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How Much Pressure Was Doug Whaley Under To Win?

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On 1/5/2019 at 4:37 AM, BillsFan1988 said:

The thing is Beane is already on track with the bad contracts.

 

5yrs 55mil Star 

3yrs 21mil Murphy

1yr 5mil Vontae

 

With the resources Beane had to work with last offseason looks like he didnt do a great job at all with the money.

 

 

Those aren't exactly cap-killer contracts.  They are low enough that they are worth the risk.  

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1 minute ago, Peevo said:

 

This is so spot on.

 

The post Mularkey era was peak walking corpse level Ralph. Not to denigrate the man's frailty, more so symptomatic of an unwillingness to address the future of his team while he was alive and more capable of making decisions.

 

So in walk Ralph's cadre of self-interested sycophants, eager to absolve themselves of any blame for the team's many failures while also somehow remain employed at executive level income. 

 

It frustrates me that to this day, we still don't honestly know who made what terrible decisions.

 

Who traded Jason Peters?  Was it Russ Brandon? Or Jim Overdorf? 

 

Who drafted Aaron Maybin? Was it Jauron, Modrak? 

 

The team was either incapable or incompetent in their ability to explain who is in power, with what responsibilities, and with whom they report. Modrak, Guy, Overdorf, Brandon, Berchtold. Who are these people, what are their qualifications, and why do they work for you, Ralph?

 

This remains a great scar on Wilson's legacy, and the team remains weak at several positions because of damaging decisions from over a decade ago.

 

The Bills traded a Hall of Fame left tackle in the prime of his career who IS STILL PLAYING AT AN ELITE LEVEL NOW.

 

 

 

Agreed 100%.  But you also don’t take into account the effect that Dick Jauron had on football decisions.  Without a true GM and non-football people making decisions, I am sure that Jauron was leaned on for input on player personnel and drafting 

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On 1/1/2019 at 11:40 PM, Straight Hucklebuck said:

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. 

 

Great post.  Nix backed Whaley into a corner who had no choice but to draft EJ in 2013.  Whaley's downfall, IMO, was sticking with and trying to prop up EJ for too long.

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55 minutes ago, Happy Gilmore said:

 

Great post.  Nix backed Whaley into a corner who had no choice but to draft EJ in 2013.  Whaley's downfall, IMO, was sticking with and trying to prop up EJ for too long.

I never got the stuck with EJ too long stuff. He thought EJ was poorly coached (he was) and didn’t want to give up on a 1st round pick he believed could be the guy.  He consistently brought in other qbs.  And in the three man competition, EJ had an awesome preseason.

 

i believe without a doubt that Whaley and McDermott would have been a nice combo.  SM basically is free to do whatever he wants.

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39 minutes ago, C.Biscuit97 said:

I never got the stuck with EJ too long stuff. He thought EJ was poorly coached (he was) and didn’t want to give up on a 1st round pick he believed could be the guy.  He consistently brought in other qbs.  And in the three man competition, EJ had an awesome preseason.

 

i believe without a doubt that Whaley and McDermott would have been a nice combo.  SM basically is free to do whatever he wants.

 

Nate Peterman had an awesome preseason and you know the rest of the story.  I get what you're saying about bringing in other QBs, Whaley brought in Kevin Kolb (floor mat concussion) and then Kyle Orton the next year, followed by Tyrod.  Marrone and Hackett did a poor job of coaching EJ; agreed.  I remember Mayock saying in the 2013 draft that EJ was like a piece of clay that needed to be molded, though ended up getting molded into some odd, unidentifiable shape.  Bottom line is EJ would have been maybe a 4th round pick in a decent year for QBs and Whaley had to know that.  Assuming Whaley knew that, he probably should have tried again in 2014 rather than giving up too much for Sammy Watkins. 

 

I agree that Whaley and McDermott would have made a good combo.  Whaley found some real diamonds in the rough on the pro personnel side.  It's McD and Beane now, so I'm rooting for them to finish building the team they envision that will win. 

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On 1/1/2019 at 8:35 PM, CaptnCoke11 said:

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

Gotta leave a liitle cap for a rainy day! 

On 1/5/2019 at 7:15 AM, Scott7975 said:

Typical.  All the Whaley supporters... all the good picks and signings were all Doug Whaley.  All the bad picks and signings were all Nix/Rex/Brandon/Overdorf.

