The thing to note from Kelly’s comment this time around is the discipline factor. McDermott’s approach swings the pendulum to the opposite end from how Ryan managed things.
Kelly’s comment suggests he believes the discipline change could be beneficial to the Bills. Whether McDermott has the talent at this stage to swiftly carry out the team rebuild remains to be seen.
This didn’t strike us as a dig on the Bills so much as a statement of the obvious. The Bills don’t have a single game scheduled on Sunday Night Football or Monday Night Football this season. Gilmore never played on SNF once in his five seasons in Buffalo. In fact, the Bills haven’t played a Sunday night game since November 18, 2007, a 56-10 shellacking at the hands of the — wait for it — Patriots. No team has been shunned by Al and Cris longer. Yes, that includes the Browns.
But sometimes the local sports guy just needs to take his shot. Enter WGRZ anchor Jonah Javad, a man so offended by Gilmore’s innocuous tweet that he picked up a sledgehammer, looked it over, put it down, grabbed a 12-gauge shotgun, eyeballed that, cast it aside, then turned his gaze to the industrial flame thrower mounted on the wall.
Kouandjio started five games for the Bills last season and appeared in 12. His brief stint at left tackle showed a brief glimmer of hope for the future, though he has struggled with injures throughout his career.
The move shows glimpses of what might be a stricter regime under new head coach Sean McDermott and new general manager Brandon Beane. For a while during the Doug Whaley era, the organization was associated with their continued ties to unsuccessful draft picks. After selecting offensive tackle Dion Dawkins in the second round out of Temple this year, the team apparently felt comfortable going a man down on its offensive line.
The position switch isn’t the first of its kind. Terrelle Pryor went from quarterback to wide receiver, and posted a 1,000-yard receiving season in 2016. A closer comparison would be Dolphins tight end MarQueis Gray, who played quarterback at the University of Minnesota and switched to an H-back/tight end role upon entering the league as an undrafted free agent. Gray also played tight end with the Bills between the end of 2014 and first half of 2015.
The two are also comparable in size, with Gray listed at 6-foot-4, 255 pounds, and Thomas at 6-foot-6, 250 pounds. Both are athletic and were bigger quarterbacks who could move, though it’s unknown how well Thomas can catch the ball (to his credit, he caught two passes for 11 yards and a touchdown in his career at Virginia Tech, where he also once backed up current Bills starter Tyrod Taylor). It sounds as though the former Hokie is doing well with the mental transition, at least.
Schoen comes over from Miami, where he served as the Dolphins’ director of player personnel from 2014-2017 after being promoted internally from assistant director of college scouting. Schoen spent his first five years with the Dolphins serving as one of the team’s national scouts, and cut his teeth in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers, where he interned in the team’s ticket office in 2000, served as a scouting assistant in 2001 and later as a Southeast and Southwest scout.
Schoen brings his most valuable experience from working under Dolphins VP of football operations Mike Tannenbaum, who has overseen a quick turnaround in Miami headed by coach Adam Gase. Under Tannebaum’s direction, Miami has landed a handful of key pieces in recent drafts, including running back Jay Ajayi, wide receiver DeVante Parker, offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, and corners Tony Lippett, Bobby McCain and Xavien Howard. Schoen’s time in Carolina — the two worked in the same organization from 2001-2008 — also likely carried plenty of weight with Beane, who comes from the same background.
The Bills on Tuesday announced that Brandon Beane has been hired to replace Doug Whaley, who was fired along with his scouts after the draft. A close associate of Bills coach Sean McDermott, Beane received a five-year deal that runs concurrent with the pact for Buffalo’s new head coach, a source involved in negotiations told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. Beane will have control of the 53-man roster, Rapoport added Wednesday.
Beane spent 19 years with the Panthers, where he served as Carolina’s assistant general manager over the past two seasons. Prior to that, he operated as the team’s director of football operations for eight years.