Inside The Bills

Bills game a historic one for women

Posted by Chris Brown on August 21, 2016 – 8:24 am

It was only a preseason game for some, but for women Saturday marked a historic game in the NFL. Saturday’s game between the Bills and Giants marked the first ever that had a female official and a female coach.

Line judge Sarah Thomas and Bills special teams quality control coach Kathryn Smith were the reason for the league first. Thomas is entering her second NFL season as an official, while Smith is entering her first as a member of Rex Ryan’s coaching staff.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Brandon: Stay on course to advance the team

Posted by Chris Brown on July 28, 2016 – 2:35 pm

Bills managing partner and President Russ Brandon was at training camp at St. John Fisher Thursday and made an appearance on the John Murphy Show not long after owner Kim Pegula. Asked about his owner’s thoughts on the importance of continuity when it comes to winning, Brandon shared an identical philosophy.

“I completely agree with her,” Brandon said. “When I first got here in 1997 we were coming off the Super Bowl run and it was Marv’s last year and there was a transition to Wade (Phillips) and we went to the playoffs those first two years, but there was continuity there because Wade was here (as defensive coordinator). The formula for success in my opinion is continuity and staying with a program. You’re going to go through adverse times and ups and downs.”

Brandon referenced the fact that the Bills have had nine head coaches over the last 16 years and offensive and defensive coordinators in the double digits.

“That’s tough to keep a consistent program that way,” said Brandon. “The fact of the matter is that the reality of it is it’s year two of the Pegulas, Rex and Doug and that’s what we focus on.”

As for his expectations, Brandon is hopeful that there will be enough winning to have games on the schedule beyond the regular season finale.

“Kim talked about winning and that’s what your expectation always needs to be,” he said. “A lot of factors go into it and it’s about staying healthy. It’s about competing each and every week. It’s always about ultimately winning a championship, but you have to get through the first step and that’s getting to play games in January and that’s what we all hope for.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Kim Pegula: Winning through continuity

Posted by Chris Brown on July 28, 2016 – 1:34 pm

Bills owners Kim and Terry Pegula have made it plain that they’re committed to the plan put in place by GM Doug Whaley and head coach Rex Ryan to get the team on a path to winning consistently. One of the core principles in achieving that as the Pegulas see it is continuity at the top.

Evidence of that came in a contract extension for Whaley this past offseason as his contract runs the same length as that of Ryan. Kim Pegula reiterated their commitment to establishing continuity for a franchise that hasn’t seen much of it over the last decade and a half.

In an appearance on the John Murphy Show, Pegula was asked if she believes in the importance of continuity as it pertains to winning.

“I really do,” she said. “It is hard to be consistent to build a foundation and a core to set you up for winning if you’re making changes constantly. So I think the continuity that the organization has, I don’t see a negative in that, especially going into season two. A year is not a lot of continuity. I know that there are changes that will happen at the end of the season as they do every year, but having a key, core group that understands and communicates with one another… I really think that plays a part in winning.”

That doesn’t mean that Pegula isn’t expecting success this season. Quite the contrary as the Pegulas are anticipating wins this fall.

“That’s the expectation is winning,” she said. “Looking back on last year there were so many changes in that first year between coaches and new players coming in and even from an ownership standpoint. So I’m expecting this year with another year under our belt and another year of continuity between Rex, some key players and Doug Whaley and ourselves, I’m expecting better communication and we’re expecting wins. Every year going into a season that’s what your expectation should be.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Terry & Kim Pegula participate in “Business of Sports” panel

Posted by buffalobills.com on July 30, 2015 – 4:17 pm

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Buffalo Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula took part in the Business First power breakfast panel on the “Business of Sports” Thursday at Buffalo River Works. They were joined on the panel by Delaware North chairman and Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, Buffalo Bisons owners Bob and Mindy Rich and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.

 

When Mr. Pegula was introduced to the crowd he was called “the closest thing we have to a super hero in this community.”  The panel discussed some of the challenges they face, how the sports business is different than other businesses they own and why they got into sports. “It was an easy decision,” said Kim Pegula. “We plan on having the teams for a long time.”

 

“Our mission, I believe, is to help foster and improve the quality of life here through these sports teams.” Terry Pegula said.

 

He was also asked about a new stadium.  “We’re in no hurry.  We’ve realized if that work was just done how foolish would you look if you started looking around at a new stadium if we just renovated the one we have.  We have time.  We have an existing lease in the current stadium.”

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Regarding the question of naming rights, Pegula added “Ralph Wilson owned the Bills for so long and his name on the stadium to me is a special thing. “

 

With the stability of Pegula ownership of the Bills and Sabres, and long-time Rich ownership of the Buffalo Bisons, Bob Rich said “Buffalo has never been in better shape as far as professional sports are concerned.”


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Posted in Corporate, Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Pegulas met with Incognito personally

Posted by Chris Brown on February 9, 2015 – 12:01 pm

The Bills have now officially signed veteran G Richie Incognito. The free agent agreed to terms over the weekend. Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula made a point of meeting with Incognito personally to allay any concerns one might have knowing Incognito’s past.

Terry Pegula issued a statement about that meeting as the team made Incognito’s signing official Monday.

