"He doesn't make the last call" -Ralph Wilson-
No, Ralph wasn't talking about how Tom Modrak orders the last round of drinks when the bar calls for the last call. He was talking about how Tom Modrak doesn't have a final say in player selection and all he does is make up the draft board. I guess he's just the chef at the end of the day, who lets the customers chose what they want to order. I guess he makes up the dinner menu and it's up to Buddy and company to select which entree that want. Now, let me get this straight, if you get an item that you don't like at a restaurant and you complain to the chef, does the chef get away with saying the following: "Well, you ordered the worst thing on the menu, and this steak and lobster was much better than the chicken parmesan."
Alright, enough of the food metaphors.
Look, like most of you, I'm not a Tom Modrak fan. Sure, having Ralph come out and claim that Modrak doesn't make the final call is kind of equivalent to a fire truck arriving on the scene of an oil field that is engulfed in flames, but does it really matter? Now, we all know how pathetic the Bills drafts have been over the last 11 years. However, I want to take a look at what Modrak did in his previous destinations.
From 1989-1998, Modrak was the scouting director for the Steelers, and his draft classes produced 8 pro bowlers. Of course, the cynic would mention Tom Donahoe's success in Pittsburgh, only to then have a terrible reign in Buffalo. In other words, the Steelers are just a class act organization. After 1998, Modrak became the director of football operations, where he worked with Andy Reid until 2001. During those years, the Eagles drafted Tra Thomas, Jeremiah Trotter, Donovan McNabb and Corey Simon. Not bad, right? Then again, you can say that Andy Reid was the guy making the final calls on those picks and it's not like the Eagles or the Steelers have struggled since Modrak left.
Here's the deal, I'd like to believe Ralph when it comes to his analogy, but unless I get some sort of evidence where Modrak told Dick Jauron or whoever was in charge, that the Bills should have drafted Brian Orakpo or Clay Matthews Jr, only to get vetoed, then I'm not going to buy it. Hell, someone send me a photo of Tom's draft board in 2007, because maybe he had gems that were there, only to get ignored by the room. Now, I'd also like to make note that when Russ Brandon started his little two year run as the GM or whatever the hell he was, Ralph Wilson was on record for saying that Modrak would be more involved in the inner circle of the Bills operations. Yeah...how did that go?
Somebody needed to pay for the draft woes for the Bills and I'm still not sure anyone really has. Russ Brandon is still there. Marv Levy didn't get canned. I didn't hear about the Bills firing any of their scouts recently. BTW, how do we know that the Bills aren't just pinning their draft problems on Dick Jauron because he's not here anymore. You never know with this guys. Plus, what the hell was Jauron doing selecting the players?!
Look, I'd like to give you reasons to believe in Modrak, but I can't. These drafts have been terrible over the years and I'm not going to chalk up Ralph's love for Modrak as a reason to believe in him.