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T master

What are Some of the Biggest Head Scratchers Made by Bills Ownership/FO in Bills History ?

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2 hours ago, Ed_Formerly_of_Roch said:

I know he wasn't the GM at the time of drafting Kelly, but thought he was here in some front office scouting position prior?

Kelly was drafted in 1983.  Polian didn't join the Bills until August 2, 1984 when he was hired as director of pro personnel.  Polian was GM when Kelly signed his 1st Bills contract after the USFL let the players go to the NFL in 1986 before officially folding.   

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8 minutes ago, Phil The Thrill said:


I would argue that resigning Dick Jauron early in the 2007 season was more of a killer.  It meant DJ got to stay about 1 and a half years longer than he should have.  It also set the team back.  Again - this was all due to the fact that Ralph didn’t want to hire a real GM after his experience with Donahoe


I wouldn’t call the Rex Ryan hire to be headscratch.  At the time, he had a reputation as a “good” coach - laugh if you will, he did.  Many thought that Rex was a sacrificial lamb for Jets management who couldn’t get him talent to work with.  Despite this, his NYJ teams played hard for him.

 

At the time in 2015, Rex was considered a top coaching candidate.

 

The hire was a disaster....but at the time it made sense

You are partially correct. He wasn't considered a top candidate but no one was shocked that he got hired so quickly either. 

Rex and Greg Roman built a top 5 scoring offense. He was perfectly fine with clock management and game decisions.  He should have been told he can be HC but Schwartz is staying as DC. Rex should have been smart enough to just add a few wrinkles to a top 5 defense.  Pegs blew it. And Whaley never got a chance to pick his HC 

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1 minute ago, Ethan in Portland said:

You are partially correct. He wasn't considered a top candidate but no one was shocked that he got hired so quickly either. 

Rex and Greg Roman built a top 5 scoring offense. He was perfectly fine with clock management and game decisions.  He should have been told he can be HC but Schwartz is staying as DC. Rex should have been smart enough to just add a few wrinkles to a top 5 defense.  Pegs blew it. And Whaley never got a chance to pick his HC 


That’s because Whaley sucked as a GM.

 

My point is....Rex was not a “head scratcher”

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Chan Gailey

 

failed attempts at brainwashing the fan base into believing Fitz was anything more than a journeyman

 

Marv as GM

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Firing Wade Phillips, pushing for Rob Johnson to start.  Basically not letting his football people make the football decisions.

4 hours ago, T master said:

Okay all of us that have been Bills fans for most of our lives have seen a lot of head scratchers during our time as fans of the Bills but there are some that really stand out & were brought to my attention while jumping around Two Bills drive & the reading of one article in particular .

 

Seeing as Ralph owned the team from it's inception up till the time that the Pegs bought the team there are probably a lot more moves to choose from during his time as the owner but there are a few to me that really stick out !

 

The one article i read while surfing around this board was the one of Pollian announcing his own firing ? here is the man that put together the trade for Cornelius Bennett, drafted Kelly, brought in Marv Levy & built the team that went to 4 consecutive SB's something that may never happen again, talk about a head scratcher !!

 

Then there is the firing of Wade Phillips who took over for Marv & was the last coach to take the Bills to the play offs twice until McD . I think the big thing that got him fired though was part of this head scratcher was probably his behind the scenes disagreement to start Johnson over Flutie, which some unmentioned haters here still rejoice over that decision because it took Flutie off the 53 . But the nail in his Bills career was when he said no to firing the ST's coach Ronnie Jones.

 

Then there is letting Thurman, Bruce & Andre walk out the door, not really sure exactly what happened with all of that (you all can enlighten me) but you would think they would have had some show of respect for what these guys had done for the team & kept at least one of them around to bridge the gap & be the veteran in their respective rooms .

 

What about the Rex Ryan hire or Hank Bullough those could quite possibly rank up there as far as some of the biggest head scratchers, are any of these your choice or can you think of any to add to this list that were worse ?

 

Not sure if this has been talked about recently or in the not to distant past if so my apologies, being the off season & not really a lot to talk about while jumping back a few pages here i read the article that started me thinking about this subject . Again if it has been posted my apologies ...

I’m sure someone has already brought it up but he didn’t draft Kelly.  Nor was he solely responsible for those teams.  They were the results of 3 GMs he was the last.