“I personally met with Richie, along with Doug Whaley, Rex Ryan and Kim regarding an opportunity to earn a spot on the Buffalo Bills roster,” said Pegula in a team statement. “Obviously, we all discussed Richie’s past experience in the NCAA and NFL.  We are convinced that Richie is prepared to move forward and has and will continue to take the necessary steps to improve himself as a person and a teammate. Following discussion with the rest of the coaching staff, we as an organization will provide him with the opportunity to do so.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

What Rex Ryan provides for Bills fans

Posted by Chris Brown on February 4, 2015 – 10:27 am

It’s pretty obvious in most cases as to just what Rex Ryan will provide as head coach of the Bills in 2015. Fans are very familiar with his confidence, bravado and aggressiveness. Bills owner Kim Pegula believes those qualities provide a secondary benefit for fans.

“They have a lot to be excited about,” said Pegula of the Bills fans. “Sometimes change is good and in this case I think it provides another layer of hope and enthusiasm going into the season. Rex is going to be himself and what you see is what you get with him and I think that’s going to go a long way with our fans.”

Pegula in an interview on the John Murphy Show last month outlined how they came to select Rex Ryan for their vacant head coaching job. We profile the hiring process today in a feature on Buffalobills.com.


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Pegulas felt veteran coach was best fit

Posted by Chris Brown on January 14, 2015 – 7:56 pm

Terry and Kim Pegula along with GM Doug Whaley and team President Russ Brandon went on a barnstorming tour to find a head coach. As they made their way through a dozen candidates it became clear what they felt they needed in a head coach for their team at this time.

“When we went through this process, we went into it open-minded,” said Terry Pegula. “We interviewed some bright, young coaches and some veteran coaches and Doug and Russ obviously had been through this before a few years ago. Like I said, when we meet the right guy, you’ll know it. When we finally talked to Rex and looked at that staff that he put together, I really don’t think that the Buffalo Bills at 9-7, and I really believe two plays away from possibly being 11-5, needed to have a young coach standing in their locker room.

“I thought we needed to go to somebody who’d done it before and if you look at the record of almost every coach like Rex just mentioned it, new coaches fail generally in their first job and I’m not saying that all the new coaches that are going to get hired are going to fail, but it’s more happening in that direction than it is for them to be successful.

“We just felt that he was our guy and trust me, we had some pretty impressive people that we felt could the Bills coach, but we said, ‘Hey, let’s go after Rex.’ Russ told me, ‘Don’t let him out of the building.'”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

With Ryan on board, hierarchy takes shape

Posted by Chris Brown on January 14, 2015 – 3:12 pm

The Bills front office structure has undergone some change since the Pegulas came on board as the owners of the club. Now with Rex Ryan as head coach, Terry Pegula laid out how the flow of information will proceed between himself, his wife Kim and the highest ranking officials in the organization.

“Rex (Ryan), Russ (Brandon), and Doug (Whaley) will report to Kim and myself and that’s the way we’re going to have it moving forward,” said Pegula. “I believe in everyone…I think I’ve said this in the past: my style of business is that no one should be afraid to say anything so we will welcome input from anybody; the coach, the GM, the President, myself, Kim and that’s how we’re going to move forward. You should never be afraid to say anything. I don’t care if it’s sports or other business.”

Team President Russ Brandon further expounded on the duties and responsibilities held by the top three ranking executives under the Pegulas.

“When it comes to the 53 (man roster) and player personnel, that’s under the purview of Doug Whaley,” said Brandon. “The game-day roster and the coaching staff is obviously Coach Ryan and I will have business ops and administration ops and football administration budgets. But as Terry said earlier and as Coach said, it’s not only one direction, it’s one mindset and we’ll be in lock-step in everything that we do as an organization.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Pegulas took time to meet with NFL owners

Posted by Chris Brown on October 10, 2014 – 8:55 pm

New owner and CEO Terry Pegula talked about the steps he and his wife Kim took to get to know some of the owners in the NFL, while also sharing a bit about themselves.

In a one-on-one interview with Buffalobills.com, Pegula explained how they went to meet three of the league’s influential owners long before the league’s ownership contingent was to vote on them at the league meetings.

“We went and met three owners while the process was going on,” said Pegula. “We met Bob Kraft (New England), Bob McNair (Houston) and John Mara (NY Giants). Mainly because of places we were we just happened to be in an opportune place because eventually you’re going to be voted on. So it’s good for the people who are going to vote to know about the people they’re voting on before the day of the vote.”

Pegula also said that they made of point of staying silent after signing the non-disclosure agreement with the Wilson trust. They even went so far as to not respond to inquiries from other prospective owners that were seeing if the Pegulas were interested in partnering up in an effort to buy the Bills.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Littmann calls Pegulas 1st class

Posted by Chris Brown on October 8, 2014 – 9:38 am

Jeff Littmann, Mr. Wilson’s CFO for the Bills provided additional comment on behalf of the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation and in the process commended the Pegulas for their handling of this ownership transition process.

Littmann first pointed out that the final step in ownership transfer is the purchase transaction, but he expects that to be handled in short order.

“They have been absolutely wonderful to work with everything has been first class through the process so we think this will go swiftly, and will check that box and we’ll be on our way,” he said.

Littmann also said the outgoing ownership will do whatever necessary to assist in the initial steps of ownership transition with the Pegulas.

He also said the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation is still in the initial planning stages and will unveil their plans when they are finalized.


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Posted in Inside the Bills