Is the 2014 season do or die for Whaley and Marrone?


3 Years.

That’s the time frame everyone says a franchise has to turn it around. Seriously…Who came up with that number? Did Lombardi or Parcells go on record to say it takes 3 years to turn around a franchise? Was it a media creation as to how long it takes? Did some analytics guy crunch the numbers for how long it takes for a new regime to get their teams to the playoffs?

3 years. That’s it. That’s been the number for when fans can expect a return on their investment for winning football.

I know all too much about 3-year plans. I think all Bills fans know what I’m feeling. Three out of the last five Bills coaches were fired after their 3rd seasons (Wade-Williams-Chan) resonated in a stench of failure. Mike Mularkey quit after his 2nd season and Dick Jauron was canned midway through his 4th season. If it wasn’t for the extension he signed after the Bills raced out to a 4-0 start in 2008, Jauron probably would have been 3 years and out.

I think most Bills fans are still living in that 3-year window when it comes to properly assessing when the team should really thrive to go beyond 7-9 or 8-8. At least I am. However, it isn’t about my patience or the fans’ patience being tested.  The question going forward is whether the new ownership group views it in the same window as we do or will they elect to bring in their own window dressers?

As much as giving new regimes 3-years to ride the ship correctly is the norm in the NFL, you can pretty much use the same absolutes when it comes to new ownership taking over a team and how they normally end up firing everyone in order to bring in their own guys.

There are tons of examples of this (Alright, don’t look at the hockey team in town). If the Bills finished 7-9 this season, I’d probably be fine with The Dougs coming back, but with new ownership in place, all bets could be off.

I think the only way you could avoid that would be if the Bills go 10-6 to make it tougher for new ownership to want to bring in their own folks.

And even with solid sophomore year, if the hairpiece (Trump)  buys the team, don’t you think he’d want to make a big splash in the GM/coaching front? I mean, I like Doug & Doug but they aren’t really NFL Sexy. Some reports have the Bills selling by October. If that’s the case, the rest of the 2014 season could very well be a trial for The Dougs.

Maybe it isn’t by accident the Bills have been pretty active in FA this offseason and there have been two reports linking the Bills to wanting the 1st pick in the draft. Factor in that a few of their offseason additions do have a bit of a negative track record in terms of behavior (Spikes/Williams) and you may have a regime that is desperate to make a great first impression on their perspective new owners. Maybe they are operating without it being a 3-year plan and need instant results.

Let’s just say that the two reports linking the Bills to the first pick aren’t a smokescreen or just draft coverage being an overbearing hellhole where new stories are needed; Why would the Bills do this type of trade if they would probably have to give up at least 2 first round picks and probably a 2nd rounder? Keep in mind I can’t recall the last time the Bills traded up in the 1st round  and the Steelers rarely did it either.

My answer…Because that first pick would probably be a bigger impact right away than waiting on later picks. I mean, what the hell does a 1st round pick in 2015 do for you if you may not be around to select it?

While having new ownership makes me queasy about the Bills future past 2020, new ownership should probably make The Dougs even more queasy about their future past this season.


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The Lord of Buffalo Wins