 

 

Russ Brandon- the constant with all of them - he was the Devil in sheeps clothing.

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2 hours ago, JoshAllenHasBigHands said:

 

Those aren't exactly cap-killer contracts.  They are low enough that they are worth the risk.  

Couple more like that and we will have a prb. 

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I think once Pegula took over he inherited a 9-7 team with cap space. Whaley was probably under a big win now end the drought pressure from ownership. Trading for Shady, signing Clay, resigning Dareus and Glenn to massive deals and taking on somewhat volatile players like InCog, Percy Harvin, and others were all massive win now moves. I think overall his moves worked to improve the offense but some injuries and Rex's system then turned around and ruined the defense. 

2 hours ago, JoshAllenHasBigHands said:

 

Those aren't exactly cap-killer contracts.  They are low enough that they are worth the risk.  

 

Outside of Star those deals aren't major (Star's deal is hard to get out of until 2021.) Murphy's hit in 2019 is 3.5 million and Vonta will have not impact in 2019. Overall the current regime has not taken on many major contracts both in terms of resigning talent and free agent talent. 

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7 minutes ago, BillsFan1988 said:

Couple more like that and we will have a prb. 

 

Eh.  All FA contracts are bigger than fans want them to be.  Thats just the reality of NFL contracts.  Stars may be a bit high, but Murphy is getting paid like a middle of the road DE.  It is what it is. 

4 minutes ago, billsfan89 said:

I think once Pegula took over he inherited a 9-7 team with cap space. Whaley was probably under a big win now end the drought pressure from ownership. Trading for Shady, signing Clay, resigning Dareus and Glenn to massive deals and taking on somewhat volatile players like InCog, Percy Harvin, and others were all massive win now moves. I think overall his moves worked to improve the offense but some injuries and Rex's system then turned around and ruined the defense. 

 

Outside of Star those deals aren't major (Star's deal is hard to get out of until 2021.) Murphy's hit in 2019 is 3.5 million and Vonta will have not impact in 2019. Overall the current regime has not taken on many major contracts both in terms of resigning talent and free agent talent. 

 

I am waiting to see the big deals before passing judgment.  I'm not going to pick apart low value, low meaning contracts.  

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27 minutes ago, Happy Gilmore said:

 

Nate Peterman had an awesome preseason and you know the rest of the story.  I get what you're saying about bringing in other QBs, Whaley brought in Kevin Kolb (floor mat concussion) and then Kyle Orton the next year, followed by Tyrod.  Marrone and Hackett did a poor job of coaching EJ; agreed.  I remember Mayock saying in the 2013 draft that EJ was like a piece of clay that needed to be molded, though ended up getting molded into some odd, unidentifiable shape.  Bottom line is EJ would have been maybe a 4th round pick in a decent year for QBs and Whaley had to know that.  Assuming Whaley knew that, he probably should have tried again in 2014 rather than giving up too much for Sammy Watkins. 

 

I agree that Whaley and McDermott would have made a good combo.  Whaley found some real diamonds in the rough on the pro personnel side.  It's McD and Beane now, so I'm rooting for them to finish building the team they envision that will win. 

 

Whaley should not be a GM nor should he be choosing draft picks or signing big money free agents.

 

To his credit, he has been able to find bargain basement free agents that could contribute in the system the Bills were using.  

 

But he was not a good GM

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3 minutes ago, JoshAllenHasBigHands said:

 

Eh.  All FA contracts are bigger than fans want them to be.  Thats just the reality of NFL contracts.  Stars may be a bit high, but Murphy is getting paid like a middle of the road DE.  It is what it is. 

 

I am waiting to see the big deals before passing judgment.  I'm not going to pick apart low value, low meaning contracts.  

 

I know Whaley was still here in 2017 when Poyer, Hyde, and Haush were added but so was McD who had to have a significant hand in those signings. So while the 2018 free agency crop was a bust its not like McD can't identify some talent. I agree though, they only had 3-4 contracts above 3 million aav last off-season. Hard to judge them off of that. 

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1 hour ago, BillyWhiteShows said:

But he was not a good GM

 

I disagree with this.  Whaley never got to be a full GM.  Russ Brandon and Jim Overdorf were in the picture regarding player contracts for sure (Darius for sure), and may have had a say on certain draft picks (Sammy Watkins, for one.)  I think Whaley got a bad deal here, but was the 'face' of the franchise as far as the GM position, so all the crap that originated from Russ and Overdorf is attributed to him.  I'm not saying Whaley was perfect, he made mistakes, but he wasn't as bad as the anti-Whaley posters make him out to be.

