Evaluations Done As Transition Begins
Big Offensive Changes Possible: Despite the pleas of the Bills offensive players, it appears that there are likely to be significant changes on the offensive side of the ball. With Dick Jauron looking for an offensive coordinator to replace Steve Fairchild changes are inevitable. The players hope he promotes Turk Schonert from within and keep the changes to a minimum. The coach told the team's website, "I think there will be significant change". The coach added that he would like to keep change to a minimum but the possiblity is that change will be significant. While Schonert is a candidate, Jauron is waiting to begin his search until the general manager's position is resolved but adds that he has some people in mind that he feels good about.
Saturday January 5, 2008
Losman Wants Out: J.P. Losman's agent Gary Wichard spoke to AP about his client's future. He said Losman is willing to play out the final year of his deal with the Bills but pefers to be traded. Losman is unhappy with how he lost his starting job to Trent Edwards. When asked if Losman would stay in Buffalo after his contract runs out in 2008, Wichard stated "that ship has sailed". He hopes Losman gets moved this offseason if not he will go into free agency next offseason. There have been no discussions with the Bills since they are in the process of getting a new GM. Wichard waited until now to speak out because Losman didn't want a distraction during the season for the team. Losman was unhappy about the lack of support he got from the team. When he was starting he was just waiting to be yanked.
Friday January 4, 2008
Gabriel A Candidate? Names are now being thrown around as possible candidates for the Bills GM job. One name that is intriguing is Buffalo area native Greg Gabriel. He is currently the highly respected scouting director with the Chicago Bears. He worked with Dick Jauron there and they supposedly had a good working relationship. He started his NFL career with the Bills as a part time film grader. He also wouldn't cost too much money and need too much power since he's still working his way up the corporate ladder. There are enough connections between the two sides that Gabriel would be a possible choice if they go outside the organization.
Thursday January 3, 2008
Players Added: Six players that were on the Bills practice squad were signed to the futures free agent list. If the peform well in the offseason workouts they will be added to the training camp roster. The six players are FB Jonathan Evans, WR Felton Huggins, OL Nevin McCaskill, DL Shawn Nua, CB E.J. Underwood, and S Jon Corto.
Bills Look North: Even with the frontoffice in a state of flux, the Bills begin to look at talent to fill out the 80 man offseason roster. They are looking north to the CFL at their top rookie. Defensive tackle Aaron Hunt has visits scheduled for the Bills and the Chiefs. Seattle is also interested in him. He was the CFL's rookie of the year in 2006 for the BC Lions. He would like to stay in Canada if offered a nice contract extension.
Team Meetings Begin Today: The front office and coaching staffs gather today to begin their end of the season meetings. The coaching staff has been busy doing player evaluations since the season ended. Marv Levy is involved in these meetings as he is still on the job. He plans to give a strong recommendation to keep Dick Jauron as the coach no matter who is hired to replace him as general manager but emphasized it's Ralph Wilson's call. Levy and the owner both hold Jauron in high regard.
Levy's Future: Marv Levy spoke to various media outlets yesterday and let them know his plans for the future. He hopes to do some radio and TV work and may write a novel or two. He stressed that his leaving has nothing to do with his age, health, or the stress of the job. He called being a GM a piece of cake compared to coaching. He said he's not leaving to slow down but to actually speed up. Levy said he made the decision to leave midway through the season and doesn't plan to hold a big farewell press conference. He is still working for the Bills during the transition and is involved in the hiring process of the next general manager.
Wednesday January 2, 2007
Wire To Have Surgery: Chris Brown is reporting for the Bills official website that Coy Wire is going to have surgery on his neck to correct a nerve problem associated with a stinger he received against the Jaguars. He missed the last five weeks of the season with the stinger and was placed on injured reserve before the finale against Philadelphia. He's expected to make a full recovery from the neck surgery that will fuse two veterbraes and have a disc removed from his spine. He should be back in time for the March workouts. Injury Page.
Ellison OK: The injury suffered by Keith Ellison in the loss to the Eagles isn't serious. They first feared that his knee injury might be serious. He underwent an MRI and it showed it as just a strain. He was walking around the locker room during clean out day on Monday without much of a limp. The other injuries suffered in the finale loss didn't seem to bad either. Lee Evans suffered a chest contusion but was ok and Angelo Crowell seemed ok after injuring his arm. Injury Page.