4 hours ago, Don Otreply said:

This invites the saga ? of DF vs RJ, although this pales compared to the many decades of futility, as posted above, 

 

Why do we do this to ourselves, why rehash the agony????

 

Go Bills!!!

So that the few that do not will begin to appreciate what’s there now maybe.

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Benching Flutie...the QB who led the team to the playoffs and was rested in week 17, for Rob Johnson, cause he played well in a pressureless game...by far the biggest head scratcher.

 

No team has ever pulled such a move in NFL history...hasn't since and will likely never happen again. GOTTA consider such and unprecedented move that turned out to be an EPIC FAIL the biggest head scratcher in team history. Especially considering the team we should have beat went on to the Superbowl.

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3 hours ago, Albany,n.y. said:

In this century the Bills have been bad when trading 1st round picks, up or down.

2002- Traded 2003 1st rounder for Bledsoe

2004-Traded back into the 1st round for JP Losman giving 2005 #1 to Dallas as part of the deal.

2013-Traded down & used the lower 1st rounder on EJ Manuel

2014-Traded up trading their 2014 & 2015 1st rounder in the Sammy Watkins trade

2017-Traded down giving KC the best young QB in the NFL

2018-The jury is out but it may be that Beane has stopped the bad 1st round trades of the 2000s.  We'll be able to better evaluate those trade ups when Allen & Edmunds go for their 2nd contracts.  

 

Got no problem with the Bledsoe trade.  If we don’t draft an immature OT high in the draft, let Ruben Brown, Jennings and kept Peerless Price I think we would have actually done something.

 

Wilson’s refusal to pay players was the futility of this franchise.  We traded one of the best if not the best LT in the game for peanuts because Ralph didn’t want to pay.  We traded a HOF RB for peanuts because Ralph didn’t want to pay and wouldn’t let the man be who he is.

Edited by formerlyofCtown

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2 hours ago, Phil The Thrill said:

I’m sorry but Ralph was a terrible owner toward the final decade of his ownership.  He hurt the team....period.

 

To his credit, when he fired Butler, he did try to get a big name to run the Bills.  Ralph did something uncharacteristic....he opened up his wallet (I’m sure some moths fluttered out of the billfold) and have Tom Donahoe a big money deal and a lot of power.  He named him President which was shocking.  Donahoe was given credit for the Steelers resurgence in the mid to late 90’s and he was a hot candidate.  In the end, Donahoe wouldn’t hire a coach who threatened to usurp his power (like Bill Cowher did).  He could do much better than 9-7 plus everyone hates him at OBD.

 

It was a swing and a miss.  It didn’t work so Ralph fired him - I admire the effort.
 

 The worst decision was replacing him with Marv Levy as GM.  Levy had no GM experience and was about 80 at the time.  It was clear that he was just a figurehead to sell tickets.

 

So rather than hiring a real GM to actually win...Ralph hired someone he was comfortable with because...he’s the owner and he wanted to dammit!

 

Of course, Marv was terrible and hired bad coaches.  Eventually he faded into the background and Ralph refused to hire a “real GM.”  He then hired Buddy Nix because he felt comfortable with him.  
 

Ralph screwed those team so bad during these years.  

Most of this is correct. However, here's the thing. Ralph might have spent a few bucks to hire Tom Donahoe and promoted him to team president while Wilson left that job to supposedly retire. Ralph Wilson was so very "hands on" as an owner that he simply couldn't step away for very long IMO. 

 

To give you an idea of how hands on this owner was, he was in the draft room advising selections on who to draft over the years. Hence all the RB's and DB's and few QB's and O linemen. Wilson was also noted to be on the phone from Detroit with HC Dick Jauron a few hours a day during the season. Buffalo had difficulty in finding a decent head coach because most knew how cantankerous and frugal he was. Even then when Buddy Nix wanted to hire Marty Schottenheimer as HC before he hired Chan Gailey, Wilson said no. 

 

Ralph Wilson was very frugal with the Buffalo Bills because he wasn't a billionaire like some are today and he came very close to being forced to sell part or all of "his" team on several occasions . His team needed to make a profit each and every season as this forced his hands with a lot of issues. 

 

On the contrary of being a "hot candidate", Donahoe was the "director of football operations" for the Pittsburgh Steelers and subsequently fired by the Steelers after he lost a power struggle with then HC Bill Cowher. 

Now, most owners who hire an outside team president to run their team usually will rehire a new president instead of taking over control of the team again, not this owner. 