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4 hours ago, Peevo said:

This is so spot on.

 

The post Mularkey era was peak walking corpse level Ralph. Not to denigrate the man's frailty, more so symptomatic of an unwillingness to address the future of his team while he was alive and more capable of making decisions.

 

So in walk Ralph's cadre of self-interested sycophants, eager to absolve themselves of any blame for the team's many failures while also somehow remain employed at executive level income. 

 

It frustrates me that to this day, we still don't honestly know who made what terrible decisions.

 

Who traded Jason Peters?  Was it Russ Brandon? Or Jim Overdorf? 

 

Who drafted Aaron Maybin? Was it Jauron, Modrak? 

 

The team was either incapable or incompetent in their ability to explain who is in power, with what responsibilities, and with whom they report. Modrak, Guy, Overdorf, Brandon, Berchtold. Who are these people, what are their qualifications, and why do they work for you, Ralph?

 

This remains a great scar on Wilson's legacy, and the team remains weak at several positions because of damaging decisions from over a decade ago.

 

The Bills traded a Hall of Fame left tackle in the prime of his career who IS STILL PLAYING AT AN ELITE LEVEL NOW.

 

The good news is the sycophants were sent packing, but it took a few years of Pegula before that could happen. I've often laughed thinking of Doug Whaley being one of the last vestiges of that late RW era.  He was no doubt behind the anti-Rex stories and figured that once RR was out of the way that he'd get say in the next HC.  Well, McCoach came on board and figured out that Whaley was a problem and then had him fired after the draft.  Thank goodness.   

 

As for Jason Peters, I was watching that Bears-Eagles game and find it amazing that he was traded 10 years ago for essentially Eric Wood.  And yet, Peters is still there playing (although Mack beat him a few times).   

 

These are better days than the late RW years when doing what it took to win was not a high priority.  McBeane want to win and have ownership's support, but this is a more competitive league that it was during the Marv/DJ/Brandon years of '06-'09.  Or even the Nix/Whaley boondoggle of '10-'13. 

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2 hours ago, Happy Gilmore said:

 

I disagree with this.  Whaley never got to be a full GM.  Russ Brandon and Jim Overdorf were in the picture regarding player contracts for sure (Darius for sure), and may have had a say on certain draft picks (Sammy Watkins, for one.)  I think Whaley got a bad deal here, but was the 'face' of the franchise as far as the GM position, so all the crap that originated from Russ and Overdorf is attributed to him.  I'm not saying Whaley was perfect, he made mistakes, but he wasn't as bad as the anti-Whaley posters make him out to be.

 

We’re on opposite sides of the Whaley debate so we will never come to a consenus.  Did he get a bad deal?  Probably but I also think he was just not good.  I will say he’s below average as a GM and in the draft.    

 

Dont you think there’s a reason he’s not working in the NFL?

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50 minutes ago, BillyWhiteShows said:

Dont you think there’s a reason he’s not working in the NFL?

 

In a GM capacity?  There is only 32 positions available and usually owners/presidents have their own guys who they want filling the GM role.  I'd imagine there are many qualified people who will not be a GM for this reason alone.

From what I gather, Whaley could have returned to the Steelers in a pro personnel role; he's highly thought of in Pittsburgh.

Whaley now has the position of Senior VP of Personnel for the XFL, which is a higher role than GM; though, granted, it is the XFL and unknown how the league will turn out the second time around.  It's his chance to be an integral part of starting something new.  I wish him the best.

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55 minutes ago, Happy Gilmore said:

 

In a GM capacity?  There is only 32 positions available and usually owners/presidents have their own guys who they want filling the GM role.  I'd imagine there are many qualified people who will not be a GM for this reason alone.

From what I gather, Whaley could have returned to the Steelers in a pro personnel role; he's highly thought of in Pittsburgh.

Whaley now has the position of Senior VP of Personnel for the XFL, which is a higher role than GM; though, granted, it is the XFL and unknown how the league will turn out the second time around.  It's his chance to be an integral part of starting something new.  I wish him the best.

