Prior to being named the Buffalo Bills Assistant General Manager/Director of Pro Personnel in 2010, Doug Whaley worked under Pittsburgh Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert for 12 years in Pittsburgh, so it shouldn\’t be a surprise that the newly-named General Manager for the Bills wants to model the Buffalo organization after the Steelers.
“Talking to (team president) Russ (Brandon) and Buddy, when we started the coaching search we said, \’let\’s start a philosophy and identity of the Buffalo Bills,\'” Whaley said via a report by Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. “And what we came up with is an identity as an aggressive, attacking, innovating team, and a lot of that I got (from Pittsburgh).
“And we kind of subscribe to that, and a team with an identity that can win in the Northeast, in the division we play in, and it\’s proven to be an identity that can consistently compete. And that\’s one of the major things I got from the Pittsburgh Steelers — having an identity.”
The signs that Whaley wants a Steelers-like atmosphere in Buffalo is already evident when you look at their current 90 man roster as it includes several former Steelers players, whom Whaley likely scouted himself during his time in Pittsburgh. That list of players includes Kraig Urbik, Corbin Bryant, Dorin Dickerson, Tony Hills, Crezdon Butler, Frank Summers and Doug Legursky, who recently signed with the team back in the middle of June.
Like the Steelers, Whaley intends to continue to try to rebuild the Bills into a contender once again through the draft and very little through free agency.
“Look at teams like Pittsburgh, Green Bay, the Giants,” Whaley said. “They mostly are homegrown. That\’s the philosophy I was brought up in, and I subscribe to it wholeheartedly.”
The Bills certainly have a long way to go until they can dethrone the New England Patriots in their division, but you can\’t argue with what Whaley is planning to do as he already has the blue print from the blue-collar organization that he worked for during his many years in Pittsburgh. Whaley will get a chance to measure his team against the Steelers in 2013 as the two teams are scheduled to play each other in Week 10 at Heinz Field.