With the Buffalo Bills’ playoff drought reaching 17 seasons – and with the franchise preparing to hire its fourth head coach since 2010 – one must wonder why general manager Doug Whaley and president Russ Brandon still have jobs. Why does owner Terry Pegula still believe in them?
“The owner doesn’t know any better,” CBS NFL Insider Jason La Canfora said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “These have been the only football people he’s ever known. They’re very good at selling themselves. There’s a political aspect to this. Rex is down there floundering on the sidelines and they’re sitting in the owner’s suite where it’s nice and warm (criticizing the team). It’s a different dynamic. It’s very easy to keep saying, ‘We got the talent here. These guys just don’t know how to use it.’ And look, Rex brings a lot of it on himself. Bringing his brother in – bad idea. Saying the things he says at a lot of these press conferences – bad idea. Not having 11 guys on the field with your season on the line – bad idea. Punting in overtime when you need a win to save your season at home – bad idea. So they’re sitting there saying, ‘Look at this. Look at that. Why aren’t they running the offense this way?’ That’s how it works. Some of their wives are close with his wife. . . . It’s just how it is in this business sometimes.”
The Bills fired Rex Ryan on Tuesday and will soon hire their third head coach since 2013.
“Doug Whaley will get three head coaches,” La Canfora said. “It didn’t work with Marrone. He took $4 million to leave. Rex lasted two years, barely. The owner was mulling doing this stuff a year ago. And yet, the front office is still basically in tact despite giving up all they gave up for Sammy Watkins and despite trading for guys like Bryce Brown and despite drafting EJ Manuel where they did and despite paying Marcell Dareus all the money they did knowing that it’s a pretty good chance he might not be the same guy after you pay him and he already got himself in plenty of trouble beforehand. You could go on and on. They got issues there. If I’m Bills fans, I’m going to be concerned until I see the decision-makers change.”
The Bills haven’t reached the playoffs this century. Their last playoff appearance came in 1999. They haven’t played in the divisional round since 1995.