 

I do as well, though I don’t think his best success will ever be as an NFL GM

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On 1/1/2019 at 8:01 PM, BillyWhiteShows said:

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

 

 

 

He wasn't under pressure, he was truly clueless about how to construct a roster long term. His philosophy was "Win Now" and he focused on building a team through free agency. His spending was unconscionable. He traded draft picks away like candy. "Bryce Brown? Sure, we'll give you a 4th round pick for him" Hey, we got 36 whole carries out of that deal!

 

His entire approach to team-building was flawed, and that's why he will never be an NFL GM again. Ever. Those were some of the darkest years of the drought, because his firing was inevitable (at least it was to some).

 

If anyone still thinks Doug was a competent GM or that "Rex got him fired," they simply don't understand the duties of a GM past what's required for their fantasy league.

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Doug Whaley was under enormous pressure to win and somehow he succeeded in winning every offseason

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Posted (edited)

Very interesting topic and I think the answer is A LOT of pressure. Now that the draft is over hindsight is 20/20 but this is how I remember the seasons and Whaley without that view.

 

2010: Viewed as a rebuilding year which got ugly and then led to disappointment thanks to winning too many games. But Fitz intrigued everyone at that time and the next draft didn't have a ton of guys. A lot of patience preached to the fans

2011: Still low expectations but Fitz & a bunch of lunch bucket guys who were greater then their talent at points made the season hopeful. Everyone knew the foundation was being laid at the time and still more patience.

2012: By this point patience had worn thin and the expectations were playoffs or bust. People wanted Fitz out by the end because of his contract even though he was a better stop gap and temporary QB then what was to come, and they had enough talent at the time to win. I distinctly remember Jerry Sullivan even writing a article saying there was no reason this team with talent and schedule should not make the playoffs. Mario, Dareus, Gilmore, A Williams, & Byrd led a talented enough defense that Dave W pissed away. The offense had some pieces but clearly needed more help. Regardless Gailey seemed overmatched by this point.

2013: Whaley takes over and I do remember a lot of excited people about EJ if anything because the Bills finally pulled the trigger on a guy. I do not remember people viewing this as a playoff season but EJ offered intrigue for sure. This draft may have been Whaley's best regardless of EJ because he landed Robert Woods, Goodwin, Kiko, & Duke Williams all who became serviceable starters to pretty good. This season between the defense and the amount of players in position that were solid absolutely led to a lead up that 2014 should be the year to bust the drought. People revise how they feel now but I distinctly remember going into the 2014 season believing in EJ and media alike also feeling that way. He had plenty of games that showed a lot of promise. I do not remember them being as good as Allen though which was something I have thought about that makes me more excited for Allen.

2014: The Watkins trade was a 100% a move to win by Whaley and break the drought. That offseason I also remember liking his signings of Corey Graham and Brandon Spikes to fill in for the injured Kiko. The defense was freaking set people bought that hook and sinker and the thought was the offense had enough with CJ, Freddie, Sammy, Woods, Goodwin etc.. to make it. I have always wondered had the Bills not had so many injuries on offense if they would've broke the drought (Fred & CJ both were toast by mid season and the WR corp was hit also). The biggest thing ironically was the schedule freaked a lot of people. By this point I think the faith meter in Whaley may have been at it's highest given many of the Bills top players at the time were drafted by him or his influence i.e. Dareus, A Williams, Kiko, Woods, Sammy, Gilmore, Hughes trade etc..

2015: Again Whaley swung for the fences and I think Terry/Kim bought that hook line and sinker. For the first time in what felt like forever Buffalo had relevance and spent so in the offseason. Whaley was like a 16 year old kid who found his parents liquor, guns, & credit card and used all completely irresponsibly. But optics at the time were close to as high as ever. The offense had Harvin, Woods, Sammy, Clay, & a newly traded LeSean McCoy plus the defense was still loaded. The only real fault I think people had with Whaley was EJ and the QB spot. You could tell Whaley didn't want to admit that and tried to get EJ as the dude. To Whaley's credit I maintain this is the most talented roster a Bills team had since the SB days and had we had a competent coach they should've been 11-5 even 12-4. They absolutely underachieved but from the offseason until their playoff hopes were dashed I do not remember a lot of criticism to Whaley at the time. If you look at their worst losses Jax in London, Pats week 2, KC, or PHI most of the criticism was less lineup and more coaching by Rex.

