Bills name Nix new GM
The Buffalo Bills named Buddy Nix their general manager on Thursday, the first man to hold the official title in two years.
Nix, 70, rejoined the Bills last year as a top scout after spending much of the 1990s with the organization in a number of capacities. Nix then joined the late John Butler, former Bills GM, when Butler was hired in San Diego. Nix was an assistant GM under Butler and successor A.J. Smith with the Chargers.
"It's not what I had in my mind when I came back here in February," Nix said.
"The longer I've had time to think about it, the more I got excited about it."
Owner Ralph Wilson, 91, stressed that Nix would be the general manager of football operations and not involved in marketing and non-football related operations.
The Bills have employed a committee approach without an official GM since Marv Levy retired at the end of the 2007 season.
Buffalo is 5-10, and will record its sixth consecutive losing season. The Bills last made the playoffs in the 1999 season, and haven't won a postseason game since 1995.
Not long after admitting he wasn't "the smartest guy in the room," Nix said his expertise in personnel would help the team's turnaround.
"Every decision that we make that I have anything to do with will be to help us win a game," said Nix.
Dick Jauron was fired as coach in November, in his fifth season with the club. The firing came just one year after being given a multi-year contract extension.
Defensive co-ordinator Perry Fewell replaced Jauron on an interim basis, but the Bills are going to try and dip into a deep pool of unemployed coaches after their season concludes on Sunday. Both Wilson and Nix admitted as much on Thursday.
Longtime Denver coach Mike Shanahan recently met with the Bills, while reports have also linked ousted Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis to the team.
The Bills were reportedly interested in Weis as a coaching candidate earlier in the decade when he was offensive coordinator with the New England Patriots.
Nix's hiring could preclude certain candidates from coming to Buffalo if they believe they won't have a sufficient role in personnel decisions. The veteran football man indirectly addressed that fact that his name lacks star power.
"It doesn't matter what kind of splash we make today, what matters is two years or three years down the road if we got this thing turned in the right direction," he said.
After Levy retired, Russ Brandon was named chief operating officer in early 2008, with Tom Modrak, vice-president of college scouting, and John Guy, vice-president of pro personnel, also playing large roles.
Brandon was named chief executive officer on Thursday. It is unclear whether Modrak and Guy would stay on with the club, as it is believed they also interviewed for the GM job.
The team closes out its season Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium against Indianapolis.
The Bills are in the midst of a five-year contract that sees them play a handful of games in Toronto. Buffalo is scheduled to play a preseason and regular season game at Rogers Centre in 2010.