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Bills owner Terry Pegula not explaining why he fired Doug Whaley

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The Bills fired General Manager Doug Whaley today. Bills owner Terry Pegula doesn’t want to explain why.

“We have certain aspects we need to get a little better in,” Pegula said, in about as generic a comment as an owner could make about the decision to fire a G.M.

Via ESPN, when Pegula was asked what those “certain aspects” are, he declined to answer.

“I need to keep that private,” he said. “I don’t want to discuss that publicly.”

It’s been clear since shortly after new head coach Sean McDermott was hired in January that McDermott was making more decisions and Whaley was seeing his authority diminished. Pegula said in January that he thought it was insulting that people were describing the Bills as a dysfunctional front office, but that didn’t stop widespread discussions in March that Whaley was on the way out.

Now Whaley is officially out, but Pegula still doesn’t want to explain what, exactly, went wrong on this franchise that has seen so much turmoil this offseason.

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70 Responses to “Bills owner Terry Pegula not explaining why he fired Doug Whaley”
  1. gah05 says: Apr 30, 2017 3:32 PM

    Lack of results, and his inability to get along with any head coaches. Pretty simple to me.

  2. vancouversportsbro says: Apr 30, 2017 3:33 PM

    Pegula is becoming one of the worst owners in all of sports.

    Look how he’s managing the Sabres too. Who would want to work for a guy that just whacks everyone when he feels like it and makes odd hires in the first place.

  3. jeremycrowhurst says: Apr 30, 2017 3:34 PM

    The new Browns.

  4. scoreatwill says: Apr 30, 2017 3:37 PM

    Get ready Buffalo fans. Chapter 1 of the “Kroenke World of Sports Management”. Explain nothing, avoid everyone and if the minions are caught have them deny, deny, deny. You will be moving soon. Has McDermott every been involved in a relocating franchise?

  5. ratbastardshanahandjob says: Apr 30, 2017 3:41 PM

    “We have certain aspects we need to get a little better in,” Pegula said. Ya as in Wins….

  6. reprob8 says: Apr 30, 2017 3:46 PM

    We’re officially in the age of “you’re beneath me, I don’t need to explain myself”.

    At this point, it doesn’t matter to a fired coach, the scouts and assistant coaches, but it might matter to the folks who will take those positions & await their own firing.

  7. fedora59 says: Apr 30, 2017 3:46 PM

    What went wrong was when Pagula bought the franchise.

  8. Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Carlos Hyde says: Apr 30, 2017 3:51 PM

    Kind of strange to fire a GM after the draft. But maybe they did that on purpose, so the firing wouldn’t make them look dysfunctional before/during the draft. Unless Whaley made some draft picks the owner wasn’t happy about.

  9. ralphwilsonisrich says: Apr 30, 2017 4:07 PM

    Again the former owner Ralph C Wilson hired Whaley. Pegula the current did not like the results and foolish spending from Whaley.

  10. joetoronto says: Apr 30, 2017 4:11 PM

    Pegula’s perspective is that he’s the owner and he’ll do whatever he likes.

    Both the Bills and Sabres have regressed since he bought them, but that means nothing to him.

    Oh, Buffalo.

  11. EJ says: Apr 30, 2017 4:20 PM

    They waited to fire him so as not to disrupt the draft process. Pegula is doing what any new owner would do in this situation. He started from the bottom(Ryan) to see if it made any difference and when that did not work he went to the next level up which was Whaley and his scouting staff. Now McDermott has more control and basically gets to help pick who he will be working for as GM. Give Pegula a few more years and between the Bills and Sabres Buffalo will once again be back on top.

  12. tonebones says: Apr 30, 2017 4:28 PM

    Most of the time, owners and GMs aren’t being 100% honest anyway. My opinion is Whaley failed to find a QB. In this QB era, you need a good QB. I don’t need the owner to explain something that simple.

  13. pwb44 says: Apr 30, 2017 4:30 PM

    Why do you want Pegula to rub it in?

    He fired Whaley (and Tim Murray – former Sabres GM) and decided there was no need to further to pile on. By firing both, he clearly thought they were not doing a good enough job.

