the contracts, Whaley had no say in any of that. He didn’t know the in and out. Whaley existed in the final days of the Ralph Wilson dysfunction with Littman, Russ, Berchold, Overdorf, and then new ownership came in and he was forced down another peg. 

 

Three, his best trait was what he studied in Pittsburgh - Pro Personnel. Which leads to Free Agency. Whaley struggled with the Draft because he was saddled with a failure at QB from 2010 on. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Buffalo86 said:

I think there's plenty of evidence that Whaley was incompetent.  A few examples:

  1. Lobbying for EJ to start in 2016, before we were eliminated from the playoffs
  2. Trading up for Sammy Watkins, then saying there wasn't much of a difference in how they ranked Sammy compared to other first round WRs
  3. Trading a 2014 5th to the Bucs for a 2014 7th + a 2015 5th.  Small potatoes, but it was horrible value.  Seriously, what is the point of a move like that?
  4. "Stealing" Charles Clay away from the Dolphins.  We'll be paying $4.5mm this year for him to not be here
  5. $13.6mm we paid for Dareus not to be here in 2018
  6. Rex Ryan: "National Brand", "finding the person you're going to marry", "completing each other's sentences".  Many will say that Doug didn't want Rex.  If that's true, I'd say he went way beyond the company line with all that nonsense.  Also, the once popular argument that Doug really wanted Hue Jackson doesn't sound so good anymore

 

 

I mean almost none of this is accurate.

 

1) He wanted EJ to start because Tyrod was hurt, and didnt want the contract to become guaranteed because of an injury. The Pegulas agreed with him, and Rex was fired for it. Which ties into your point 6. Which is also some alternative form of history. Whaley didn't want Rex. This getting married quote I'm quite sure you have confused with what Spiller said in several interviews when he wanted an extension. 

 

2) Source it.

3) You don't even have a point and you know it, but it's just something to complain about.

4) Pretty sure he's going to be paid because of restructuring. The concept he executed to get Clay wasn't a bad idea at all. However, Clay just hasn't held up. The player is bad, the tactics were not.

5) That was Beane and McDermotts decision. 

 

I refuted 6 already, for someone who posts on a teams messageboard your lack of knowledge on them is pretty surprising.

 

I think I can find a way where the Clay signing was bad, but you even botched that point.

 

Oh yea, and they were eliminated from the playoffs in 2016 when EJ started. You've constructed your own reality completely.

Edited by Ol Dirty B

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3 hours ago, BillyWhiteShows said:

or just purely clueless how to build a team long term. 

YES! 

 

The guy made mistake after mistake attempting to correct his first mistake. The guy was nothing more then Russ Brandon's yes man and a good quality defensive scout. Then consider two first round draft picks on a WR when the team didn't have their franchise QB yet. He drafted Watkins in an attempt to help his poor choice at QB. 

 

Buffalo Bills were at #4 they should have drafted Khalil Mack and Whaley being a decent defensive scout didn't see this... and didn't the talent in next ten plus players in that draft after Watkins who were all better choices. 

 

My favorite part of that 2014 draft was after the Bills drafted Watkins the FO stated that they were still looking for that big, tall red zone target receiver. Mike Evans, hello? 

 

So many mistakes, he drafted a rookie QB only to not have a QB coach, no veteran QB on the roster and put him behind a pretty bad O line with Legursky, Pears, Urbik. Actually Chris Williams was brought in for (Williams signed a four-year, $13.5 million contract with the Buffalo Bills. The deal includes $5.5 million in guaranteed money) to play LG and he lasted a whole 3 games after an injury, which was stated as an excuse because the guy couldn't block at all. 

 

BTW, a lot of the trades that Whaley was noted for were started by other teams. The Colts GM Ryan Grigson wanted Bill Polian's last first round draft pick off the team so he traded Jerry Hughes for Kelvin Shepard. Grigson initiated the call to Buffalo to offer that trade and at least Whaley was smart enough to take it. Same with LeSean McCoy as Chip Kelly wanted Shady out of Philly and traded him for Kiko Alonso. Also, it was Rex Ryan who wanted to bring in Tyrod Taylor, Richie Incognito.

 

There is a real reason as to why Doug Whaley is no longer an NFL GM.   

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