Rochester, N.Y.— It’s a new year and with it brings new hope and optimism for a brighter Buffalo Bills future.
On Tuesday, New Year’s Day, Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson promoted Russ Brandon to president.
Brandon will now have full authority over the organization’s operations as CEO and President.
Brandon has served as the CEO since 2010 and has been with the Bill organization for 16 years.
This news came just a day after the Bills fired head coach Chan Gailey after the end of another disappointing season.
Local Bills fans say they are happy their team is making changes.
“[Being a Bills fan], it's been rough,” says Fairport resident Don Gress. “Every year, you have hopes at the beginning of the season. This [past] year was really tough because we thought that the Bills were finally going to pull through and have a good year and they let us down.”
East Irondequoit resident Michael Necci says he has greater faith in Brandon than he did with owner Ralph Wilson.
“When you have an owner who is 500 miles away [in Detroit], he's not the face of the franchise,” Necci says. “Who do you report to? That's why they can't get a big coach to come here because we don't have a face of the franchise. I think that might have changed today. You can't have a 94-year-old man be the face of the franchise... owner or not. You need some fresh, young blood here.”
Webster resident and life-long Bills fan Andrew Isaac agrees.
“I think [Wilson] lost connection with the team on a day-to-day basis,” Isaac says. “Russ knows what the team needs rather than Ralph who doesn’t have the pulse of the NFL as it is today.”
Most fans can also agree that Brandon’s first true test as president will be to see who he chooses as a head coach.
“It has to be an inspiring hire where the Bills fans and the Bills media get somewhat excited,” says Necci.
“You need good coaching to really solidify the talent to make a good team,” says Isaac. “If we get the right coach and staff, we could see progress next year.”