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Lack of homegrown talent spurs Bills to overhaul front office

Maybe the Buffalo Bills have finally gotten it right.

After going far too long with poor results from the lifeblood of their organization, the Bills have made changes to their player-personnel department that could very well offer more than a little hope to a franchise that has gone 11 seasons without a playoff appearance.

They didn't do anything splashy, such as adding star power to their front office. They've just made a series of moves that look sound and logical, beginning with the most noteworthy: The dismissal of Tom Modrak as vice president of college scouting.

Modrak arrived with a great reputation for evaluating talent, but for whatever reason, the Bills ended up with more flops than difference-makers during his 10 years with the organization.

With that, second-year general manager Buddy Nix had the administrative room to carry out a restructuring that allows assistant GM Doug Whaley to have an even stronger voice in player-personnel matters. Whaley, who joined the Bills last year with a strong reputation for the work he did as pro scouting coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers, now has the added all-encompassing role of director of player personnel.

Just as they did by hiring Nix, who was a former Buffalo scout, the Bills then reached into their past by making Tom Gibbons their director of pro personnel. Gibbons, who had been a scout with the San Diego Chargers, broke into the scouting business under a pair of Bills front-office legends: Bill Polian and John Butler. The Bills also named Chuck Cook as their director of college scouting.

All of this comes after what could very well shape up as one of the Bills' best drafts in many years. If Modrak gets the blame for many of Buffalo's poor picks in the last decade, it's only fair to also give him credit for ones that look promising.

But the current team of talent-evaluators now has the unmistakable stamp of Nix and Whaley, giving Bills fans hopes their team just might return to the days of when it was recognized for being one of the NFL's very best at finding talent.

Follow Vic Carucci on Twitter @viccarucci.

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