NEW YORK (Reuters) - Three days before ending their season, the struggling Buffalo Bills promoted Russ Brandon to chief executive and appointed national scout Buddy Nix as general manager on Thursday.
Brandon had served as chief operating officer and general manager for the last two years while Nix returned to the Bills as national scout on January 26 after a brief retirement.
Team owner Ralph Wilson announced the restructuring of his front office as the Bills prepared to host the high-flying Indianapolis Colts (14-1) on Sunday.
"This is someone that we needed for a long, long time," Wilson told the team's official website (http://www.buffalobills.com) of Nix's appointment.
"Something that fans as well as everyone in the area and myself have wanted, and that's a GM of football. We really needed somebody that knew all the aspects of the game."
The Bills, who will miss the playoffs for a 10th consecutive season, prop up the American Football Conference East standings with a win-loss record of 5-10.
Nix, a veteran of 16 years in the NFL including eight in Buffalo, decided to re-join the Bills in January after a short break from football following the 2008 draft.
"It's been kind of a whirlwind the last six or seven days," Nix, 70, said. "It's not what I had in mind when I came back in January but the more time I've had to think about it, the more excited I've gotten about it.
"I don't think I ever intended to stay out of scouting. I wanted to back off and look at everything, but deep down I never intended to get out and stay out."
Long regarded as one of the beat evaluators of talent in the league, Nix served as assistant general manager of the San Diego Chargers from 2003 to 2008.
(Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Julian Linden)