Doug Whaley spoke for the first time since being fired by the Buffalo Bills and I must say, I gained a lot of respect for him over his comments.
Less than a month after being fired by the Buffalo Bills, former General Manager Doug Whaley spoke to the media for the first time. He appeared on SiriusXM NFL Radio earlier this week and had quite a bit to say about his time and departure at One Bills Drive.
As I anticipated, the criticism on Doug Whaley’s comments were on full blast after the interview. In my opinion, that’s just Bills’ fans and media being sour over his time with the Bills — which we can all agree was a failure, even in Whaley’s words. Personally, I gained a little respect for Whaley after seeing his comments.
There were a few publications that took Whaley’s comments a little too far and were clearly just putting the man down even more than they already have. I mean, Doug Whaley even took full responsibility for the fact that he isn’t the GM in Buffalo anymore.
Whaley stated, “I wish the Pegulas and the Buffalo Bills all the luck in the world. I don’t look at anybody else except myself in the mirror for not being the head of that organization today.” I respect that.
I want to go through the main topics from the interview, Whaley’s comments on those topics and why I believe he said the right thing.
First off, his comments on the Pegulas. The two sides clearly built a close relationship over the years and he could’ve taken the time to trash them for letting him go and not trusting in him anymore. That wasn’t the case, though. In fact, Whaley put the two on a pedestal:
"“Great owners. Great people and great owners. There’s nothing that we asked as a personnel department that they said no to. If you ever get a chance or you can get on the website and look at our draft room, it’s state of the art and it’s the best I would say in the league.”"
There was another member of the Buffalo Bills‘ staff that got a lot of praise from Whaley — new head coach Sean McDermott. Now, McDermott came in and immediately took Whaley’s voice away from the Bills’ media. Whaley never had a lot of bright moments during interviews, but they aren’t for everyone.
Whaley could’ve been sour about that whole situation and how McDermott kind of “unofficially” drove him out of Buffalo by setting an example of what the Bills need in a staff.
Instead, Whaley took the high road:
"“It wasn’t uncomfortable at all. We worked well together. It was a great working relationship not only with the coaching staff but with the Pegulas and our personnel department. I think what came to fruition during draft day was a testament to how well we worked together in that short amount of time.”"
Now, there were three comments he made that received the most heat — and obviously the other publications didn’t exactly mention the ones above. I wonder why they’re only looking at the negative side to things.
Whaley made comments on where he thought he went wrong in Buffalo, how the draft went and what he thinks about the future of the Bills.
As far as where he felt he went wrong, it was failing to find a franchise quarterback. This is him admitting that he was wrong on E.J. Manuel, who was largely drafted because of Whaley. That selection set the team back several years and Whaley wasn’t blind to that fact. He took full blame on that, as well.
"“As I always say, it’s an easy business but it’s a hard business. It’s an easy business because if you get a franchise quarterback, everything else is a lot easier. But it’s hard finding that franchise quarterback. I think putting all your effort into trying to find that franchise quarterback but also building that team until you get that. That’s a tricky business and it’s not easy. If I get a shot again I’m going to try to map out a road map to accomplish both at the same time but try to get that franchise quarterback as quickly as possible. As they say, when you have that guy under center, you need only one guy that’s on every day.”"
His comments on how the draft went possibly received the most heat of all. In addition to saying he was happy with how the draft went — also adding his comments about working with McDermott — Whaley stated, “I’ll have to say as a parting gift, we left them with two going into next year.”
Some websites sent a lot of backlash over that comment. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (NBC Sports) quickly dismissed any credit to Whaley for anything that happened during the draft. In fact, he gave all the credit to the Chiefs for wanting Patrick Mahomes.
Let’s get something straight. Whether anyone liked it or not, Doug Whaley was the Bills’ GM on draft day and that means he was a part of the process. McDermott likely had a majority of the say, but don’t take all credit away from Whaley just because he isn’t a part of the team anymore and you weren’t happy with his performance.
Lastly, Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News insisted that Whaley was throwing shade at Rex Ryan. First, here’s the comment Whaley made about McDermott and how he will have them prepared this season:
"“The one thing that impressed us throughout the interview process was how detailed he is and how methodical he is in his approach to everything he does,” Whaley said. “The one thing I feel very confident is that the Buffalo Bills, he will have them in position to win a lot of games. They won’t be beating themselves. He will have them prepared as well as any coach in the NFL. The game won’t be determined on them beating themselves, because he will have them prepared.”"
Okay, now Whaley didn’t mention Rex Ryan’s name at all in that comment. I’m not saying Whaley wasn’t throwing shade at Ryan, but that’s just digging a hole where it’s not needed. In my opinion, Whaley was simply saying McDermott is detail-orientated and it will benefit the Buffalo Bills moving forward. He wasn’t jabbing at anyone that came before McDermott.
If Whaley was mad at a coach, wouldn’t he be throwing shade at Doug Marrone who left the team out of nowhere at the end of 2014.
Go back and read all of Whaley’s comments listed above and tell me how many times Whaley says something negative about the Buffalo Bills, his time with the team or anyone he has worked with. I see 0 cases of that happening.
For that reason, everyone that is criticizing him for his comments are really just creating fire that isn’t needed. I applaud the man for staying professional and actually having A LOT of nice things to say about this franchise.
I respect all of that.
What do you think of Whaley’s comments earlier this week? Leave your thoughts below!