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Failing to woo the Mike Shanahans and Bill Cowhers of the world, the Buffalo Bills settled on Chan Gailey as their new head coach on Tuesday. The hire probably will not prompt Bills fans to put a deposit down on 2010 season tickets.
From Peter King to Mike Lombardi, this move is getting slammed and rightfully so. After telling anyone who would listen that they wanted a high profile coach and that money wasn’t an object, they went out and hired a 58-year-old coach to rebuild the team. Not a smart move.
Apparently, the Bills have not paid attention to the last five years of the NFL and what has been successful. If you can’t get one of the heavyweights, going younger and/or energetic was the approach for Buffalo if they couldn’t land Cowher, who put in a good word for his friend.
Also, that environment is not conducive to winning for now. It’s got a leadership infrastructure with owner Ralph Wilson at the top that needs a shift in practices and principals. When your moves are being called Raider-esque or if your franchise is being called Raiders East, something is amiss.
As for Gailey, he coached the Cowboys from 1998 to ’99 as a follow up to the infamous Barry Switzer period. Gailey’s record with Dallas was 18-14 with two playoff appearances and an NFC East title in ’98. However, he netted zero results in the postseason. The ’98 playoffs saw the Arizona Cardinals effectively end “The Triplets” era in Dallas with a surprising 20-7 win at Texas Stadium. The ’99 Cowboys suffered the loss of Michael Irvin on the turf at Veterans Stadium, which effectively sapped the heart and soul away from that Cowboy outfit. Gailey’s squad succumbed to Minnesota in the first round of the playoffs, 27-10.
When we last saw Gailey in the NFL, he was removed as offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs after three preseason games. It’s never a good thing when you can’t make the regular season as offensive coordinator. May the football gods be with you Bills fans.