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Phil The Thrill

Who Were The Leaks at One Bills Drive during 2013-2016?

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It seemed like for a period between 2013 until the end of 2016, there always big stories related to Bills coaches/personnel leaked in the media.  Many of these came from local beat reporters.  It started shortly before the Doug Marrone hiring and really exploded while Rex was coaching.  Here are a sampling of a few stories which made their way to the press.  It should be noted that not all of these stories could be confirmed as legit:

 

- Doug Marrone’s blow-up with Russ Brandon/Doug Whaley
- Marrone walking out of the war room when Whaley traded and drafted Sammy Watkins.

- Whaley going “rouge” and cutting Fred Jackson

- The playoff ultimatum made to Rex Ryan 

- Rex Ryan’s firing the morning an important game versus Pittsburgh (and 2 weeks before he was actually fired)

 

These leaks were non-apparent when McDermott took over the team in 2017.  The same beat reporters who reported some big behind-the-scenes stories, now mainly focused on the football product.  
 

Did we ever find out where the leaks were coming from at OBD?   What did McDermott do to all but eliminate these leaked stories which were so rampant in the media before the season began?

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I've heard that it was a combination of Russ and Whaley.  Both got awful chatty after a few vodka crans if the rumors are true.

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Just now, Jauronimo said:

I've heard that it was a combination of Russ and Whaley.  Both got awful chatty after a few vodka crans if the rumors are true.


It would make sense.  The Whaley “rogue” story seems like it would’ve come from Rex or a member of the coaching staff.

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Media man Russ is my guess. Anything that guy could do to put Buffalo on the news had his hands all over it. 

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They also replaced all of the scouts, so it could have been a scout who worked under Whaley just spreading things he saw and heard about to a media member.

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There was reports some of the staff (locker room, training cleaning) gave papers to someone in press and evidently it was preliminary.

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Hard to pin down.  Could have come from Rex, a disgruntled scout/employee, or even Whaley or Russ Brandon.  Glad this is not an issue right now as the front office is a much tighter ship.

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Wasn't one of McDermott's first actions to have Scott Bercthold replaced? 

 

Yea. That is where my search would start. 

Edited by GunnerBill
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There were multiple. It appeared that most of the leaks had closed but this draft there were as many leaks as back then. Don’t really know if it was the virtual setting that had people more open or just a comfort level. At any rate, every team has leaks and it’s different people at different times.

 

One of the things that people don’t necessarily grasp is that it isn’t JUST Beane that knows the plan. There are a lot of people involved in building the board and the decision making process. Buffalo is a small town and things spread but the truth is New Orleans is no different. 

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7 minutes ago, Kirby Jackson said:

There were multiple. It appeared that most of the leaks had closed but this draft there were as many leaks as back then. Don’t really know if it was the virtual setting that had people more open or just a comfort level. At any rate, every team has leaks and it’s different people at different times.

 

One of the things that people don’t necessarily grasp is that it isn’t JUST Beane that knows the plan. There are a lot of people involved in building the board and the decision making process. Buffalo is a small town and things spread but the truth is New Orleans is no different. 

 

It is also my experience having done media stuff both sides of the fence (in sports as a media member and in Government as a media relations guy) that most things that leak out of an organisation are because the organisation wants them out there. Occasionally you have an individual or two pushing their own agenda but more often than not leaking is an organisational decision. I remember getting a call from someone on the non football side of one of the biggest football clubs in England to leak a story to me and when I asked if the manager knew he was telling me this he said "the manager told me to tell you this." They wanted it out there but they wanted it out there in less big bang way than if they had given it to a big national guy. A young freelance beat reporter who didn't have a huge reputation was just right for them. Credible but just enough deniability. 

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4 minutes ago, GunnerBill said:

 

It is also my experience having done media stuff both sides of the fence (in sports as a media member and in Government as a media relations guy) that most things that leak out of an organisation are because the organisation wants them out there. Occasionally you have an individual or two pushing their own agenda but more often than not leaking is an organisational decision. I remember getting a call from someone on the non football side of one of the biggest football clubs in England to leak a story to me and when I asked if the manager knew he was telling me this he said "the manager told me to tell you this." They wanted it out there but they wanted it out there in less big bang way than if they had given it to a big national guy. A young freelance beat reporter who didn't have a huge reputation was just right for them. Credible but just enough deniability. 

That’s a pretty cool story!!
 

Teams certainly use the media to spread their narratives. I think that it’s almost happened so much at this point that it works the other way. If I see someone on NFL Network talking about a team’s interest in something in particular that’s because the team or agent wanted it out there. The stuff that you hear less is often closer to the truth at this point (is the Bills were taking Dugger if he was available). 

 

So much of it is just about how easy it is to communicate now. Someone says something to one of their buddies and he tells his 5 closest friends, who tell their 5 closest friends and so on. The key and most important thing in the chain is how close to the original source your information is. There are certain things that I can say that I've heard with a great deal of certainty. As an example, it is 100% fact that the Bills were trying to trade up for Mark Barron and got “stuck” with Stephon Gilmore. 

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Berchtold was a sieve. Look no further than that. He was way out of line, too, like when he leaked that a major Bills sponsor who had just agreed to have Fred Jackson appear in an upcoming ad campaign was not gonna be happy that Whaley let him go. As if teams need to consult their marketing department when it comes to player personnel decisions. 

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33 minutes ago, Kirby Jackson said:

So much of it is just about how easy it is to communicate now. Someone says something to one of their buddies and he tells his 5 closest friends, who tell their 5 closest friends and so on. 

 

Sounds like a COVID-19 virus spread.

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