BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ The Buffalo Bills promoted Russ Brandon to
the new post of chief operating officer on Saturday.
Brandon, previously the team's executive vice president of
business operations, will now be responsible for overseeing the
team's day-to-day operations, including football.
"It was my experience over the years that our greatest
opportunity for success comes when we promote from within our own
organization," Wilson said in a statement. "So I have decided
that the responsibilities of the general manager's position will be
handled from within, and we will not go outside the organization."
In his 11 years in Buffalo, Brandon has been credited for
expanding the team's fan base by marketing the Bills as a regional
western New York franchise. He was particularly responsible for the
team moving its training camp from rural Fredonia to suburban
Rochester in 2000.
The move not only helped the Bills draw larger crowds, but also
secured numerous marketing arrangements with Rochester's corporate
The Bills under Brandon's lead have since set their sights on
expanding their base north to Toronto. The team is awaiting NFL
approval to play one regular-season and preseason game in Toronto
starting this year.
"What I feel we need is a person with Russ Brandon's proven
leadership to pull it all together," said Wilson, who retains the
title as team president. `"He has worked very closely with me over
the years, and I am comfortable that he is up to the task."
Wilson also promoted pro personnel director John Guy and
assistant general manager/chief college scout Tom Modrak, awarding
both of them the title of vice president.
The reorganization comes after Levy stepped down as general
manager last week, when his two-year contract expired at the end of
the season. Levy, who took over after team president Tom Donahoe
was fired following the 2005 season, was credited for bringing
stability to the front office.
The Bills are coming off their second consecutive 7-9 finish,
and haven't made the playoffs in eight seasons, the longest drought
in franchise history.
As GM, Levy didn't have an actual defined role, as contracts
were handled by team vice president Jim Overdorf, while coach Dick
Jauron had control over personnel decisions.