Bills wrap reorganization with two hires

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills haven't been to the playoffs in 11 years. They've had one winning season in that span.

"If you keep doing the same thing the same way and keep getting the same results every time," general manager Buddy Nix said Wednesday afternoon, "sometimes you need to make a change."

The Bills held a news conference to address changes to their front office, announcing they've hired Chuck Cook director of college scouting and Tom Gibbons director of pro personnel. Last week, the Bills fired vice president of college scouting Tom Modrak and gave assistant general manager Doug Whaley director of player personnel duties.

Cook comes to the Bills from the Miami Dolphins, where he was a regional scout since general manager Jeff Ireland took over in 2008. Cook was the Kansas City Chiefs' college scouting director from 1997 through 2007.

Nix knew Cook's father, long-time New Orleans Saints scout Hamp Cook, and tried to recruit the lad at Auburn. Cook went on to star at Southern Miss instead.

Gibbons, a native of suburban Dunkirk, N.Y., spent the past seven seasons with the San Diego Chargers, where he worked with Nix. Prior to that, Gibbons was with the Bills for 12 years as an administrative assistant and a college and pro scout under former general manager John Butler.

Nix said the moves will complete any offseason reorganization of the scouting department. Regional scout Rashaan Curry and college scouting administrator Michael LaFlamme recently departed, but the rest of the department will remain in place.

Many wondered about the timing of Modrak's dismissal, a week after what was widely considered a successful draft.

When asked why a switch wasn't made when Nix became GM after the 2009 season, Nix replied "I didn't know what to change."

Nix declined to get into specifics about the organization's decision to fire Modrak.

Modrak had become a pariah among Bills fans because he was the only football executive left from the Tom Donahoe era and spanned Marv Levy's brief stint as GM and a few head coaches.

"Tom's a great guy, did a lot better job than he got credit for," Nix said. "He made the statement one time, 'I'm an easy target. I'm the only one left standing.' "