The Buffalo Bills have given Buddy Nix's right-hand man, Doug Whaley, a boost in his title.

Whaley, the 38-year-old former Pittsburgh Steelers executive, remains the assistant general manager of the Bills. He formerly held the added title of director of pro personnel. Now that has been changed to director of player personnel.

The promotion comes in the wake of this week's firing of Tom Modrak, the team's vice president for college scouting. Whaley now will take over Modrak's duty as overseer of the team's college scouting operation, in addition to overseeing the Bills' pro scouting department.

Nix, the Bills' executive vice president and general manager, hired Whaley away from the Steelers in February 2010.

Whaley already was involved in evaluating college talent over the past year. During the NFL season, he would scout AFC East foes the week before the Bills played those rivals. But the other weeks of the NFL season, Whaley was on the road scouting top college teams across the country.

Modrak ran the meetings when the Bills' area scouts from across the country gathered during the year and before the draft. Now that role goes to Whaley. Whaley still will assist in advance scouting of Bills foes on the pro side of the football department.

Whaley spent 10 years as the Steelers' pro scouting coordinator and had been identified in league circles as an up-and-coming general manager candidate for a couple of years before making the jump to the Bills.

He was a homegrown talent for the Steelers. He graduated from Pittsburgh's Upper St. Clair High School in 1990 and played college football at the University of Pittsburgh as a safety and linebacker.

Whaley views himself as low-key and isn't an attention seeker. He never wears the two Super Bowl rings he received as a member of the Steelers' organization.

He jumped to the Bills because he saw the job as an attractive challenge. He also wanted to help build up another organization after being "a cog in a well-oiled machine," as he called it, in Pittsburgh.