ORCHARD PARK, NY (Democrat & Chronicle) -- Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley said the team's 7-9 record this season was "not good enough" and that "it starts with me" in an afternoon news conference from the team's facility in Orchard Park on Monday.
Whaley, who was alone at the podium, said he was representing owners Kim and Terry Pegula, team president Russ Brandon and the football department Monday afternoon.
"You are what your record says you are and we are 7-9," Whaley said. "We have to get better in every aspect."
Whaley said the team's search for a head coach will be different than the previous two that he has been involved with as he will lead the search. Whaley was an assistant general manager when Doug Marrone was hired in 2013 and the team used a committee approach when Rex Ryan was hired in 2015.
"I have full confidence in myself and the process that we have in place," Whaley said.
Despite reports that interim coach Anthony Lynn has the inside track to secure the job permanently, Whaley insisted that "it will be an open search" for the Bills' next head coach. Whaley confirmed that the Bills have reached out and requested an interview with Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin. Whaley said there is not a timetable for hiring the head coach.
"You don't want to rush to make a decision like this, you want to make the right decision," Whaley said.
He also said that Ryan spoke to team owner Terry Pegula on the phone privately last Tuesday before the team made the decision to part ways with Ryan.
"I wasn't privy to the conversation, so I cannot get into the details," Whaley said.
Whaley later said that he had no input into the decision to fire Ryan.
Whaley also said that he did not speak after Ryan's firing last week because the team has a policy during the season to have a "singular voice" during the regular season and that voice is the head coach. He said that he and Lynn have spoken about the team's decision to bench Taylor for the season finale and that "Anthony and I have talked, and we are fine."
He also said he understands why Taylor was unhappy with the team's decision to rest him on Sunday.
"I would be upset if he wasn't upset," Whaley said.
Whaley also said that he has often leaned on Brandon for administrative advice, but with Brandon taking on expanded responsibilities with the Buffalo Sabres and Pegula Sports Entertainment (his official title is managing partner and president), that their relationship is likely to change.
"With his duties taking him away, (Brandon's involvement in football decisions) it will probably be less and less," Whaley said.
After starting the season 4-2, the Bills lost four of their last five games to finish 7-9 and miss the NFL playoffs for the 17th straight season.
The Bills finished their season with a disappointing 30-10 loss to the New York Jets on Sunday.
Whaley said the team was "highly competitive" for much of the season.
"If you look at the season in totality, we did some good things," Whaley said. "We just weren't consistent.
"We're not that far away, we believe."
This is a developing story. Check back for details.