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Bill Cowher: Doug Whaley 'can equal challenge, then surpass it'

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills' media relations department has distributed statements from people who've worked with General Manager Doug Whaley at the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks and as a player for the Pitt Panthers.

Former Steelers coach Bill Cowher:

"Doug Whaley, to me, has paid his dues. He has done his job professionally and with high quality. I know from working with him in Pittsburgh he is a guy who put due diligence towards every opportunity and task he was given. He has a wealth of knowledge, a good feel for people and a good eye for talent.

"I think when you talk about people that earn the opportunity to advance and earn the opportunity to have more responsibility that Doug is a guy who has proven along the way at every step that he can equal the challenge and then surpass it. It does not surprise me that he has been named general manager."

Steelers GM Kevin Colbert:

"Doug will be a great general manager for the Buffalo Bills. In our time together in Pittsburgh he displayed great knowledge, work ethic, loyalty and the ability to work with others in the pursuit of a common goal."

Former Seahawks football operations chief Randy Mueller:

"When we first hired him right away you could tell he wanted to learn. He respected the people who had been there before him and was always looking to figure out new ways to do things and to learn how to get better. Doug is very much a team-oriented guy and humble. He will build a consensus to make decisions and will not think he has all the answers. If you can build consistent consensus in your decision-making you have a good chance at succeeding in this business. I think Doug will be a good leader, but yet at the same time he is always going to be one of the guys and that is a great trait in my opinion."

Former Pitt coach Paul Hackett:

"Doug was a wonderful player and an important part of our team at Pitt. He did all the necessary things to be successful: making the calls at linebacker and working hard on all the little details. He was one of the smartest players on our team and his play reflected that. When he chose to enter the personnel business, I think everyone in the Pitt community had a big smile on their face. It was the perfect profession for a guy who purely loved football and made everybody around him have the same enthusiasm and love for the game."

Former Pitt and Bills quarterback Alex Van Pelt:

"As a leader, Doug is first and foremost going to be very vocal and hold everyone accountable. Those are two of the things that will stand out immediately. He has a blue-collar mentality. He works hard and has tremendous work ethic. As a player, he always had that personality and used his intelligence on the field to lead our defense.

"He started his career with the Steelers and worked his way up through the ranks, which I think is very important, especially in football. He has done the grunt work. He has been successful everywhere he has worked. Doug is a great young mind and will bring a lot to the table in the general manager position. He is ready for the challenge. I think he is going to have a very bright future in Buffalo."

Video: Bucky Gleason & Mark Gaughan on Doug Whaley's elevation to GM | Photo gallery: A look at Whaley | Whaley makes changes on first day | Byrd's contract immediate issue for new GM | Whaley gets the nod as GM | Bills GM history

Whaley's contract extended (Feb. 24, 2013) | Jay Skurski's profile of Whaley (Jan. 1, 2013) | Gaughan's profile of Whaley (Feb. 29, 2012) | Director of player personnel added to Whaley's title (May 7, 2011) | Whaley on hiring as assistant GM (March 2, 2010)

Video: Gaughan & Tim Graham on Buddy Nix's resignation, legacy | Story: Nix says time right to step down | Photo gallery: Nix through the years | Graham's list of the top 5 Nix 'hits' as GM | Top 5 Nix 'misses' | Nix's written statement


Alex Van Pelt | Doug Whaley
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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 |