2016: The house of cards Whaley had built cap wise came tumbling down. The EJ obsession and refusal to cut was so obvious it was pathetic and people were on him like crazy for that (justifiably so.) The team needed help to infuse talent back in with Bradham, Mario, Hogan, Harvin, & McKelvin all leaving but he lacked the cap and draft resources. It's ironic how short of a time for Whaley's overspending resource wise to come back to him. I distinctly remember that the vibe going in was this team better win despite it's flaws or Whaley especially will be gone. I did not think they would fire Rex after just two years. BUT the Steelers game seemed like the mea-culpa for both and WGR after was saying just cut bait with both and be done. 

2017: Everyone knew it was a matter of time before he got cut it was only strange they did it after the draft.

 

Overall yea I think Whaley absolutely was a prisoner of the moment. The team went question mark at ownership at 6-10 to 9-7 with a new owner with gobs of money and the entire energy in the organization heading into 2015 was an all out push to break the drought and to a smaller effect the Patriots. I always thought he had an eye for talent both FA wise and draft wise. His 2016 draft especially was more Rex driven so I have a hard time criticizing that considering Rex seemed the head guy. I think Whaley got himself in trouble for being too aggressive with FA signings but everyone overpays for FA. His greater flaw may have been his rush to hand out contracts to guys like Dareus and Glenn too quick. I think he just was too focused on the present and at points was far too loyal to the wrong players.

 

But he was dealt a bad hand also. He didn't get a say in any coach hired, Marrone seemed to want his own guy, Rex was given more power, and overall he was kinda at the whilm of others. Draft wise he did land Kiko, Woods, Goodwin, Glenn, Bradham, Darby & trade for McCoy & Hughes. Those are all pretty good players to get and like I said I do think he had an eye for talent but sometimes he overvalued it like with EJ.

 

Truthfully I wouldn't be surprised if he did better if he got a second opportunity. He I would think has learned to be a bit wiser spending money and resources plus how to work with coaches better. He paid dearly for his mistakes in 15-16 and I have to believe he is smarter from it.

Edited by corta765

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...NEVER will know how much horsepower Whaley was granted...was he a bonafide "in control GM" or a glorified "personnel gopher", handed a shopping list of "who/what we want...go find 'em".?....Overdorf was and STILL is the VP of Administration in charge of contracts and salary cap.......Littmann was the actual "bean counter in charge" from under his desk(he was CFO in all of Ralph's businesses as well as Foundations).....he sailed off into the sunset with $14 mil when Pegula bought the club and he cashed in his gratis 1% ownership from RW.......

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3 hours ago, corta765 said:

Very interesting topic and I think the answer is A LOT of pressure. Now that the draft is over hindsight is 20/20 but this is how I remember the seasons and Whaley without that view.

 

2010: Viewed as a rebuilding year which got ugly and then led to disappointment thanks to winning too many games. But Fitz intrigued everyone at that time and the next draft didn't have a ton of guys. A lot of patience preached to the fans

2011: Still low expectations but Fitz & a bunch of lunch bucket guys who were greater then their talent at points made the season hopeful. Everyone knew the foundation was being laid at the time and still more patience.

2012: By this point patience had worn thin and the expectations were playoffs or bust. People wanted Fitz out by the end because of his contract even though he was a better stop gap and temporary QB then what was to come, and they had enough talent at the time to win. I distinctly remember Jerry Sullivan even writing a article saying there was no reason this team with talent and schedule should not make the playoffs. Mario, Dareus, Gilmore, A Williams, & Byrd led a talented enough defense that Dave W pissed away. The offense had some pieces but clearly needed more help. Regardless Gailey seemed overmatched by this point.

2013: Whaley takes over and I do remember a lot of excited people about EJ if anything because the Bills finally pulled the trigger on a guy. I do not remember people viewing this as a playoff season but EJ offered intrigue for sure. This draft may have been Whaley's best regardless of EJ because he landed Robert Woods, Goodwin, Kiko, & Duke Williams all who became serviceable starters to pretty good. This season between the defense and the amount of players in position that were solid absolutely led to a lead up that 2014 should be the year to bust the drought. People revise how they feel now but I distinctly remember going into the 2014 season believing in EJ and media alike also feeling that way. He had plenty of games that showed a lot of promise. I do not remember them being as good as Allen though which was something I have thought about that makes me more excited for Allen.

