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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Now boarding Air Chan flight number 2010....

The Buffalo Bills have finally made their choice for their new head coach. After an exhaustive search that saw the Bills' officials interview a staggering three candidates for the job, and reject an even larger number of others for reasons only known to Ralph Wilson, the nonagenarian owner of the franchise whose ability to hold a grudge is becoming sufficient to earn him an Honorary Status as an Irishman, the team has at long last settled on Chan Gailey.

Here's Coach Gailey, on the Georgia Tech sideline:



And here's another Chan. This is not the guy the Bills hired.



Well, this pic I found (here) doesn't inspire confidence:



Although the linked article does opine that Gailey is more suited to the NFL than the college game. Interesting....

What do I think about Gailey? Well...it feels like a potentially interesting hire that is unfortunately overshadowed by the white-bread way the Bills went about conducting their job search, which deflates a lot of the potential interest in the guy. So it ends up feeling "Meh". This is not an exciting hire. Maybe it's a good one. We'll see.

One common complaint I've heard is that Gailey has never had great success in his previous head coaching jobs, and that since he's an offensive coach by trade, his hiring is basically the offensive version of Dick Jauron. I think that's overstating things. Gailey may not have any championships to his name, and his head coaching resume in the NFL is very brief (two years with the Cowboys), but he's certainly been generally more successful than Dick Jauron ever was. Gailey's been recommended for jobs by Bill Cowher; Jerry Jones (of all people!) has expressed regret for firing him after just two years; stuff like that.

So ultimately, my reaction to the hiring of Chan Gailey is that it at least has potential to not be disastrous. The real indicator will be the quality of players the new coach and GM bring in next year. Although last year's draft was generally good (Aaron Maybin notwithstanding, but even he might have benefited from a less-shitty coaching staff that might have thought to try him out at linebacker, given his undersized-for-a-DE status), the two people responsible for most of the personnel moves during the last decade of futility, Tom Modrak and John Guy, are still here. The people who drafted John McCargo and signed Bennie Anderson are still here. That, by far, gives me the most pause.

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