ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) - The Buffalo Bills have named Russ Brandon the President and CEO of the Buffalo Bills. He will have full authority of the organization, with no restrictions and no limitations.
Brandon said Ralph Wilson told him Monday that he was giving him control, Brandon called it a daunting, emotional day.
"It was a rather emotional visit. He told me he was passing the torch to me to run this franchise in totality. He has granted me full authority to run this franchise with zero restrictions and zero limitations," Brandon said. "I will leave no stone unturned to take this team to a world-class level."
It's a huge change at the top of the Bills organization. Despite Wilson's limited mobility at 94 years old, Brandon says he was in constant contact with him and General Manager Buddy Nix was on the phone with Wilson every day.
At his age, Wilson rarely makes it back to One Bills Drive. With Brandon making the final call on decisions, for example, the next head coach won't need to meet with Wilson at his home in Michigan before getting hired.
When pressed for specifics on what else changes with his new title, Brandon instead made broad statements about the future of the franchise.
Brandon says he won't micro-manage from his new position and he says he will institute a "football analytics operation" -- a football version of front office strategy highlighted in the movie "Moneyball."
"I can promise you this will be a forward-thinking, progressive, attacking organization heading into the future," Brandon said. "I will identify and I will hire world-class people to bring to this organization."
Brandon spoke about General Manager Buddy Nix's role, saying, "Buddy Nix is our GM, Buddy Nix will run the football operation, much like he has run it the last three years." Brandon says that under Nix, the Bills roster is in a much better position than three years ago.
Brandon was asked to speak on Wilson's health, he said he is doing great and stayed at the organization's holiday party longer than he did. He called him an incredible man.
>> Monday, team announced that Chan Gailey is no longer head coach.
Russ Brandon sent a Tweet saying , "The journey will start immediately W/ Buddy Nix, Doug Whaley & our pursuit of the next head coach."
Brandon called himself the definition of "regional," after growing up outside of Syracuse, going to college outside of Rochester and working for the Buffalo Bills. He said it was his goal to be a team president.
Brandon said, "This is my dream job, to work for the Buffalo Bills. To have the opportunity to do this is incredible."
Nix addressed the media Tuesday, and started by describing the difficulty of Monday, when Chan Gailey was fired. "It's hard to describe how hard yesterday was."
"Chan Gailey is a class act," Nix said, "He worked as hard as a man could work."
Several reports surfaced Tuesday that Assistant G.M. Doug Whaley would transition into Nix's role.
When asked, Nix says nothing has changed at this time. Nix said he will talk about the transition to Whaley at another time, when it happens.