Inside The Bills

Modrak always took ownership

Posted by Chris Brown on May 4, 2011 – 11:10 am

With the Bills announcing that Tom Modrak has been relieved of his duties with the club it seemed appropriate to note that the now former Vice President of College Scouting always took ownership of the draft classes that were assembled during his time in Buffalo.

Though he never did have final say in his time with the Bills, during the Draft Luncheon held nine days before the 2011 NFL draft, Modrak and Bills GM Buddy Nix were answering questions together and when one question asked about the past decade of drafting and how it’s affected the team’s success rate, Modrak was the first to answer.

“That would be for me because I’ve been here for that time, and Buddy hasn’t,” said Modrak. “How much? I don’t know if I can quantify that and say that number because without trying to escape that, I think there are a lot of things that go into putting a team together. Certainly we’ve had our misses up at the top. We’ve done pretty well in the middle and at the end, the non-glamour kind of picks. We’ve missed some that are regrettable, but we’ve tried to make up for it in some of our other areas.

“But there are a bunch of things that go into making a team what it is. In this draft, you’re going to try to solve some of those problems. I don’t think that you can solve them all, but you’re going to try to solve some of them. If you can do that and keep making progress, that’s a good thing.”

Nix then followed up a short time later knowing that the success of college prospects at the NFL level goes beyond just how they’re evaluated by a scouting department.

“I’ve been doing this stuff all my life,” said Nix. “I believe very strongly that there’s three phases to a draft and to a guy being successful. One of them falls on personnel. You’ve got to pick the right guy. He’s got to have enough athletic ability and enough intelligence, production, to do the job which is what you spend the year doing. We’re scouts and personnel guys.

“The second phase now, and don’t make light of it, because it’s just as important is coaching, strength coaches, and trainers. That’s the second phase, and both of those things have to be in place. If not, the development of the guy is retarded. I’m not going to name teams, but the media name teams every year that get top guys, and they don’t get any better. They actually may go the other way, and it’s the developmental part.

“The third thing, and it doesn’t matter if you’ve got both of them: you picked exactly the right guy, you took him at the right time, everybody busted it to try to get it better, but if that guy is not willing to be a professional and do everything it takes … you can go back and look at the so-called “busts” and it’s one of these three phases. You’ve got to have it all for them to be really good. So, even though we put it all on one thing: “that was a terrible draft… that was a bust… those (guys) don’t know…” … that’s just the way you look at it. But that’s (only) about a third of it.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills
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