Major news broke this morning as Russ Brandon was announced to be the new President of the Buffalo Bills. This marks a new era for the football team, as owner Ralph Wilson is now “passing the torch,” allowing Brandon to operate the team without any limitations or restrictions. There is extreme excitement and skepticism regarding the move, as Brandon has been generally despised by the Buffalo fan base in recent years. However, without Mr. Wilson calling the shots now, the organization is looking to head in a completely new direction.
In a press release, Ralph Wilson had this to say about Brandon’s promotion:
“Russ Brandon has done a tremendous job in his 16 years with our organization and is very highly respected throughout the National Football League. He has proven to be extremely successful with each new level of responsibility he has been given and has earned this opportunity. Russ is a proven leader and he will now have full authority over the entire Buffalo Bills operation. I have granted him full autonomy to run the organization as he feels is best.
In a press conference with Buffalo media, Brandon explained that the team will now be ran with totality. He went on to explain that the Bills’ brand has been tarnished over the past decade or so, noting the failures of past coaches and operational moves.
Brandon expects the team to turn a corner, as he will evaluate everything from the top to the bottom of the organization. He went on to explain that money is not an issue, and that they will identify and target the necessary talent needed for this team to make the next step.
Brandon announced that the team would be forming a “robust” analytics operation, which will computerize scouting of players in a “Moneyball” fashion that was used primarily in basketball and baseball to identify talent for small market teams. These kind of stats are making their way into the National Football League with the emergence of sites like ProFootballFocus and Advanced NFL Stats, that break down the performance of players beyond the traditional stats we have grown accustomed to.
Brandon clarified reports regarding Buddy Nix, telling the media that the General Manager would not be relieved of his duties, however Doug Whaley is still expected to have a greater role with the team. Brandon noted that he would not be drafting players, explaining that Nix is a “true football guy.”
While Nix was speaking, he alluded to the fact that he does not have much time left in him, and Whaley would clearly make the transition into his position sometime in the future.
During the press conference, Brandon explained that there has been too many unfulfilled promises, and that he will do everything in his power to bring the most talent to the Buffalo Bills’ franchise, noting the team as a “global brand.”
This is a major move for the Buffalo Bills’ organization, as there hasn’t seemed to be much hope for the fan base in years. Every move has been hinged on Mr. Wilson’s decision making, and those days now appear to be over. With the search for a new head coach on the immediate horizon, Brandon has some serious moves to make, but for the first time in a while, it seems like the team is heading in the right direction.