 

As for Marv, Levy returned to the Buffalo Bills in thinking that he would be their head coach again. Only after he was hired and settled in Ralph Wilson made it clear that his new duties were to be GM only. Levy made the choice for hiring Dick Jauron and helped him pick his staff. They hired the St Louis Rams OC in Steve Fairchild who didn't call the plays for the Rams as HC Mike Martz did that job.

 

The Tampa two defense was a hot commodity at that time in the league and about the only reasoning I can think of as to why Levy chose Jauron as HC. He made it clear it came down to Jauron and ex Packer HC Mike Sherman for the Bills HCing job.  Levy mentioned in the media that Sherman "knocked his socks off" in his interview. Puzzling outcome to be sure. 

 

When it came to the draft, Levy knew he was in over his head as a talent evaluator so he went with a consensus of himself, Jauron and the scouting staff. It looked like Jauron made the calls after all, Aaron Maybin... There are reasons as to why the Bills drafted OG Andy Levitre and OC Eric Wood as Jauron watched in horror as the Bills O line attempted to triple team Jets NT Kris Jenkins and he still got to the QB. 

 

As for Donte Whitner, the Bills were desperate for a safety as Levy had just gotten rid of a player who he deemed as low in character in SS Lawyer Milloy. They drafted for a need and with nobody in the FO knowing what they were doing they also traded up to draft DT John McCargo. For some unknown reason Levy stated he thought McCargo was a big reason as to why Mario Williams was so good at NC state. 

 

As bad as the decision to hire ex Bills HC Marv Levy was I think it was far a worse decision to replace him with pseudo GM Russ Brandon and even worse was when Brandon took over as team president.

 

2000-2017...woof

 

 

On another note, Ralph Wilson fired Wade Phillips because Wade refused to fire special teams coach who had allowed the music city miracle play. Wilson also never paid Phillips what he was the remainder due on his contract either.  

 

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Since 2000...

Worst pick: Maybin over Orakpo

 

Honorable mentions:

Trade ups for McCargo, Losman, Watkins

MgGahee (inj)

Merriman

 

Best trade down:

2001 - Traded down a couple picks with Tampa Bay and landed Nate Clements.  Then traded down the extra pick and landed Travis Henry - a pick that ended up being quite fruitful - and Brandon Spoon.

Edited by Rock'em Sock'em
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Too many to list, but I haven't seen this one yet: Trading up in the 3rd for Russell Willson TJ Graham, who was graded by most as a 6th-7th round prospect.  "We liked Russell Willson, but not that high."  Ok then.

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Allowing the phone call from the USFL to go thru, which meant the Bills lost out on Jim Kelly at the start of his career.

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4 hours ago, Nihilarian said:

On another note, Ralph Wilson fired Wade Phillips because Wade refused to fire special teams coach who had allowed the music city miracle play. Wilson also never paid Phillips what he was the remainder due on his contract either. 

Not correct. Wade fired long time special teams coach Bruce Dehaven after the Music City Forward Lateral to replace him with Ronnie Jones who had no clue what special teams was. They were horrible under Jones. Remember reading an article mid season that although it was very rare (not so much now, but don’t remember ever seeing mid season assistant coach changes back then), he was so bad should be replaced mid season. Ralph’s reason for firing Wade was he refused to fire Jones after the season. I think we lost at least 3 games specifically due to special teams play that year. Steve Christie later said Jones had no clue what drills to do at practice and players had to tell him what to do. Phillips claimed he thought Ralph was just using Jones as an excuse and would have found a different reason to fire if he had complied. Perhaps correct, but fans would have revolted if Jones was still a coach with the Bills the next season, even if he switched to a defensive assistant as Wade offered.

 

To me the biggest head scratcher in Bills history was letting Chuck Knox walk away. 

Edited by CA OC Bills Fan
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Virtually every draft pick (and GMs and coaches) chosen during the entire decade of the '00s. 

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4 hours ago, Doc Brown said:

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That's classic!

They're brushing out all of the rubber pellets, right?  I've never heard of this happening until now.

Any idea on when this was?

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13 minutes ago, Bad Things said:

That's classic!

They're brushing out all of the rubber pellets, right?  I've never heard of this happening until now.

Any idea on when this was?

I know it was the Steelers game where Bell ran right through our Rex Ryan defense.  2016 maybe?

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