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The XFL announced Thursday that it has hired former Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley as the league’s senior vice president of football operations.
According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, XFL commissioner Oliver Luck said the following regarding Whaley’s hiring:
“Based on his passion for all aspects of football, his intellect and vast experience as an NFL general manager, we believe that Doug is the perfect choice to lead the XFL’s football operations. The quality of the on-field product is paramount to the XFL’s success, and Doug, who is tech-savvy and a firm believer in analytics, brings football credibility and a strong work ethic to the team. I’m excited to begin working with him as we reimagine the game.”
The XFL is set to launch in January or February 2020 with a 10-week regular season.
Whaley also commented on his foray into the XFL, saying, “I would like to thank Oliver for giving me the opportunity to help bring their vision for the XFL to life. I’m excited to get started knowing we have a lot of work ahead of us. Nothing is more important than developing a fun, fast-paced game that football fans will embrace, and I look forward to making this challenge a reality.”
The XFL is owned by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and his investment company Alpha Entertainment.
McMahon originally launched the XFL in 2001, and although it initially generated a great deal of interest, the league shut down after just one season.
In January, McMahon discussed his vision for the new XFL and noted that while it has the same name as the original league, there won’t be many similarities.
McMahon talked about employing a faster-paced game and taking politics out of the equation by banning protests during the playing of the national anthem.
The 45-year-old Whaley was named Buffalo general manager in 2013 and held the position until Buffalo fired him following the 2017 NFL draft. Whaley previously worked in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ front office for 10 years.
During his tenure as Buffalo’s GM, the Bills went 30-34 and did not reach the playoffs.