Daily Archives: December 31, 2009

Buffalo’s Buddy

We’re covering major front-office changes with NFL teams, and the Bills made one on New Year’s Eve by promoting chief operating officer and de-facto general manager Russ Brandon to franchise CEO to make room for national scout Buddy Nix to emerge as the team’s new GM. Below are some thoughts on the Bills’ new front office situation; you can compare it to other front-office changes in the NFL in this accumulated post.

After firing head coach Dick Jauron, the Bills realigned their front office by promting Brandon to the top spot under owner Ralph Wilson in the organization and making long-time scout Nix their GM. Although Brandon had been filling the GM role for the Bills, he is considered more of an overall organization man than an on-field talent evaluator. So now those duties go to Nix, who at age 70 has a long resume working with John Butler and A.J. Smith first in Buffalo and then in San Diego. That’s a pretty good pedigree when it comes to finding players. The question is whether Nix can take off his scout’s hat and begin to put together a team systematically. That’s especially important now considering that the Bills have a vacancy at head coach. The Bills are a team without a true identity and without a clear future at quarterback, and those are big issues that outweigh the presence of good to very good players like rookie safety Jarius Byrd, WR Lee Evans, or DE Aaron Schobel. Nix’s stamp has to go beyond good drafts to an overall plan. Maybe his long tenure in college coaching helps him do that, but getting a first shot at running an NFL front office at age 70 makes it far from a sure thing. Nix will help a ton on draft day; it’s what he does the rest of the year that will determine how the Bills go from here.

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Filed under Football Relativity, NFL front offices

Suicide Pool Picks – Week 17

10 in a row. Let’s end the season on a high note.

1. Denver over Kansas City – The Broncos have something to play for, and with the Jets flexed into the night game, that will remain the case even with a 4 o’clock kickoff. And a matchup against the Chiefs is among the juiciest possible games. So if you’ve saved the Broncos to this point, it will pay off.

2. San Francisco over St. Louis – The 49ers are playing for 8-8, and the Rams need a loss to lock up the No. 1 pick. This is a mismatch in which the motivations seem clear, and that makes it a solid pick.

3. San Diego over Washington – The Chargers have nothing to play for, but the Redskins have all but quit on head coach Jim Zorn. That, plus the cross-country trip, should be enough for even San Diego’s B team to get a win.

Trap to avoid – Indianapolis at Buffalo – This looks like an easy pick, but with the Colts pulling back the reins, any road game is dicey. So just stay away.

Week 16: W Green Bay (over Seattle)
Week 15: W Baltimore (over Chicago)
Week 14: W Tennessee (over St. Louis)
Week 13: W Cincinnati (over Detroit)
Week 12: W Dallas (over Oakland)
Week 11: W Arizona (over St. Louis)
Week 10: W Miami (over Tampa Bay)
Week 9: W Atlanta (over Washington)
Week 8: W Chicago (over Cleveland)
Week 7: W Indianapolis (over St. Louis)
Week 6: L Jets (vs. Buffalo)
Week 5: W Philadelphia (over Tampa Bay)
Week 4: W San Francisco (over St. Louis)
Week 3: L Houston (vs. Jacksonville)
Week 2: L Jacksonville (vs. Arizona)
Week 1: W New Orleans (over Detroit)

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Filed under Football Relativity, NFL games, Suicide Pool Suggestions

Pick ’em – Week 16

Bowls are mitigating our horrible college season at least a little. But there are still miles to go to get to .500. But we shall not quit…
(These picks were made Wednesday in order to include bowl games.)

Arizona +3 vs. Nebraska
Stanford +10 vs. Oklahoma
Navy +7 vs. Missouri
Virginia Tech -6 vs. Tennessee
Northwestern +8 vs. Auburn
West Virginia -3 vs. Florida State
Louisiana State +3 vs. Penn State
Oregon -4 vs. Ohio State
Cincinnati +13 vs. Florida
UConn +4.5 vs. South Carolina
Ole Miss -3 vs. Oklahoma State
Michigan State +8.5 vs. Texas Tech
Boise State +8 vs. TCU
Georgia Tech -4 vs. Iowa

New York Giants +9 vs. Minnesota
Houston -8 vs. New England
Philadelphia +3 vs. Dallas
Baltimore -10.5 at Oakland
New York Jets -10 vs. Cincinnati

Last week – 4-3 college, 2-4 pro
Season – 54-76-3 college, 53-55-2 pro, 107-131-5 overall

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