If the names Jeff Littmann and Jim Overdorf don’t ring a bell, you haven’t really been paying attention to Buffalo Bills football for the past several years.
Tim Graham of The Buffalo News recently posted a tale of (at best) frustration and (at worst) dysfunction stemming from attempts by Doug Marrone and Doug Whaley to steer the team back to respectability.
Scouts and coaches have been aggravated with decisions made by chief financial officer Jeffrey C. Littmann (with the team since 1986), senior vice president of football administration Jim Overdorf (with the team since 1986) and senior vice president of communications Scott Berchtold (with the team since 1989).
Littmann long has set the team’s budget for owner Ralph Wilson.
Overdorf oversees all player contracts. Overdorf, not Whaley, will handle contract negotiations for Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd. Same as last year. Overdorf reports not to Whaley, but to CEO Russ Brandon.
Berchtold is responsible for helping Marrone and Whaley deal with the media. Bills coaches refer to Berchtold as the team’s “sports information director,” a term colleges use for their flacks. Berchtold doesn’t like that.
Marrone and Whaley — unusual young guns compared to the Tom Modraks, Dick Jaurons and Chan Gaileys the Bills have hired in the past — want to fix the team’s this-is-the-way-we’ve-always-done-it culture.
But Marrone and Whaley haven’t made as much headway as they’d like over the past year and have grown increasingly frustrated, sources tell me.
Chris Trapasso of Bleacher Report joins me to discuss Tim Graham’s Buffalo News piece quoted above, the Senior Bowl (Chris attended and wrote about on-the-field stuff here and his personal experience here), the NFL combine, and the upcoming NFL Draft– including predictions on how long UB’s Khalil Mack will last on draft day.