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Russ Brandon says Bills will commit to new-age analytics

By Tim Graham

One of the more intriguing revelations from new Buffalo Bills president Russ Brandon was the implementation of a Moneyball-style analytics department to help guide football operations.

Brandon said he would work closely on the concept with General Manager Buddy Nix, assistant GM Doug Whaley and football administration senior vice president Jim Overdorf, who draws up player contracts.

"We are going to create and establish a very robust football analytics operation that we layer into our entire operation moving forward," Brandon said. "That's something that's very important to me and the future of the franchise."

Analytics are de rigueur in baseball, where numbers are more easily crunchable, and have gained popularity in football over the past few years.

Brandon is the former executive director of business development for the Florida Marlins. While there, Brandon said he learned a lot about the value of analytics from GM Dave Dombrowski, now president, CEO and GM of the Detroit Tigers.

"Dave was all about scouting," Brandon said. "He was also about layering in the analytics to what the game presented.

"We've seen it in the NBA. We've seen it more in baseball. It's starting to spruce its head a little bit in football, and I feel we're missing the target if we don't invest in that area of our operation, and we will."

Nix confessed to not know much about the usefulness of analytics.

"You know, obviously, I'm old-school in more ways than one," Nix said with a laugh. "It'll be something I'll have to get used to because I go a lot on feel and what I see."

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |