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Why Chan Gailey Would Be a Good Hire for the Buffalo Bills

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Nearly one year ago, when the Kansas City Chiefs were looking for a head coach, Joel made the case for Chan Gailey as the Chiefs' 11th head coach in franchise history. This morning over at Buffalo Rumblings, Brian made the case for Chan Gailey as the Bills next head coach.

Here's what Joel said last year that made Gailey at least a candidate to consider for the Chiefs' head coach position:

  • Previous success as an offensive coordinator;
  • Previous success as a head coach;
  • QB development; and,
  • Unorthodox play calling.
Rather than reinvent the wheel (or do work where a cut, paste and edit job will do), I've re-purposed Joel's post from January 2009 for Bills fans.

After the jump, here's why Chan Gailey should be considered a candidate to become the Buffalo Bills 17th head coach in franchise history.

Previous Success as an Offensive Coordinator

Gailey spent two seasons as the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator improving the team from an 11th ranked offense in his first year (1996) to a 7th ranked offense the next. In comparison, the next three seasons without Gailey saw their offensive rank dip to 28th, 17th and 17th.

From 2000-2001 Gailey served as the Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator. His first season saw a middle of the road offense that ranked 16th in the NFL. The following season the team improved to the 8th ranked offense. Both seasons the Dolphins posted 11-5 records.

Gailey stuck around for 2 seasons and saw improvement in offensive statistical rankings.

Previous Success as a Head Coach

Gailey's success as a head coach has largely been forgotten or underrated. He spent 2 years manning the Dallas Cowboys until Jerry Jones prematurely fired him.

"I regret just giving Chan [Gailey] two years," said Jones, the Cowboys' owner and general manager. "When you really look at what he's done since he's left here and look at what he had done here – he took us to the playoffs twice. And I'm not talking about the fairness of it. I'm just talking about how I should have worked hard on some things where we could've made adjustments that were meaningful."

So, Jerry Jones, a guy willing to do whatever it takes to succeed, admits he made a mistake in firing Chan Gailey after just two seasons.

And why does Jones regret that move? Because Gailey's teams reached the playoffs both years, winning the NFC East with a 10-6 record in 1998. His two year stint left him with a head coaching record 4 games above .500.

Gailey, in an organization that was on the verge of overhauling its identity from the days of the triplets (Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin were nearing the end of their careers while Emmitt Smith was nearing the end of his productive years), demonstrated an ability to competently play the hand that was given to him. And play it well, mind you.

In contrast, Dave Campo took over after Gailey was dismissed and brought the team just 15 wins in 3 years, 3 less than Gailey's total in 2 years.

Somebody Get Him a Quarterback

What do these names have in common?

  • Mike Tomczak
  • Kordell Stewart
  • Jay Fiedler
  • Troy Aikman (11 games in '98 and 14 games in '99)
  • Tyler Thigpen

All quarterbacks Gailey had to work with. And work he did compiling impressive offensive numbers despite an obvious handicap at the most important position in all of professional sports.

A Thinking Man's Offense

Gailey's known for his unorthodox play calling as an offensive coordinator. But this line from a 1999 article comparing Norv Turner and Chan Gailey's offensive systems speaks volumes about his ability as a head coach.

Turner dares you to stop him. Gailey challenges you to outthink him.

This is a key point, especially when applied to today's NFL. It's rare that players will have a major athletic advantage over another. In the NFL, everyone is athletic, everyone is strong, everyone is fast, etc. Gailey is cognizant of this and tries to beat opponents by out-thinking them.

Gailey as Head Coach Makes Sense

Right now, what other options do the Buffalo Bills really have? Russ Grimm has turned them down for an interview. The fact that Chan Gailey, someone who hasn't been a head coach in over a decade, is even being considered means the Bills are scraping the bottom of the barrel.

If Chan Gailey does become the next head coach of the Bills, Buffalo will definitely be settling on a coach and not getting their ideal candidate.

You have to have a head coach right? Chan Gailey is probably as good as anyone out there right now.

More Chan Gailey Reading

We've penned some pretty good stuff on Chan Gailey over the last year and a half or so. Check out some of these stories:

Vote in our poll. Would Chan Gailey do well in Buffalo?

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