Inside The Bills

Bills power structure pretty common in NFL

Posted by Chris Brown on January 14, 2017 – 10:51 am

Bills new head coach Sean McDermott isn’t the only one who does his research. So too did Terry and Kim Pegula when they became new NFL owners. That’s why their power structure of having the GM and head coach report to ownership remains in place.

In an appearance on the John Murphy Show, Bills owner Terry Pegula explained the current structure with McDermott now in place as head coach, and added that it’s common practice in the NFL.

“I told (Sean) the GM and the Coach work together,” said Pegula. “Obviously Doug (Whaley) is sitting in the room with him while he is interviewing so he knows if he is hired by this GM, this GM should like him. It is not like we are bringing in a new GM in and hiring him as a coach first. This GM and coach working together and they both answer to the owners.

“He was most comfortable with that because it’s what (Sean) has seen in the past. I believe it’s more common than it is unusual. I don’t have an exact headcount but a lot of teams (operate this way). You do your homework and look at how other teams do things.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

McDermott’s interview was almost 7 hours

Posted by Chris Brown on January 14, 2017 – 7:51 am

Interviews for head coaching positions are known to take a good deal of time. Some take four hours, some longer. Some are broken into two parts with a couple of hours each day. Sean McDermott’s with the Bills went almost seven hours straight.

That according to Bills owner Terry Pegula, who GM Doug Whaley had first on the interview list for a reason.

“We sat through his interview and I can’t tell you exactly I am going to guess it was close to seven hours, he never stuttered, he never hesitated,” said Pegula of McDermott in an appearance on the John Murphy Show. “When asked a question this wasn’t somebody who was practicing for a job interview, it was someone you could tell was practicing all his life for what he is about to try and do. When he walked out we just sat and stared at each other like, ‘Wow, that was impressive.’

“He just had every answer, plans, he brought a book, this wasn’t a prepared book by agent this had scribbling all over it, stuff crossed out, names written in it, it was about three inches thick, just his notes. He said, ‘This isn’t my only book, but I brought my best book.'”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Terry Pegula clears air on ultimatum reports

Posted by Chris Brown on October 23, 2016 – 10:50 am

In an interview with USA Today’s Tom Pellisero, Bills owner Terry Pegula cleared the air on media reports that he gave GM Doug Whaley and head coach Rex Ryan an ultimatum that the team had to make the playoffs in 2016 or they’d be out of work.

— On a report from The Buffalo News that Pegula told Ryan and Whaley near the end of last season to make the playoffs in 2016 or be fired: “The famous ultimatum that I supposedly gave them, I wasn’t even in town that day. I was up at my lake in the Adirondacks.”

— On 2016 as playoffs-or-bust for his football brain trust: “Oh, no way. No way.”

— On how long he envisions Ryan and Whaley leading his franchise: “I don’t even think that’s a fair question, because it’s not even entered my mind that anybody needs to go.”

“Our coach needs to know that, through the good and the bad, there’s stability. The players need to know there’s stability,” Pegula said. “And by the way, that doesn’t help our players any to start reading that their coach is going to get fired.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Terry Pegula on running the Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on August 10, 2016 – 5:10 pm

Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula have been at the helm for almost two calendar years, and not a lot is known about how they like to run their professional sports franchises. Terry Pegula shed some light on that subject Wednesday on the John Murphy Show.

After denying the reports from last December that he issues and ultimatum to Doug Whaley and Rex Ryan to reach the playoffs or they were out (he was at his lake house in the Adirondacks at the time the report was made), he was asked on the John Murphy Show how he likes to operate his professional sports teams.

“Anybody who watches the way I work and the way I want the Bills to operate, we get into debates and there might be some stuff thrown around some time, but it’s all to get better,” said Pegula. “It’s not to threaten somebody and say, ‘Hey you’re on the outs.’ It’s all positive arguing, and there’s not much of that because we seem to be on a pretty good path of where we’re going.”

Pegula referenced top to bottom and bottom to top communication within his franchises as essential.

“I like when everyone is aware of what’s going on in the organization,” he said. “Offensive coaches know the defensive coaches, the physical side of it, the doctors, everybody is on the same team. The more we cross pollinate and the more knows what everybody else is doing the better off we’re all going to be because everyone is aware of things they may not be aware of if we had silence.”


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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

What Hughes said to Terry Pegula

Posted by Chris Brown on March 9, 2015 – 11:33 am

Not long after he signed his new contract with the Bills Monday morning, he got on the phone to speak with owner Terry Pegula. In a sit down interview that will appear on Buffalobills.com later today (Monday) he talked about his exchange with his owner.

“Nothing but pleasantries. I told him I’m excited and very thankful for the opportunity that he’s given me, but now it’s time to get back to work,” Hughes told Buffalobills.com. “We have goals, an AFC East title. We want to get that banner hanging up in this building so we know we’ve got to get ready to work for that and that starts now. So we’re putting our effort into that. Super Bowl too, but first we’ve got to take care of our division so we can get into the playoffs and let the rest take care of itself.”

The self-motivated Hughes said knowing he had teammates in Buffalo who were just as motivated to complete the team’s turnaround and reach the postseason was a factor in his return.

Hughes signs


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Posted in Inside the Bills

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

Kelly willing to provide input if wanted

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2015 – 1:58 pm

Bills Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly has a trained eye when it comes to offensive football. Knowing that side of the ball is in need of the most improvement in Buffalo, he’s willing to provide input if new head coach Rex Ryan wants it.

Kelly said as much following Ryan’s introductory press conference Wednesday, confirming that he’ll be meeting with owner Terry Pegula in the wake of his talk with Ryan Tuesday night.

“I’m not looking to do any coaching. I’m hopefully in a short time sitting down with Terry and talking with him,” said Kelly. “I’ve already talked to Rex about a few of my ideas. But right now he needs to settle in. He needs to understand who his staff is. Yeah I’d like to give my two cents where I feel it’s needed, whether it’s the quarterback position or the wide receiver position, two positions that I feel are my strong points.

“He’s putting his staff together, but I would love to sit down and say, ‘This is good, this is bad.’ I am an armchair quarterback, but I don’t look at the game like a typical fan does. I don’t follow the ball. I follow what receivers do if they’re being bumped. I follow what coverage it is. I follow when the linebackers are blitzing and rotating and where the quarterback should be looking. I look at the game completely different than your average fan. I look at it as a quarterback.

“If they want my input I’m here for them. But the bottom line Russ (Brandon) and Doug (Whaley) are doing a good job of getting this together. Then it comes down to how comfortable Rex feels.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

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