Bills' talk is cheap, time for results

Paul Jannace

The Buffalo Bills got 2013 started on the right foot.

However, the true impact of Tuesday's announcement cannot be measured until about a year from now. Where will the Bills be at this time in 2014?

Talk is cheap, especially when it comes to the Buffalo Bills. We have heard this sentiment before — specifically three years ago when they hired Chan Gailey and Buddy Nix — and the results were underwhelming to say the least.

Ralph Wilson relinquishing control of football operations has been a long-time coming. The franchise has needed to get younger in the front office for quite a while, but Wilson always hesitated trusting people.

At 94 years old, Wilson has finally decided it's time to let someone else run the show. That man is Russ Brandon.

As CEO, Brandon has done a good job promoting the product and while fans may hate to hear this, the Toronto series has made the Bills a lot of easy money.

Brandon's duties now, though, go well beyond strengthening the fan base in Ontario. Brandon has been saddled with finding the franchise quarterback, the next head coach, and greatly improving this defense.

While Brandon says he won't pick the players in the draft or in free agency, it's his reputation on the line if the people he chose to do that job fail — Nix, who is staying on as GM for now, and assistant GM Doug Whaley.

Brandon talked about the team's irrelevance across the country and 13 consecutive seasons without the playoffs being unacceptable.

Nix is also squarely on the hot seat now because he is essentially being kept on to run the draft because that's being identified as his "strength."

If Brandon is not just blowing smoke to the fans and media, then he needs to have a quick hook with Nix. Even though the Bills are technically starting over again, Nix's past results need to count when evaluating the team at this time next year.

The best part from Tuesday's announcement is the seemingly genuine anger from Brandon about the state of the team. For too long Wilson and the Bills seemed to almost shrug their shoulders at the team's failures and be helpless in knowing how to fix it.

Brandon admitted he is not happy with the criticism leveled at the Bills — nor should he be — and made a lot of big promises.

The problem is now Brandon has to deliver in a big way. With big talk comes the responsibility of putting your own reputation on the line, and that's what Brandon did with this move.

Wilson has grown tired and unwilling to go through another massive rebuilding project, so he is giving the power to the younger Brandon. While Nix is still in the picture, Tuesday's move sounded a lot like another major transition is on its way. This first transition involved Wilson passing the torch to Brandon, but the next change will be Nix passing it off to Whaley soon.

It could be after the draft, or maybe after next season to allow Whaley to grow into the job. Either way, the Bills have begun another new era with heightened expectations.

We have seen this movie before with a disappointing ending. Will the Bills get the bang they want from their buck?

Only time will tell.

Follow Paul Jannace on Twitter @pjscribe.