It's hard to believe, but it was one year ago today that Marv Levy returned to the Bills as general manager. For Buffalo's former Hall of Fame coach the year passed in a blink.
"It has gone quickly," said Levy from behind his desk at One Bills Drive. "The longer days were the ones when we lost games. It picked up momentum and before you knew it the year was gone."
Levy claims he was never uncomfortable in his new role with the club even though his first few days on the job were tumultuous.
"I didn't feel any sense of discomfort," he said. "The fact that Mike Mularkey, three days after I accepted the job and arrived on the scene, decided he was going to leave certainly made me realize that it was going to be exciting. I was planning to go down to the Senior Bowl and all of that, but instead we had to begin the coaching hunt. But I hope I never get comfortable in my position."
Levy has found the general manager's job vastly different from coaching.
"Yes it's football and yes it's the Buffalo Bills, but the main share of a general manager's work is done in the offseason whereas the main share of the coach's work is done during the season," Levy said. "However, both have definite responsibilities outside of those busy times of the year."
Naturally what came easy to Levy in his new role was relating again to the people in the organization. That was the main reason the former coach was hired to once again develop consensus throughout the hierarchy of the franchise.
"I think that's so important to have a cooperative feeling and input from everybody," said Levy. "What also came easily was the development of a team feeling not only with the players, but the organization as a whole. The hardest part remained the same and that was banging your fist on the table when those injuries occurred."
What has Levy enthused is that with no concerns about finding a head coach, assembling a coaching staff or familiarizing himself with the personnel under contract he can spend more time honing in on other important matters.
"The volume is down which means the focus can be more specific which is really good," he said. "We're not formulating a new plan we're just fine tuning what we want to do."
There's no question things have changed since Levy was last in the league, but none of the new advances in studying and analyzing the game have left him playing catch-up. He's made a point to keep pace.
"I expected there to be differences," said Levy. "I haven't seen revolutionary changes, but evolutionary changes. They have occurred in technology, medicine, journalism and every other field going. Coaching staffs are much larger than they used to be. The infusion of so much technology, I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing. I'm still undecided as to whether it simplifies things or mires you down with too many details. But you learn to cope with it because as I told one of my assistant coaches one time, if you don't change with the times, the times are going to change you."
And after one year in the books as general manager he along with Dick Jauron and his coaching staff have made progress in changing the Bills for the better.