2014: The Watkins trade was a 100% a move to win by Whaley and break the drought. That offseason I also remember liking his signings of Corey Graham and Brandon Spikes to fill in for the injured Kiko. The defense was freaking set people bought that hook and sinker and the thought was the offense had enough with CJ, Freddie, Sammy, Woods, Goodwin etc.. to make it. I have always wondered had the Bills not had so many injuries on offense if they would've broke the drought (Fred & CJ both were toast by mid season and the WR corp was hit also). The biggest thing ironically was the schedule freaked a lot of people. By this point I think the faith meter in Whaley may have been at it's highest given many of the Bills top players at the time were drafted by him or his influence i.e. Dareus, A Williams, Kiko, Woods, Sammy, Gilmore, Hughes trade etc..

2015: Again Whaley swung for the fences and I think Terry/Kim bought that hook line and sinker. For the first time in what felt like forever Buffalo had relevance and spent so in the offseason. Whaley was like a 16 year old kid who found his parents liquor, guns, & credit card and used all completely irresponsibly. But optics at the time were close to as high as ever. The offense had Harvin, Woods, Sammy, Clay, & a newly traded LeSean McCoy plus the defense was still loaded. The only real fault I think people had with Whaley was EJ and the QB spot. You could tell Whaley didn't want to admit that and tried to get EJ as the dude. To Whaley's credit I maintain this is the most talented roster a Bills team had since the SB days and had we had a competent coach they should've been 11-5 even 12-4. They absolutely underachieved but from the offseason until their playoff hopes were dashed I do not remember a lot of criticism to Whaley at the time. If you look at their worst losses Jax in London, Pats week 2, KC, or PHI most of the criticism was less lineup and more coaching by Rex.

2016: The house of cards Whaley had built cap wise came tumbling down. The EJ obsession and refusal to cut was so obvious it was pathetic and people were on him like crazy for that (justifiably so.) The team needed help to infuse talent back in with Bradham, Mario, Hogan, Harvin, & McKelvin all leaving but he lacked the cap and draft resources. It's ironic how short of a time for Whaley's overspending resource wise to come back to him. I distinctly remember that the vibe going in was this team better win despite it's flaws or Whaley especially will be gone. I did not think they would fire Rex after just two years. BUT the Steelers game seemed like the mea-culpa for both and WGR after was saying just cut bait with both and be done. 

2017: Everyone knew it was a matter of time before he got cut it was only strange they did it after the draft.

 

Overall yea I think Whaley absolutely was a prisoner of the moment. The team went question mark at ownership at 6-10 to 9-7 with a new owner with gobs of money and the entire energy in the organization heading into 2015 was an all out push to break the drought and to a smaller effect the Patriots. I always thought he had an eye for talent both FA wise and draft wise. His 2016 draft especially was more Rex driven so I have a hard time criticizing that considering Rex seemed the head guy. I think Whaley got himself in trouble for being too aggressive with FA signings but everyone overpays for FA. His greater flaw may have been his rush to hand out contracts to guys like Dareus and Glenn too quick. I think he just was too focused on the present and at points was far too loyal to the wrong players.

 

But he was dealt a bad hand also. He didn't get a say in any coach hired, Marrone seemed to want his own guy, Rex was given more power, and overall he was kinda at the whilm of others. Draft wise he did land Kiko, Woods, Goodwin, Glenn, Bradham, Darby & trade for McCoy & Hughes. Those are all pretty good players to get and like I said I do think he had an eye for talent but sometimes he overvalued it like with EJ.

 

Truthfully I wouldn't be surprised if he did better if he got a second opportunity. He I would think has learned to be a bit wiser spending money and resources plus how to work with coaches better. He paid dearly for his mistakes in 15-16 and I have to believe he is smarter from it.

 

This is a fantastic write up and responses like this are exactly the reason why I start these nostalgia threads.

 

I think this is a pretty fair account of DW as GM.  The only this I won’t agree with is your take that he’ll be GM again.  I just don’t see it happening, and I don’t see him going to the XFL if he had a realistic chance to work in the NFL soon.

 

But bravo.....great work @corta765

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3 hours ago, OldTimeAFLGuy said:

...NEVER will know how much horsepower Whaley was granted...was he a bonafide "in control GM" or a glorified "personnel gopher", handed a shopping list of "who/what we want...go find 'em".?....Overdorf was and STILL is the VP of Administration in charge of contracts and salary cap.......Littmann was the actual "bean counter in charge" from under his desk(he was CFO in all of Ralph's businesses as well as Foundations).....he sailed off into the sunset with $14 mil when Pegula bought the club and he cashed in his gratis 1% ownership from RW.......

