"This is the time of year when we evaluate every element of our football operation and with the Draft now completed, we have decided to reorganize our personnel department," said Bills GM Buddy Nix. "We have begun that process and made a decision to head in a different direction. We thank Tom for his 10 years of dedication to our organization and wish him the best in his future endeavors."
Modrak has been with the Bills since 2001, when he was brought on after the team hired Tom Donahoe as its General Manager. Since that point, he had survived two regime changes - first when Donahoe was fired after the 2005 season, and then again when the team hired GM Buddy Nix on December 31, 2009. (Buffalorumblings.com)
Mind of Joe:
Well, better late than never. That took 1 to 5 years too long. Look, the timing of the firing shouldn't be a surprise. You never fire your head of scouting during the CFB season or after the NFL regular season. It doesn't make sense, because you already have your scouting plans in full motion. Now, with that being said, I'm not sure why Modrak wasn't canned after the draft last year. I can only assume that his relationship with Ralph, might have made Buddy Nix give him one more year to observe him and to see if he could prove that he was worth the title. Then again, I'm just speculating.
However, I'm not splitting hairs about it.
Bottom line: Modrak is gone. The last link from the Donahoe years is getting unemployment. Finally, he's getting paid what he's worth (400 bucks a week from NYS). The other bright side to the firing, besides Tom being outta here, is that we finally know that this is Buddy Nix's show. Well, it's been that way for the last two years, but now we won't have a problem figuring out who to praise and who to fault. There won't be any sort of blame game. It won't be about Dick Jauron wanting Donte Whitner or Marv Levy liking Trent Edwards because Bill Walsh recommended him or that Russ Brandon wanted some marketing tool. Everything is on Buddy and you gotta like it that way.
Now, there are still some questions to try and sort out with Modrak's tenure here. How much of a say did he really have? Did he just make the draft board and let Donahoe, Levy and Brandon pick from it? Why did he always end up surviving like Jason in the Friday the 13th Movies? All I know is this, Mark Gaughan had reported that after Levy stepped down as the GM, that Modrak was going to have a bigger voice in the room. The next two drafts produced Leodis McKelvin, James Hardy and Aaron Maybin. Not exactly a Celine Dion voice. Now, in fairness, the Bills did draft Levitre, Wood, Stevie Johnson and Byrd. However, they didn't really hit on their first round picks.
Now, I'm sure we are going to hear a lot of leaked stories about what Modrak's role was like with the Bills. I'm talking about playing the blame game. On twitter today, Brian Gaillford from Buffalo Rumblings, had sources saying that Modrak was the guy who picked Aaron Maybin. Hmmm..we never really heard that before, did we? I always thought it was on Dick Jauron's watch, because undersized defensive ends were what you wanted in his epic cover 2 defense. Anyways. I dont know if we will ever find out what the real deal was behind the scenes. It always seemed when Modrak was employed by the Bills, he was protected with being the guy who just made up the draft board. It always seemed like the Bills terrible drafts were someone else fault, and Modrak was just being lead by morons. Now, if the stories like Gaillford reported start coming out, like Tom picked James Hardy and Trent Edwards, then its your typical throwing someone under the bus routine that happens at every single job in America.
OK, I'm probably over-analyzing this.
Anyways, I'm happy Modrak is gone. I still don't understand why he was here for over 10 years! I'm sure he's happy that he's leaving Buffalo with a ton of cash and his little office in Jacksonville. It will be interesting to see if he ends up finding another job. Donahoe and John Guy still haven't gotten NFL jobs after the Bills fired them. You gotta wonder if Modrak will have the same fate. Actually, who cares, he's gone and I'm happy.