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Steelers Donahoe offers Modrak 'any job' with Buffalo

Ex-Steelers executives might join forces again

Saturday, May 12, 2001

By Ed Bouchette, Post-Gazette Sports Writer

Together, Tom Donahoe and Tom Modrak helped build the Steelers into an NFL power through much of the 1990s. Donahoe has proposed that the two try it again in Buffalo.

Donahoe, the Bills' new president and general manager, has offered Modrak "any job he wants" to join him in Buffalo's organization.

"He's excellent at what he does," said Donahoe. "I know him, I trust him. We had a great situation in Pittsburgh and we could build a better situation here in Buffalo."

The Philadelphia Eagles fired Modrak Monday after three years as their director of football operations in a front-office coup that might have involved Coach Andy Reid, who was given Modrak's powers Tuesday. Donahoe said Modrak got a raw deal in Philadelphia.

Modrak and Donahoe are both Pittsburgh natives and graduates of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Modrak joined the Steelers' personnel department in 1978 and Donahoe in 1985. They eventually became the top two personnel men with the Steelers before Modrak took the Eagles' job in 1998. The Steelers fired Donahoe as director of football operations in 2000.

Donahoe has an opening in Buffalo for a pro personnel director, a job Modrak once held with the Steelers. He also has a vice president in charge of personnel, Dwight Adams, but he said he's not looking to replace anyone.

"He'd be a huge plus for the organization," Donahoe said. "I told him we'd be very flexible with his job description and the role he wanted to play here. If he's interested, we'd find a way to make it comfortable for him.

"We're looking to add to what we think is a very good staff. Tom's one of most respected guys in the league and not by accident."

Modrak also is a candidate to become general manager of the Chicago Bears and might have a chance at a similar job with the Washington Redskins.

"I hope Tom ends up here," Donahoe said. "I told him you can move here, live where you're living, move somewhere else, I don't care. I just want him to be part of this organization. We have a lot of things going on here, we're going in the right direction, and he can add a lot of things to what we're trying to build."

Donahoe and Modrak provided the Steelers with the talent to make the playoffs six consecutive times between 1992 and '97, a period in which they played three AFC championship games at home and made one trip to the Super Bowl.

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