There wasn’t much to like about the Buffalo Bills under former Head Coach Rex Ryan. Sure, I realize they are division rivals and let’s be honest, many of us despise the very existence of the other three AFC East teams. In fact, the best thing about the Bills under Sexy Rexy was how easy it was for Jay Ajayi to run for 200 yards in both of their 2016 meetings. In the end, Rex was fired and the Bills brought in a head coach that demands respect from players and coaches alike. Sadly, I believe Sean McDermott has Buffalo headed in the right direction. It wasn’t long after the draft the team dismissed the entire scouting department, paving the way to a new regime in Buffalo. This regime looks very familiar and should give all Dolphins’ fans an uncomfortable feeling in their stomachs.
Let’s take a look at the Bills recent front office additions
Brandon Beane, General Manager
Buffalo signed Carolina’s assistant GM, Brandon Beane to oversee the team’s roster. He worked in Carolina for the last 19 years and has learned the inner workings of an NFL front office. He’s experienced enough to put together quite the front office. His new group of personnel is littered with former Miami Dolphins’ scouts and front office castaways. Many of these men played a crucial role in building the core foundation for the Miami Dolphins and are expected to do the same in Buffalo.
Joe Schoen, Assistant General Manager
Beane wasted no time finding an assistant general manager and plucked away Miami’s director of player personnel, Joe Schoen. Schoen has been with the Dolphins since 2008, where he started as a national scout. He’s been a huge contribution to the team’s scouting department and had his fair hand in drafting some of the current players on the roster. After his sixth season in Miami, Schoen was promoted to director of player personnel. Although the Dolphins and Tannenbaum were able to block the hire, they allowed the Bills to pluck away the highly regarded scout. Buffalo got a good one in Joe Schoen.
Brian Gaine, Vice President of Player Personnel
Gaine spent six years with the Dolphins, and eventually worked his way up to assistant general manager under Jeff Ireland. During his time with Miami, Gaine interviewed for the general manager position twice. Despite being named a finalist both times, he was never picked for the job. When Dennis Hickey was brought on board, Miami terminated Gaine. Not long after, he arrived in Houston where he was named director of player personnel. Although he applied for the Bills’ vacant GM position this offseason, it was eventually given to Beane. Gaine liked what Buffalo was building so much, that he made a lateral move to join the team. I’m confident the next time we discuss Brian Gaine, he will be announced as general manager for an NFL franchise.
Dennis Hickey, Senior College Scout
Silverfox will always have a special place in the hearts of many fans. The former Miami Dolphins’ general manager, drafted several key players currently on the roster. Those players include: Jarvis Landry, Jay Ajayi, Ja’Wuan James, DeVante Parker, Terrence Fede, Jordan Phillips, Tony Lippett, among several others. Unfortunately, when Mike Tannenbaum arrived in Miami, Hickey was the odd man out. He left Miami shortly after the 2015 season. Before the Dolphins hired Hickey as their general manager, Hickey spent 18 seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He’s done it all and with the help of his former pupils Schoen and Gaine, will help improve the Bills’ roster significantly.
I think it’s safe to say, the Bills are a whole lot better now than they were a year ago.