  14. rondayne says: Apr 30, 2017 4:32 PM

    I wish Kim would be given more power and a more public facing role, because it seems clear to me that Terry couldn’t care less and has no interest in the football team.

  15. patriots123456 says: Apr 30, 2017 4:37 PM

    Did the price of Beer stay the same, the fans want to know…

  16. jasons81 says: Apr 30, 2017 4:39 PM

    I’m probably way off the mark here but Whaley seemed to be way more interested in looking cool than being a competent GM

  17. Longfellow Deeds says: Apr 30, 2017 4:47 PM

    Circus

  18. navyvandal says: Apr 30, 2017 4:47 PM

    As a diehard patriots fan, I would LOVE for the bills to finally get back to respectability. But, some of my friends from the navy are Buffalo natives and said how crappy Pegula runs the Sabres and they are worried it will happen to the Bills. So far, rob and Kenny are spot on. This is the crap I expect from the Colts and Jets.

  19. slick50kc says: Apr 30, 2017 5:01 PM

    Who needs an explanation?

    Results speak for themselves.

  20. dickshotdogs says: Apr 30, 2017 5:05 PM

    Does he really need an explanation? smh…..

  21. BigBagOfMoney says: Apr 30, 2017 5:08 PM

    No, he shouldn’t have to say why. Nor does he need to.

  22. mahimike says: Apr 30, 2017 5:12 PM

    Thanks for the #10 pick Doug! We used it on the next Russell Wilson!

    Andy Reid/John Dorsey

  23. juice08 says: Apr 30, 2017 5:13 PM

    Pegula is sick of the Buffalo media trying to antagonize him, that’s why.

  24. dickshotdogs says: Apr 30, 2017 5:56 PM

    Whaley didn’t trade the number 10 pick. He was home playing with himself.

  25. jim699 says: Apr 30, 2017 5:58 PM

    Using 2 first round picks on Sammy Watkins in a draft with OBJ and a lot of other receiver talent is reason enough to fire the guy.

  26. edavidberg says: Apr 30, 2017 6:01 PM

    Isn’t it obvious? It’s kind of a wonder he kept his job as long as he did.

  27. 12brichandfamous says: Apr 30, 2017 6:04 PM

    Once the draft is over, the job switches to hiring free agents to round out the roster for camp. Whoops! Cannot do that now.

    My take is that the owner wanted to feed his ego, by calling the staff in on a Sunday and firing them rather than waiting until the work week. What a peckerhead!!

  28. JaminJake says: Apr 30, 2017 6:11 PM

    Terry P is the owner and he kept the Bills in Buffalo. I think i will give him the benefit of the doubt given his success in other industries.

  29. sodoyoufeelluckypunk says: Apr 30, 2017 6:25 PM

    ummm, clearly Whatley had too many wins?

  30. meldboy says: Apr 30, 2017 6:52 PM

    Terry walked in on Whaley and Murray running a train on Kim.

  31. onebuffalove716 says: Apr 30, 2017 6:54 PM

    Media: Fire whaley, he’s awful.
    Pegula: i fired whaley
    Media: Pegula is clueless. He needs to sell…

    Sports media is the lowest denomination of all types of media…

  32. absolutevisuals says: Apr 30, 2017 7:19 PM

    Want an explanation?

    LOOK AT THE BUFFALO SABRES! That’s all the explanation you’ll need on the Pegulas. Who are now looking for their second GM and third HC with that team since 2011. So of course they cleaned house with the Bills, they just did it with their other team and both are going to be operated the same.

    Good luck, Buffalo!

  33. nflfan4now says: Apr 30, 2017 7:20 PM

    “”vancouversportsbro says:
    Apr 30, 2017 3:33 PM
    Pegula is becoming one of the worst owners in all of sports.

    Look how he’s managing the Sabres too. Who would want to work for a guy that just whacks everyone when he feels like it and makes odd hires in the first place.””:

    – he did not hire whaley or murray. Now he will have his own people in charge.

    Give him some time now. He is a self made BILLIONAIRE, he didn’t make that much money being stupid or hiring the wrong people. His biggest mistake has that he hasn’t fired people quick enough like Whaley and Regier (Sabres GM before Murray).

