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WGR550>Topics>>3/4 Bills General Manager Doug Whaley Joins the Howard Simon Show

3/4 Bills General Manager Doug Whaley Joins the Howard Simon Show

Mar 4, 2014|

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

-- get a little bit more of the story from bills general manager Doug Whaley coming up in just a moment we've connected with the bills he's winning four. The GM to arrive Jeremy White Matthew -- here on WGR Sports Radio 550. It is Tuesday at 830 and tomorrow's the trade deadline from. Six to 10 AM Bulldog will be here with Matthew and I and then in the afternoon moron as well so complete trade deadline coverage. Tomorrow keep you at the date on all it's going on but topple ball now. -- general manager Doug Whaley joins us from 1 bills drive morning -- it's Matthew Jeremy. Morning -- are you guys doing that doing all right -- so a lot for anyone that may be missed. Pilots at yesterday's press conference can you go through the basic reasoning behind deciding to let -- -- become a free agent. Well first of all we're not -- them to decide to go to be free agent we still have some time to get this deal done. What we did decide does not to use the franchise tag and for us as an organization we weighed all options. And we felt this was the best course of action for us as a organization to move. Heading try to get this team going in the right direction. Do you feel what was it up a part of the negotiation process I guess who did the birds camp basically say. You have a better time talking to us if you don't use this tag because obviously that gives you exclusive rights through what July 15 that leave the deadline was this year to get a deal on. We -- we're not -- negotiate through through the media but again I just have to reiterate. We aren't taking a stance that. We have to look out for the best interest of the Buffalo Bills the bills nation and mr. Wilson. And that doesn't preclude us from get a deal done between now and that and the eleventh with -- bird but we are taking one of the options off the table. And that's the franchise tag. Other teams can begin talking with him as of this weekend -- the eighth the eighth yes OK so between now and the -- -- continue conversations with Eugene Parker and Harrisburg. -- will continue conversations with them as long as possible. And then as of the eighteen hits the open market and if you're basically as a -- is kind of treating it as. You're one team that'll be in the mix at that point if it does get to that point. Just like -- the other free agents that we have tag it tagged on our team and and in the other. Free agent market that's out there. Now by doing this dog -- bills GM Doug -- hear about jurors heard by doing this what you're basically saying is that you are. Prepared to lose him if that's the way that it that it ultimately goes in that might lead many bills fans think that you would have. And understanding on his value and what it would be like to try to replace a player of his caliber so if you're talking about Gerris -- value. Where do you value him an and the position of safety. Or put a value one not only safety position but all the other ten positions on the defense. And what will look at is how players and this is general. Player's skill level. A player's production. A player's age and I how that player could fit into the future plans of the Buffalo Bills. So that's how we come up with a value I'm sure every player has a value that they put on ourselves and what we try to do is meet me in between those values and make it. Comfortable for both parties. When it comes to the safety position -- how important is it as it changed over the years since you've. Been around the NFL in it's important now that there are so many tall wide receivers tall tight ends that are becoming targets deep downfield. I don't the thing that's changed most. Evident is. You don't need that the box safety is much because of its all the passing in this league. And also the heavy hitters those guys they go for the knockout punches with all the penalties that are being assessed nowadays. And now the finds that that's less important aspect of their games so it's changed that way. Com. I have to say you have to give more athletic guy that can cover. That those are them. The most evident pieces of the puzzle that a change for the state safety position. Speak with bills GM Doug Whaley on WGR -- -- become minor just talked about bird and how he thought he was a great player and kind of sound like he took up for bird. And the event reports about within the organization internally that. Obviously that it's decision that might be. Yours or somebody else's or it's a team decision so when it comes of the decision not to franchise tag Gerris birds that 100% directly with you. Let alone put it this way coach and I talk every day I talked to him probably more than my wife during the day. And I have -- tremendous support from everybody in this organization personnel staff the football managed -- -- The trainers everyone from top to bottom but the franchise player tag designation does start and stop with me. But I take input from everybody that I can and I'm a firm believer that information makes the decision and with all the information that. We gathered and was putting from my face I truly believe it was the best course of action for us not to tag -- Doug when when you have things that that end up coming out of the media from one way or another that say that -- This offer was out there are substantial offer things that come out like that. Do you get concerned at all when these negotiations happened about how. The team looks how it looks in the locker room. Negotiating with the players such as bird because I would think that the guys in the locker room and other potential free -- around the league. Woods be kind of keeping an eye on this and how the bills -- handling it. While -- this way you got to look. At the players we signed on our contract our current roster to contract extensions. We remain open assigned terrorist bird but yet keep in mind look at would last year Stevie Johnson Freddy Jackson. Kyle Williams peers are rich so they know we make a concerted effort. To try to signing guys who that we drafted are the guys there are teams so we don't feel it's anything more than though look at it is this something. But the business part of football they just couldn't get done if it doesn't get done but we still fill -- we have a chance. He -- even chance Saltzman reports -- and both owners reporting crop last week that it was that the conversations between the two sides were going better than last year like -- that maybe wasn't as frosty relationship has this time last year -- -- -- accurate. And say you will. Both sides have been completely professional so I don't know about the frosting that's on our side their side but. I viewed a report I've gotten from the people from Jim over Norse and in the administration staff is that -- -- Both sides of work and diligence to try to get this thing done. When it comes to -- negotiations how much of it are you went on and how much is is -- more order -- on if if you're talking to the agent directly. Most of it. Jim and I mean constantly along with coach Russ Brandon and Jim misses the point man he's the mouthpiece of it but he takes direction from myself. And Russ Brandon and we get input from everybody in the building. Now -- Doug I'm sure you've thought about the possibility of this not working out quite a bit -- jurors' verdict he ends up leaving. The current secondary that you have -- a player like the Norris here see who. By some