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Saturday, February 21, 2009
Modrak: Bills roster builders 'have to be better'


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

INDIANAPOLIS -- Dick Jauron seemed alone in the crosshairs at the end of 2008 until Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson released a statement the head coach would be retained despite three straight 7-9 seasons.

Jauron, though, was not alone in overseeing Buffalo's despair. He has been around for only the last third of a nine-year stretch without a playoff appearance.

One of the most influential managers of Buffalo's roster is vice president of college scouting Tom Modrak, who admitted he and the rest of the front office have to do a better job.

"Dick taking all the heat, he's taking it for me and [vice president of pro personnel] John Guy and everybody else that does the personnel work because we've got to get more players," Modrak said Saturday afternoon at the NFL scouting combine in Lucas Oil Stadium.

"If you start thinking it's a one-man operation, then I think you make a mistake. The personnel's got to be good enough to do it in all areas, and I think we're pretty good, but we have to be better.

"If you won a Super Bowl we'd be having the same conversation. You still have to get better."

True, but nobody in Buffalo would be listening because the city would be on a two month bender. They'd still be partying in Niagara Square.

Although Modrak declared he hasn't done enough to build a playoff-caliber roster, he has made some terrific picks over the past few years. The Bills have a youthful core that includes quarterback Trent Edwards, running back Marshawn Lynch, linebacker Paul Posluszny and safety Donte Whitner.

"I think it is a good core," Modrak said. "In my mind, we are better than we showed. Now, we have to do that and prove that. I can say all I want to, but we have to show it with W's."

One of Modrak's biggest busts has been defensive tackle John McCargo, who they traded up to select 26th overall three years ago. McCargo has started zero games and has 2.5 sacks.

The Bills thought they unloaded him to the Indianapolis Colts last year, but the trade was voided because McCargo failed his physical.

"He still has the physical talent," Modrak said. "It's not like he's gotten to be an old man overnight or he isn't as quick as we thought he was. He's still quick. He still has the talent. Obviously, he has to do it. This is a big time for him."