  34. styro1 says: Apr 30, 2017 7:20 PM

    Because he doesn’t know. What did he know today that he didn’t know back in January, when Ryan was sacked, or even last September?

    I love a good dumpster fire especially when its a team that is in the same division as the team I support. Since I’m a Bruins fan this is a double dumpster fire since the Sabres are in flames too.

    Who said that God doesn’t give with both hands?

  35. folec says: Apr 30, 2017 7:21 PM

    He doesn’t have to explain why…

  36. jag1959 says: Apr 30, 2017 7:25 PM

    The explanation has been on the field right along

  37. absolutevisuals says: Apr 30, 2017 7:27 PM

    Double post (Edit button please)

    Also I don’t know what is in the water that some people are drinking but, “Give Pegula a few more years and between the Bills and Sabres Buffalo will once again be back on top”

    Not only has it been years since the Sabres have ever been close to on top (never actually been on top), he’s had that team since ’11 and they’ve gotten worse with each decision they’ve personally meddle into. The Bills won’t get any better. Trust somebody that’s a fan of Philadelphia teams and watched them go from bad, to powerhouse, to bad again. Trust the processing is delusional until somebody competent gets involved and the Pegula’s take a hands off approach.

  38. hamlet423 says: Apr 30, 2017 7:31 PM

    The timing is not that unusual–new Colts GM is cleaning house from the scouting department as well.

    But you would think that the owner would..uh…try to communicate a little bit better.

    There has been tremendous communication issues–Rex getting fired, the confusion on who reports to who, and then the owner comes in and says he doesn’t know or can’t say. It is something I have not seen before.

    At least we can infer–this is Sean McDermott’s show now.

  39. campcouch says: Apr 30, 2017 7:40 PM

    This is what happens when actual businessmen buy sports franchises. They see who is getting the job done, analyze past performance, look at if that person had the resources to succeed. If not, they let them go. Guys like Pegula and Haslem get ridiculed and criticized, but why hang on to people who do nothing but wear nice suits and make bad decisions? The only person who can made bad calls is the guy writing those massive checks. Kraft and Belichick did/do the same thing and the results speak for themselves. League wide the successful teams have no issue doing this and no one says anything because they’re stable and they got their stability by doing the same thing others get critiqued over. If Buffalo finds their guy or gal in a position and it works, no one will even remember this firing.

  40. uglydingo says: Apr 30, 2017 7:48 PM

    Terry’s getting great advice on how to run the team from Jimmy Haslem. The truth is that billionaire owners never have to explain anything to anybody, ever.
    BTW it could have been worse – easily forgotten now, but the low bidder in purchasing the Buffalo Bills behind the Pergulas was Donald Trump.

  41. bullcharger says: Apr 30, 2017 7:52 PM

    Pegula doesn’t appear to deal with criticism well. He better start getting used to it.

  42. twoteamsforlosangeles says: Apr 30, 2017 8:06 PM

    Could it be because Kim did the firing? Ask her.

  43. cantescapekarma says: Apr 30, 2017 9:10 PM

    Pegula was asked this question twice. This was his 2nd answer.

    The first time, he said that he wasn’t going to say because he didn’t want to start bad mouthing Whaley to the media. He wanted to keep the reasons private.

    It was actually a very classy thing to do IMO.

    It would have been easy to list off a bunch of reasons why Whaley was fired to appease all the fans/media. But Pegula chose to keep his mouth shut and take a little more heat. Class act.

  44. bittersportspills says: Apr 30, 2017 9:12 PM

    Didn’t Whaley trade up to pick Sammy Watkins, then the Raiders picked Khalil Mack with the next pick?
    That alone could get a GM fired.

  45. joker65 says: Apr 30, 2017 9:16 PM

    and between the Bills and Sabres Buffalo will once again be back on top.

    ———-

    Hahahahahahahba

  46. jason9696 says: Apr 30, 2017 9:32 PM

    The Pegulas obviously have a lot of money but I don’t they have a clue what they are doing as the Bills and the Sabres are both in really bad shape.

