Many people were taken by surprise when the Buffalo Bills parted ways with Vice President of College Scouting Tom Modrak earlier this week.
However, if you think about it the writing was already on the wall.
According to a November 2006 article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, even though Whaley held the title of Pro Personnel Coordinator with the Pittsburgh Steelers those weren’t his only duties. Not only was Whaley in charge of scouting opponents and free agents in advance, his duties also included the scouting of college players.
“During the season, mostly I’m the advance scout for the coaches, so during the week I’ll break down the film of the opponent — not their plays, but their players: the good points, the weak points and the summary of how they played,” Whaley said. “During the weekend, I’ll go out and do some colleges.”
Essentially, when general manager Buddy Nix hired Whaley to be his assistant general manager he hired him to eventually replace Modrak. Modrak under former Bills President and General Manager Tom Donahoe held the same title and duties as Whaley does now. Heck Whaley, Donahoe and Modrak all held the same title with the Steelers, which was the Pro Personnel Coordinator.
However, there is a clear distinction between Whaley and his predecessors. That being Modrak and Donahoe never played college football while Whaley played safety and linebacker at the University of Pittsburgh. So, it is not just a coincidence that the Steelers have been dominant when it came to finding linebackers and safeties. If you want proof of that look at last year’s NFL Draft as the Bills found a gem in outside linebacker Arthur Moats and hold linebacker Danny Batten in high regard as well even though he missed all of last year to an injury.
In the end, with the combination of Nix and Whaley running the show in Buffalo one thing is guaranteed and that is the Bills defense in a couple years will be one of the best in the NFL.