His short answer is that he didn’t produce enough in a “production-based business.”
‘If you get a franchise quarterback, everything else is a lot easier, but it’s hard finding that franchise quarterback’
The longer answer, however, is that Whaley never was able to find a franchise quarterback for the Bills, who fired him on April 30, the day after the NFL Draft.
“I think the easiest way to try to get that production up is finding the quarterback,” Whaley told Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan on Movin’ The Chains. “I’ve always said, it’s an easy business, but it’s a hard business. It’s an easy business, because if you get a franchise quarterback, everything else is a lot easier. But it’s hard finding that franchise quarterback. But I think putting all your efforts into trying to find that franchise quarterback, but also building that team until you get that, that’s a tricky business and it’s not easy.
‘If you don’t have that guy under center, you need 45 guys on every single game and that’s tough to do’
“And if I get a shot again, I’m going to try to map out a road map to accomplish both at the same time, but try to get that franchise quarterback as quickly as possible because, as they say, when you have that guy under center, you need only one guy that’s on every day. But if you don’t have that guy under center, you need 45 guys on every single game and that’s tough to do in this type of field that we’re in because you’re dealing with individuals. And to get 45 individuals working together as one and everybody being on every time you go on the field, that’s tough.”
Whaley was heavily criticized for his decision in 2014 to give up fourth- and first-round draft picks to the Cleveland Browns to move up to select wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who has had an injury-plagued career and whose fifth-year option in 2018 is not going to be picked up by the Bills.
‘I’ll have to say, as a parting gift, we left them with two (first-rounders) going into next year’
But he offered some defense for what he accomplished.
“Obviously, we gave up one (first-round choice) to go up and get Sammy, but I’ll have to say, as a parting gift, we left them with two going into next year,” Whaley said, referring to the trade the Bills made with Kansas City in this year’s draft to move from the 10th overall pick to the Chiefs’ 27th spot. The Chiefs gave up a first-round choice in 2018 and third-rounder this year in order to move up for quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
“I think one of the guys that we really take a lot of pride in was Ronald Darby (in 2015),” Whaley said. “It was after we obviously traded up and then lost the first-round pick for the Sammy Watkins trade. Sammy is poised to make a big jump. But to find a talent in Ronald Darby in the second round, when we didn’t have a first-round pick, and I think he ended up being No. 2 in the defensive-rookie-of-the-year voting, that was really impressive.”
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