Buddy Nix still on scouting trail for Bills

Earlier this week, Doug Whaley wrapped up his first combine since being named the Buffalo Bills' general manager last May.

But what about former GM Buddy Nix, who stepped down from his role to become a special assistant? Nix was spotted on occasion at the Bills' facility last season and also was at the Senior Bowl last month, but he did not make the trip to Indianapolis.

"A man flies 250,000 miles a year for 10 to 12 years, that's enough," Nix told Mark Wiedmer of the Chattanooga Times Free Press this week.

Nix is still actively scouting for Buffalo, but at 74 limits his trips to those within driving distance.

"I'm going to six or seven pro days around the Southeast the next week or so. I'll be in Auburn on Tuesday. I'll also go to Alabama, Georgia, Georgia Tech and either Tennessee or South Carolina, since they're scheduled for the same day," Nix told the newspaper. "I'm just not planning on going anywhere I can't drive."

The Bills went 16-32 in Nix's three seasons as general manager, which was followed by a 6-10 record in Whaley's first season. The team likes to talk about being in "rebuilding" mode, but even Nix acknowledged that there is a shelf life for that term.

"We wanted to build around defense," Nix said. "And we have. But you don't get much time these days. With most teams, if the coach isn't winning by his third year, he might be gone."

Nix also provided some insight into a pair of prospects in the 2014 draft: Missouri defensive end Michael Sam and Auburn defensive end Dee Ford.

"There's a possibility [Sam] won't [make an NFL roster]," Nix said. "But it won't have anything to do with his sexual preference. There have been gay players in NFL locker rooms for more than 40 years. I know it wouldn't be a problem in our locker room in Buffalo. The problem for Sam is where do you play him? He might make it as a situational pass-rusher. We have one of those in Buffalo with Jerry Hughes. But there's no way he'd beat out Jerry Hughes."

Conversely, Nix seems high on Ford, who could be a first-round pick in May.

"He's such a tenacious player," Nix said. "Great dedication, great motor. I can't wait to get down there and see him."