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ESPN analysts take dim view on impact of Bills overhaul

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills have made a significant commitment to their future by turning over almost all of their important roles to younger, fresher folks.

The Bills want you to believe better days are ahead.

A group of ESPN analysts, including former Bills GM Bill Polian, doesn't have much faith.

ESPN Insider has put together its Future Power Rankings, a poll that takes into consideration how a team projects for years to come.

The project applied a weighted formula after evaluating these categories (in order of importance): the roster aside from the quarterback, whether there's a franchise quarterback, the 2013 draft class, front office reputation and stability of the coaching staff.

The Bills ranked 29th, scoring a 45.13 out of 100. They finished ahead of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders and New York Jets.

You must be an ESPN Insider to read the article, but here is what Polian had to say when breaking down the Bills' front office:

"A 15-year playoff drought is probably not going to end in 2013. New GM Doug Whaley will be at the helm and it remains to be seen what his philosophy will be. They have a 'winner' in new head coach Doug Marrone, but this franchise will flourish or founder over the next three seasons based on Buddy Nix's choice of Manuel. The Mario Williams signing, for good or for ill, will also determine the future of the franchise."

The San Francisco 49ers finished first with an 87.5 score, a few points ahead of the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks.


Bill Polian | Buddy Nix | Doug Whaley | EJ Manuel | Mario Williams
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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 |