Tuesday January 1, 2008
Jauron Not Safe? In a phone interview with the Rochester D&C Ralph Wilson said the future of Dick Jauron will be decided during the search for a new general manager. A new boss may want his own coach but it is known that Wilson likes the job that Jauron has done and it is likely he will stay. Any GM candidate would have to know where Jauron stands before taking the job. Jauron has two years left on his contract.
Levy Part Of Search: Marv Levy will be part of the search for a new GM. He plans on staying on for the next few weeks to help in the hiring process and to assure a smooth transition. One man that doesn't want the job is Tom Modrak. He likes his position as the director of college scouting and doesn't want to be in Buffalo full-time. Wilson said the search will include people inside and outside the organization. Many feels he will promote from within with executive vice president of business operations Russ Brandon heading that list. Wilson said he won't rush the process as they want to pick the right person for the job.
Evans Interested In Deal: Lee Evans spoke to the media during cleanout day yesterday. He said he is interested in a long term deal with the team if it can be reached. He's entering the final year of his contract and it has been the club's policy to try to wrap up their young players before their deals are up. He said he's open to discussions they just have to see how the off season progesses and how the GM and offensive coordinator situations are resolved. He would like to see Turk Schonert promoted into the role for offensive continuity.
Tiebreaker Ladder: As we reported yesterday, the Bills will pick 11th in the 1st round of the NFL Draft, where they pick will change in each round as they use a "tiebreaker ladder". Since there are six teams that finished 7-9 they will move up and down each round. The Bills will pick 10th in round two, 9th in round three and then down to 15th in round four, 14th in round five, 13th in round 6 and finally 12th in round 7. The team also has a third round pick from Baltimore in the Willis McGahee trade which means they will have two picks in a row in round three (The Ravens pick is 8th in that round). They also have an extra 5th round pick in the Darwin Walker trade to Chicago and an extra 7th round pick from Philadelphia in the Kelly Holcomb deal.
Monday December 31, 2007
It's Official: Marv Levy made it official today, he has stepped down as the General Manager of the Bills. He released a statement through the team saying "Following the 2005 NFL football season, Mr. Wilson and I agreed that I would return to Buffalo to serve as the team's General Manager for the following two-year period," said Levy in a team statement. "It has been an experience that I have enjoyed immensely, and I am grateful to Mr. Wilson, to all the wonderful people in the Buffalo Bills organization, and to those incomparable fans who have inspired our team so magnificently." Wilson said Levy told him his mission was commplished and that he will always be grateful for Levy's service. The owner feels Levy restored the organization's morale, attitude, and envrionment. Levy said he now wants to turn his energies to other endeavors that intrigue him.
Levy Tells Players He's Gone: During a five minute wrap up meeting at the stadium today Marv Levy confirmed to his players that he won't be back as GM. George Wilson told AP that Levy said "he's not stepping down, he's stepping out and moving on in his career". Wilson said Levy is content where the team is after his two year tenure as GM. The Bills have yet to confirm Levy is leaving and he wasn't available to the media for comment.
Loss Helps Bills Draft Position: In the long run the loss to the Eagles yesterday is a good thing. The Bills now finished 7-9 with six other teams. The draft position of those teams is 9th through 15th and teams are slotted by strength of schedule, the Bills finished tied for third with Denver with a strength of schedule of .515. They pick higher then them since they lost to them giving the Broncos a better conference record. So when all is said and done the Bills will pick 11th in April's draft. If they one the game they would have picked in the high teens. This will be the first time the Bills pick at number 11.
Schedule Set: Now that the season is over the schedule for next year is set. In the rotation system the Bills place the AFC West and NFC West but they won't log too many frequent flyer miles. The Bills play all four West Coast teams at home. Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle will all make rare appearances at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Patriots make four trips out west. The Bills longest road trip is to Arizona. Two games were set by where the Bills finished. They play Cleveland at home and Jacksonville on the road since they finished in second place as well. The dates and times will be announced in April. Future Opponents.
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