INDIANAPOLIS – On a personal and professional level, Brandon Beane was sad to see Brian Gaine leave the Buffalo Bills.
But Beane isn’t in a rush to replace the team’s former vice president of player personnel, who left in January to become the Houston Texans’ general manager.
“We're fine,” Beane said Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine. “We're not going to do anything until after the draft. We're good to go with our free agency stuff. We're ready with that, and the draft.
“Brian did a lot of stuff this fall. So we still have his grades, all his reports. He sent those in. I mess with him. I’m going to be calling him in the third round and saying, ‘Hey, you had this guy here, you still think he belongs in the third round?’ ”
Gaines spent just nine months with the Bills, but played a big role on Beane’s staff.
“I'm really thankful that we had him,” Beane said. “Brian … was a big part of our foundation, you know, setting our scouting principles and what we expect, and was heavily involved in how we build our pro manual and college manual. And I'm happy for him. He actually lived in my neighborhood and his family is still there.
“On a personal level, our family will miss his family and all that, so it's kind of personal and professional with him. But I'm excited that he got the opportunity. This is one of 32 of these. He's going back with a head coach that he was familiar with in Houston. Other than when they play the Bills, I'm a Brian Gaine fan. I'll root for him.”
Beane will evaluate his personnel staff after the draft before deciding on how to replace Gaines.
“That’s when we take a deep breath, and we debrief,” he said. “What went well this year? What do we need to do different? It was a busy year. This was year one. We did a lot of things to put this foundation, from just a personnel staff, down, so I'll look then at what tweaks we need to make and at that point I'm going to decide how to fill his role, but I haven't determined that at this point.”
Gaines called it a “unique circumstance” to leave the Bills after such a short time. Before coming to Buffalo, he worked as the Texans' director of player personnel for three seasons.
“Buffalo, and living in Orchard Park, New York was a very special experience, one I’ll always cherish and never forget,” he said, “but we’re certainly excited about the opportunity to come back to Houston.”
Gaine interviewed for the Bills’ GM job before it ultimately went to Beane, so it was a coup that the team was able to land both of them in the same front office.
“For Year One of that program, while I was there, we were certainly excited about the future,” Gaine said. “I certainly learned the value of people and relationships, organization, teamwork, that people matter and that relationships matter and direction certainly did as well. Learned a ton about leadership from Brandon and especially coach McDermott, and the Pegula family were a special group of people to work for.”