Ralph Wilson Steps Down As Bills Team President

Ralph Wilson will step down from an active role in the Bills organization

Ralph Wilson will step down from an active role in the Bills organization

For the first time in the history of the Buffalo Bills franchise Ralph Wilson will hold no title other than owner and will not be involved in the decision making process as the franchise turns its eyes to 2013.  It was an inevitable move for the 94-year old owner, new Team President Russ Brandon had represented the Bills at the last few NFL owner meetings, but it is still a monumental step for a guy who was involved in the decision making process as recently as this Monday when the team decided to fire head coach Chan Gailey.

Wilson will go down as one of the better owners in NFL history.  He was instrumental in getting the AFL off the ground in the late 50’s and even helped fund the Raiders and the Patriots to prevent them from going out of business before the AFL took off.  His team went to 4 straight Super Bowls in the 90’s and were the winningest team in the AFC during that decade.  Wilson already has a spot in the NFL Hall Of Fame in Canton, Ohio, elected in 2009.  Things haven’t gone so well over the past decade however.  Wilson drove former coach Mike Mularkey out of town when he continually meddled in the business of Mularkey and former GM Tom Donahoe.  He also made the ill-advised mistake of bringing former Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy back as GM in a move that set the Bills back for several years as a result.

New Bills President Russ Brandon will try to take the Bills in a new direction

New Bills President Russ Brandon will try to take the Bills in a new direction

Russ Brandon has been heavily involved as Bills CEO since 2010 but now he is the man in charge and the buck stops with him.  You can tell that the shackles have come off as Brandon has already made plans to take the Bills in a different direction.  He is making plans to install a new “analytical team” into the front office which is basically the football version of sabre-metrics.  He also has made Assistant GM Doug Whaley the ‘GM-in-waiting” and rumor around Buffalo is that the weight for Whaley could end as early as this April after the draft.  Whaley will also be involved in all of the pending coaching interviews.

The course is clear in Buffalo – there is a new team president and it will be followed by a new General Manager and a new Head Coach.  The head coaching search is already shaping up to be very interesting – I’ll get into that tomorrow.  One thing is for sure is that coaches aren’t running away from the opportunity to coach the Bills which is progress from 3 years ago.  There has been a lot of broken promises and false hope presented to Bills fans over the years and the only way they win the trust back is to win more games but one thing is for certain.  For the first time in the franchise history Ralph Wilson is nothing more than a figurehead.

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About evonsports
30 year old sports enthusiast and aspiring writer from Boston.

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