Scouts Inc. takes a look at all 32 NFL teams, grouped by division, heading toward the 2011 season (whenever it arrives), examining offseason observations, the decision makers and the offensive and defensive philosophies of each team.
Offseason observations: Even though their 4-12 record in 2010 and 11-year playoff drought have Buffalo fans losing patience, this team played hard for Chan Gailey and you get the feeling the Bills are headed in the right direction. However, they have inferior personnel and weaknesses at almost every position, and there is a lot of work to be done. They have some decent young players but major decisions to make starting with what to do at QB -- at least they better understand their needs after a year of working with these players.
Organizational structure: General manager Buddy Nix is in his 70s, but he is a Ralph Wilson favorite and a well-respected personnel man. He is under pressure to turn this team around quicker than it is happening. The structure here is unusual, with a lot of voices but not a lot of big egos. VP of college scouting Tom Modrak is a strong draft day veteran, but he doesn't even live in Buffalo; director of pro personnel Doug Whaley handles the pro side; VP of football operations Jim Overdorf oversees all facets and CEO Russ Brandon has a voice. Gailey and his coaches have moderate input into personnel decisions along with the scouts, but getting to a consensus decision with so many voices is sometimes a challenge.
Offensive philosophy: Curtis Modkins is the coordinator but Gailey calls the plays. He likes spread formations and shotgun looks, but his offense is sound and doesn't have a lot of exotic plays. The Bills try to move around enough to get favorable matchups that give them a chance to compete with inferior personnel. They would like to be better in their power run offense, but right now they don't have the right players.