Now we know why Tom Modrak was fired. Letting him go allowed General Manager Buddy Nix to bring in his own people at two key positions. On Wednesday, Nix named Tom Gibbons as director of pro personnel and named Chuck Cook director of college scouting.
Unlike Modrak, Gibbons and Cook have a history with Nix. Gibbons worked with Nix in the Bills' scouting department in the 1990s. Gibbons left Buffalo in 2004 to reunite with Nix in San Diego, where Nix served as head of college scouting for Chargers GM John Butler, who held the same position for the BIlls and gave Gibbons his first scouting assignment in Buffalo.
Cook's father, long-time New Orleans Saints scout Hamp Cook, and Nix have been close friends since they coached together at Southern Mississippi in 1972. Nix even tried to recruit Chuck Cooper for Auburn. Cooper went on to star at Southern Miss, where he and his father are in the school's Hall of Fame.
Having a connection with the people on staff was important to Nix, who never worked with Modrak prior to returning to the Bills (at Modrak's request) three years ago.
"You need to know what you’ve got," Nix said. "Sometimes if you hire somebody off of somebody else’s word or you hire somebody off of reputation, you find out too late. Maybe I’m old school, but I like knowing them and I know these guys.''
Gibbons and Cook will answer directly to assistant GM Doug Whaley, who was also given the title of director of player personnel last week.
Nix said the reorganization of his personnel staff has concluded. West coast scout Rashaan Curry and college scouting administrator Michael LaFlamme will not return, but the rest of the scouting department will remain in place.
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