Over the last four seasons, it's been widely reported that Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley was unable to see eye-to-eye with the last two head coaches of the team, Doug Marrone and Rex Ryan. With Sean McDermott now two months in as the next head coach of the Bills, one report indicates changes could be coming to the team's front office -- and it might have a direct impact on Whaley.
According to Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports, the Bills could be one of a few teams to have some "movement" in the front office once the 2017 NFL Draft is complete. His exact excerpt:
"And I continue to hear that new Bills coach Sean McDermott has growing cache with ownership and that team could be bringing in vice presidents and/or personnel figures with ties to the coach in the near future.
Panthers director of player personnel is someone particularly well thought of who could end up in Buffalo after the draft in one capacity or another. There are already rumblings that the marriage of McDermott and Bills GM Doug Whaley likely isn’t built to last."
Although the name wasn't listed, the current Panthers director of player personnel is Don Gregory and has been with the franchise since 2006. He's worked with McDermott since 2011 when the new Bills head coach was brought on to be Carolina's defensive coordinator.
Joe B's Take
Over the past two months, Sean McDermott has gone from a defensive coordinator to -- for all intents and purposes -- the most important man in the Buffalo Bills organization outside of owners Terry and Kim Pegula. This report, if true, only backs up what many had thought was happening in Orchard Park: McDermott is running the show.
It's normal for a new head coach to want his own people helping to make decisions that are best for the team as he sees fit, and if McDermott and Whaley aren't seeing eye-to-eye on personnel matters throughout the roster, then that isn't necessarily a great recipe for success in the National Football League.
While you don't have to agree on everything, having a shared vision for both the short-term and long-term outlooks of the organization is essential. If those two don't have that, then perhaps a changing of the guard in the front office is necessary.
Keep in mind, McDermott is on incredibly solid footing in Orchard Park, pegged as the next head coach of the team -- and based on his reputation of hard work along with a Rolodex of people throughout the league that will vouch for him as a quality head coach, it's clear he isn't going anywhere, anytime soon.
As for Whaley, he survived even though Rex Ryan did not. Plus, he was not the man that hired McDermott (that was Terry and Kim Pegula), so there are no obvious ties that are keeping him to see out the entire McDermott era.
Though murmurs of adding to the front office aren't always a bad thing, reports insinuating that the relationship between the head coach and general manager "isn't built to last" is troubling. And it makes you wonder if Whaley's tenure with the team might be coming to a close before any of us originally expected.