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Proposed analytics department not part of Bills' equation yet

By Tim Graham

The year 2014 takes place deeper into the future than 2013.

And that includes the extent of my analytics for today.

When the Buffalo Bills announced on Jan. 1 that Russ Brandon was taking over as president, one of the highlights of his news conference was his declaration the club would "create and establish a very robust football analytics operation" to guide football operations.

Nearly four months later, Brandon revealed their analytics department doesn't exist yet.

"No, not at this point," Brandon said Saturday, when asked by Buffalo News senior columnist Jerry Sullivan after the draft concluded. "It's also something that we've embarked on over the last couple of years, and we have people that are focused on it but we don't have a complete department, per se."

Brandon noted in January he would work with football administration vice president Jim Overdorf, General Manager Buddy Nix and assistant GM Doug Whaley to implement the new analytics department.

Brandon at the time called the proposed department "something that is very important to me and very important to the future of this franchise."

But there still isn't much else to tell.

"I think when I said that I should've put a pillow under it from the standpoint that it's a process for us that we're going to review moving forward," Brandon said Saturday. "It's another layer to any process when it comes to football. But it'd be very focused on salary-cap management and everything we do on that front. It will never take away from the scouting process that we have in place now. It would be additional information that will provide.

"As we move forward as an organization it's a priority for me, but to be quite honest the main priority has been getting Coach Marrone in here, his staff, and ramping up for the last few days in free agency."


2013 draft | Doug Whaley | Jim Overdorf | Russ Brandon
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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 |