Assistant general manager Doug Whaley will be named general manager of the Buffalo Bills on Thursday, following the succession plan set in motion by Buddy Nix's retirement Monday. Whaley signed a new contract in February that accounted for Nix's anticipated move out of the GM's chair. Nix stepped down Monday as general manager of the Bills and into a new role as special assistant with the team. He was the Bills' general manager since 2009. "I've made this decision to step away from the general manager's position because I feel it is the right time," Nix said Monday. "By the 'right time' I mean I think we have a good young roster, an excellent head coach with a good staff, and it's time to let someone else handle these responsibilities and move forward together." Whaley was groomed in the Pittsburgh Steelers' organization and came to Buffalo with a very strong endorsement from well-respected personnel boss Kevin Colbert. The Bills are following a model that traces to Colbert in building a roster for first-year coach Doug Marrone. "Timing is the main thing, but there are other benefits as well. This job is very demanding with a 24-7 schedule of responsibilities. This new position will enable me to spend more time with my family. I appreciate the opportunity given to me by (owner) Mr. (Ralph) Wilson and (team president) Russ (Brandon) and I'm fortunate to step away from the job and still remain a part of the team." Under Nix, the Bills drafted running back C.J. Spiller, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, cornerback Stephon Gilmore and quarterback EJ Manuel in the first round in the last four years. "I feel strongly that the team is on the right course for success," Nix said. "We have some excellent talent on our team and coach Marrone and his staff are doing a terrific job in leading and teaching the players we have on our roster. I was very impressed with the 24 rookies we had in this past weekend and I'm very excited about the upcoming season. I think this is going to be an exciting time for our team and our fans."
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