By Tim Graham
Buffalo Bills fans may chuckle when they read this quote from former Buffalo Bills president Tom Donahoe about new General Manager Doug Whaley:
"I'm sure he'll do better with it than I did," Donahoe told USA Today reporter Jarrett Bell.
The Donahoe era in Buffalo was a catastrophe, and that's not entirely Donahoe's fault. Ralph Wilson fired him and, feeling burned, the owner's distrust in hiring another football man set the organization back for years.
Donahoe knows Whaley well. As detailed in Bell's article, Whaley left his job as a retail stock broker because he wanted to work in football so badly. Donahoe interviewed him for the Pittsburgh Steelers and hired him as an intern.
But not before Donahoe tried to talk Whaley out of it.
"You just had the sense that he was so passionate," Donahoe said. "If we didn't give him a chance, you knew somebody else would. But I did ask him, 'How are your parents with this?'
"He said, 'Pretty much like you are.' "
The Steelers -- partly because of their association with St. Bonaventure grad Jack Butler at BLESTO -- have been a proving ground for young scouts with grand ambitions. The grind determines whether they have what it takes.
"We made it miserable for them," Donahoe said. "We worked them around the clock. We showed them the good, the bad and the ugly side of scouting."
You wonder what advice he might give Whaley today about taking his old job eight years after the Bills extracted Donahoe.
The Bills went 31-49 with Donahoe in charge.
taggedDoug Whaley | Tom Donahoe