analytics and some statistical web sites might have not been one of the more valuable players on the bills in the secondary. Are you confident in where the secondary stands if this doesn't work out. We're excited about it I mean to Norris played when when Byrd wasn't in there. And we eat eat we are excited about what he brought to the table we also have two young safeties on the roster. And now -- into Williams that we're also excited about so. We would love to have. -- back. What were also in a position where we don't we have some people on the roster on campus that we think can fill the void. And that's what we're trying to get to as a team where it in this system you know you cannot keep everybody you want to. But. I have to say the fans they were happy when Mario Williams came and we sign them and that's just stood the part of the salary cap system but what it does it puts onus. On our personnel staff. To be diligent. And resourceful and find guys in the draft specially laid around guy so. Now unfortunate circumstance if we do lose of -- veteran we have somebody that's been in the system a year to that's produced on special teams that knows the system. And then we can plug in play and just keep going in the right direction. Speaking -- that I mean how does on Gerris -- fit with Jim Schwartz I mean have you talked I assume you have Jim Schwartz about. How his defense might be different from Mike -- and how bird might fit into that or might not fit in that going forward. The thing Schwartz told us when he got here was say listen we're gonna keep their aggressive attacking style and you give me good players and I'll make them fit. And a good player like chairs I think will fit in any. System because he's a roaming ball hawking free safety so I think he'll find a place Schwartzel that we find a place to make him productive. -- built Jim Doug -- here on WG are joining us from one bills drive we need some of the things as well the draft would would losing burden. Affect your board anyway your needs do you feel like it's a team -- pretty well identified. Your needs along the way are you going in thinking in -- receiver linebacker what -- what -- had no idea when you look at the draft are you charting. Certain positions over others and -- defensive back in there. I'm gonna steal a line from coach Ron I'm excited about the draft and I'll tell you why Jeremy besides quarterback. We can go anywhere across the ball. Board we do not have a glaring need in and our view that we're gonna have to. Reach for somebody or -- get a position. To fill a need. So were excited and that opens up the board for us and it's it's. Something that you be rarely get in this day and age of free agency in the salary cap. But we've set ourself out. Starting from buddy next to what we've made some moves in the off season during the season excuse me. That we we feel pretty confident that we don't have to pay one position. We still got a good -- two months and change into the draft but in terms of you know specific players I know one story jobless guy like that tells you saying that the words big wins. And maybe big receiver or big tight and it is a target that could help you get big and win what do you think about the class at that and whether or not it's a need for you guys. I -- I think this classes is. There's some big receivers down there and then there's some small receivers there's. The deepest part of this draft I think you're gonna be the offensive line the receivers. The corners. And maybe some linebackers. But there are some big receivers out there and what I look at is. Obviously they gotta have. Football skills and the skill set to be productive but if everything is equal I'm gonna go with the bigger guy because a big target free -- is gonna help them out tremendously. Is that is that priority number one for the offseason is to try and give EJ every tool possible. I think priority number one is just trying to get our team better to to make the playoffs and if that happens to be a guy that can help -- if that happens to be got -- can help our defense. -- I get more open to go any direction and that's that's exciting thing so it doesn't handcuff us or -- tunnel vision. Is there an organizational theory about whether to draft the best player available or the biggest need this is. A team that might be trending in the right direction toward getting back to the playoffs usually teams that are in your position kind of draft more toward their need as opposed to just the best player valuable. Available like teams in full rebuild but how do you see that. Well I have to reiterate what you try to do is set yourself up where you can -- the draft the best player available and I think that's what we've done the last two or three years. Again we can go in there and some people say we have some glaring needs but I think. If we didn't -- a person on our roster right now. We could still be competitive you're always gonna try to look to bring in competition and bring in better players which will do two things create debt. But also with the competition elevate the players on your rosters game. So we're excited about the draft we're excited about free agency we have a definite plan and we plan executed. And get better and take a step to making towards the playoffs you plan to be very active in free agency. I I say that's what we're going to be the we will not be prohibited to doing anything that will help us get better Romney were in great shape with the cap. And Jim -- or from the entire administration staff. Has put us in the situation where we can be flexible with a number of moves -- our own players and then free agency. So we're gonna go out more going to be aggressive and we've targeted some guys and hopefully things work out but. The one thing about free agency until the eleventh these gas consigned which hopefully we can give -- done so you don't know really who's going to be out there. Adam chapter brought up Michael vick's name into the conversation. Yesterday that was out there how do you view of the backup quarterback situation whatever the situation is with. I'm Kevin Cobb and Thad Lewis and and would -- be a consideration. Well this -- war we're still up in the air about Cobb because we have to wait for the medical valuation gets back on him. With Thad Lewis we looked this way. Russ Brandon always told me his mentor in this business John Butler said if you have a back -- quarterback you want that data come in and keep -- 500. Now that was two and three not completely 500 but we feel pretty confident that was another year of seasoning. With him in this offensive system because you understand he came in. The week before cut down -- So we feel this guy has a chance to be a solid back up in the end in the rotation. And then you use that Dennis Dixon and Jeff told so we have some competition at that quarterback position. We'll evaluate everybody else that's out there but at this time I think we feel pretty comfortable where we are. Doug one last question before the GO eject. You know offseason procedure -- -- 100% as he re having what's the timeline on his health. Last report I got that he is rehabbing and it's nothing that's gonna deter him or be a setback for him this. Take place take part in the offseason program. -- -- Thanks Doug thanks for the titles I don't care bills GM Doug Whaley from a one -- drive and if you join a -- put that in the audio.

Do EJ Manuel's performances at training camp matter at all?
  Yes. If he's going to be better in year 2, it starts now
  No. I wouldn't start evaluating him until the pre-season games
 
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