 

I agree with a lot of what you said.  Here’s something to consider.  If Whaley was neutered as GM by the leadership, then why did he sign an extension in 2015 shortly after Rex came on board?  I think of a guy like Reggie McKenzie.  We all knew he was a powerless GM, and he asked to leave Oakland.

 

I’m not so sure Whaley had as little power as some fans will propose but like you said, we’ll never know 

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On 1/7/2019 at 2:02 PM, Peevo said:

 

This is so spot on.

 

The post Mularkey era was peak walking corpse level Ralph. Not to denigrate the man's frailty, more so symptomatic of an unwillingness to address the future of his team while he was alive and more capable of making decisions.

 

So in walk Ralph's cadre of self-interested sycophants, eager to absolve themselves of any blame for the team's many failures while also somehow remain employed at executive level income. 

 

It frustrates me that to this day, we still don't honestly know who made what terrible decisions.

 

Who traded Jason Peters?  Was it Russ Brandon? Or Jim Overdorf? 

 

Who drafted Aaron Maybin? Was it Jauron, Modrak? 

 

The team was either incapable or incompetent in their ability to explain who is in power, with what responsibilities, and with whom they report. Modrak, Guy, Overdorf, Brandon, Berchtold. Who are these people, what are their qualifications, and why do they work for you, Ralph?

 

This remains a great scar on Wilson's legacy, and the team remains weak at several positions because of damaging decisions from over a decade ago.

 

The Bills traded a Hall of Fame left tackle in the prime of his career who IS STILL PLAYING AT AN ELITE LEVEL NOW.

 

 

After Donahue, Ralph went into a shell. Only people he knew.

 

Marv hired mid-phone call when Ralph was asking advice on who to hire as GM in 2006. 

 

That led to Russ Brandon power in 2008/2009. John Modrak still hanging on all the way until the end of the 2010 Draft. 

 

Also in 2010 was Ralph and Russ scanning a list of names, narrowing the search to two in-house candidates. 

 

Whaley came in with Nix in 2010 and lasted until after the 2017 Draft. 

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On 1/1/2019 at 6:01 PM, BillyWhiteShows said:

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's a good thing McD never did anything similar, like signing Trent Murphy ...

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On 1/7/2019 at 5:57 PM, Happy Gilmore said:

 

I disagree with this.  Whaley never got to be a full GM.  Russ Brandon and Jim Overdorf were in the picture regarding player contracts for sure (Darius for sure), and may have had a say on certain draft picks (Sammy Watkins, for one.)  I think Whaley got a bad deal here, but was the 'face' of the franchise as far as the GM position, so all the crap that originated from Russ and Overdorf is attributed to him.  I'm not saying Whaley was perfect, he made mistakes, but he wasn't as bad as the anti-Whaley posters make him out to be.

 

Since Donahoe, Bills purposely muddied the management structure so accountability of the media and fans was always scatter-shot.  When things got too hot, they would simply sacrifice someone, much of the blame for the bad moves would go out with that individual, and everyone remaining would take a half step to the left with a slightly different job title or promotion.

 

Decisions were absolutely made by Brandon, Littman, Overdorf, Ralph, Whaley, Rex, Jauron, Modrak, Guy, Pegulas, Pegulas' dog, and god knows who else.  They suffered for years from not having a centralized power structure, and if it was centralized, it was on Russ Brandon for years.  Whaley would have probably done his NFL career some good if he resigned.  Maybe he knew that this job was his only shot he would ever get at GM?

 

We really do not know what we had with Whaley, as the team had such a collaborative philosophy and information about who made what decisions were so overlapped and foggy.  I do know his public persona on camera and behind a mic was pretty poor, and listening to him, he doesn't seem like a leader of an organization, nor a guy who is detail oriented to a fault.   You listen to Beane, McDermott, Botterill, etc and a number of other executives and even modern day NFL coaches and they come off so well put together.  Whaley and Tim Murray are basically scouts upjumped to General Managers, they sounded like scouts publicly, and I do not see either of them holding an NFL or NHL GM job again.

Edited by May Day 10
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