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McDermott touts 'healthy, productive' conversations with Whaley

PHOENIX -- Despite growing speculation that Doug Whaley could soon be on his way out as general manager of the Buffalo Bills, coach Sean McDermott stressed Monday that the two of them are working closely together and expects that to continue.

"Doug and I worked together on (free agency), we absolutely worked together on all of this," McDermott told The Buffalo News at the NFL meeting at the Arizona Biltmore. "Nobody does this alone. Nobody would be able to do what we did in free agency in being tactical and getting that number of players early on in the process alone.

"And Doug and I have had healthy conversations, productive conversations, and I look forward to doing that moving forward."

A recent report by Jason La Confora of CBS mentioned "rumblings" that the "marriage" between McDermott and Whaley "likely isn't built to last," and that McDermott would look to bring in his own person to oversee the Bills' player-personnel department. The team's restructuring of Tyrod Taylor's contract to keep the quarterback was seen as a sign that McDermott and Whaley weren't seeing eye-to-eye, because Whaley was known to have wanted to part ways with Taylor late last season.

Speculation intensified that Whaley's days as the Bills' GM were numbered when the team announced that only McDermott would speak with the media in the annual pre-draft news conference, something that traditionally always involves the GM.

However, McDermott said it was merely a case of the Bills remaining consistent with a "one-voice" approach and that one voice was his.

"Nothing more," the coach said. "Just a one-voice approach for us to have a unified message out to our fans and our community and give them a glimpse of what's going on behind the scenes.

"This is intentional. As an organization, we feel strongly that the one-voice approach gives us a unified voice. It does a good job of representing our team and our messaging to our fans, and I feel strongly (about it). It's been a part of what I've been around with Andy Reid (when both were with the Philadelphia Eagles) and I know how effective that is."

Asked if he was concerned with the perception of instability created by media discussion about Whaley's uncertain future, McDermott said, "I mentioned this at my opening press conference, being comfortable with the situation. I'm extremely comfortable with the situation. Nothing's changed as far as that goes.

"Doug and I, when you look at what we've done with the amount of cap space we had, just to start there, and come out in free agency and be strategic, aggressive and tactical to get the players that we were able to get, that doesn't happen with one person. So Doug and his staff, my staff, the entire building at One Bills Drive, it's been an absolute total team effort since Day One."

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