  47. vavikingfan says: Apr 30, 2017 9:32 PM

    He doesn’t have to; it’s his business and he can and fire anyone he wants to..

  48. vavikingfan says: Apr 30, 2017 9:33 PM

    hire

  49. midnightcochise says: Apr 30, 2017 10:30 PM

    he hired Rex Ryan, and we need a reason as to why he was dismissed?

  50. janneywheels says: Apr 30, 2017 10:41 PM

    Uhhh, Pegula absolutely did hire Tim Murray.

    He thought simply bringing his millions to town would help these franchises, and is probably learning he doesn’t know what does/does not constitute good GMs and coaches.

    For reference, 2 of the first moves made after purchasing the Sabres was to sign Christian Erhoff and Ville Leino to huge deals… if you don’t know who those players are, its not just because you don’t follow the NHL.

  51. bassplucker says: Apr 30, 2017 11:54 PM

    Dear Pegulas,

    If you’re looking for a new GM you are welcome to ours.

    – Bears fan

  52. sodoyoufeelluckypunk says: Apr 30, 2017 11:55 PM

    ummmm, he was fired because the team sucked?

  53. billswillnevermove says: May 1, 2017 8:23 AM

    joetoronto says:
    Apr 30, 2017 4:11 PM

    Pegula’s perspective is that he’s the owner and he’ll do whatever he likes.

    Both the Bills and Sabres have regressed since he bought them, but that means nothing to him.

    Oh, Buffalo.
    __________________________________
    Oh, Joe………….get a job you 5 ID troll.

  54. dan7800 says: May 1, 2017 8:26 AM

    He was bad at his job. Why explain it?

  55. floriosnuts says: May 1, 2017 8:30 AM

    The press can’t figure out why he got fired? Really? Here is a hint I was performance related.

  56. llojac1 says: May 1, 2017 8:34 AM

    seriously? does he need an explanation? look at the results, he should have been fired a long time ago. trading up for Watkins & drafting EJ Manuel in 1st round are reasons enough get get fired.

  57. ihavenoeyedeer says: May 1, 2017 8:44 AM

    What’s with this site demanding things to be played out in public?

  58. kneedragr says: May 1, 2017 9:18 AM

    He doesent answer to the press.

  59. firecracker87 says: May 1, 2017 9:36 AM

    I guess they ain’t winning the off season.

  60. mgs2277 says: May 1, 2017 9:41 AM

    The Mighty Oz has spoken

  61. weepingjebus says: May 1, 2017 9:48 AM

    Didn’t the Bills running backs coach somehow end up as head coach for a few weeks after waves of firings last year?

  62. TheDPR says: May 1, 2017 10:02 AM

    Seems to me that no explanation is necessary.

  63. feckyerlife says: May 1, 2017 10:04 AM

    A lot of people who are calling this “the new browns” don’t seem to get it. Whaley is from the prior owner, the new owner gave him a chance for 2 seasons, and he has seen nothing but a sh1t show, so instead of this being the new browns, its a new owner finally taking charge.

  64. feckyerlife says: May 1, 2017 10:05 AM

    Yup and now he’s the head coach of the Chargers

    weepingjebus says:
    May 1, 2017 9:48 AM
    Didn’t the Bills running backs coach somehow end up as head coach for a few weeks after waves of firings last year?

  65. boiler72 says: May 1, 2017 10:35 AM

    jeremycrowhurst says:
    Apr 30, 2017 3:34 PM

    The new Browns.
    __________________

    Um, no. The Bears are the new Browns.

  66. annes22 says: May 1, 2017 11:01 AM

    Why is anyone surprised at what happened with the Bills? The team was not very good last year, and that’s being polite.
    Who cares if there is trouble in the camp???Only their fans.

  67. mmack66 says: May 1, 2017 11:03 AM

    Should have let JBJ move them to Toronto.

  68. rideforjesus says: May 1, 2017 11:29 AM

    6 & 10……. enough said

  69. tazman1996 says: May 1, 2017 11:51 AM

    Keep it to ourselves…… nice way of saying “He Suckked”

  70. jchemengr says: May 1, 2017 1:36 PM

    The loss of Chris Hogan was tough to take. Losing Gillislee was too much.

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