Friday, March 25, 2011
No fireworks allowed in Buffalo's draft room
By Tim Graham
NEW ORLEANS -- The Buffalo Bills' preparations for their first-round draft choice won't be as easy as 1-2-3.
They own the third overall selection. One might think they'll only need to identify three franchise players they'd be satisfied with, accounting for the prospects who'd be taken first and second.
"That's a very simplistic way to put it, and that is very true," Bills coach Chan Gailey said Tuesday at the NFL owners meeting in New Orleans. "But you've got to have the whole thing worked out because if somebody calls you in that 15 minutes with an offer you can't refuse and gives you No. 9, you better have nine."
Gailey also provided some insight on how Buffalo's draft room operates at such a time.
He said general manager Buddy Nix "makes the decision on whether it's best to move up, move down, all that kind of stuff." Gailey suggested he and vice president of college scouting Tom Modrak provide input as required, but that it's Nix's show.
"I try to make sure he understands what I think we need for our football team," Gailey said, "where we need the most help, and if he asks my opinion about the players that are in the draft, I've watched them and how their abilities might fit into what we're doing."
I asked Gailey what would happen if the Bills were on the clock and a player was on the board he truly coveted.
"Me? I have a guy?" Gailey said. "I don't have a guy. It is our guy."
Gailey then broke into an imaginary debate that would take place among scouts and coaches in a draft room.
"This guy would bring this. This guy would bring this. This guy would bring this," he said. "Whichever one we choose, that's our guy.
"I've been in rooms where the best arguer got his way. Whoever could argue the best or the loudest or was the most persuasive ... I've been in rooms like that.
"But Buddy and I, when we started this whole thing, we said, 'If somebody is trying to persuade us, we're going to put him out the room.' I told the coaches, 'Don't try to talk us into anybody. Give us information. Then let Buddy make a decision.' "
And what kind of vote does owner Ralph Wilson have?
"He is the boss," Gailey said. "He has all influence, every bit of influence. He says, 'Take this guy,' we take him. But he's smart enough not to do that. He hired people to do a job. He lets them do their job. He's letting us do our job. That's what I've seen."