The Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills will face off on Sunday to kick off the 2011 NFL season and there will be a familiar face on the Bills sideline -- Chan Gailey. The second-year Bills head coach was previously in Kansas City before getting the boot shortly before the 2009 NFL season. (You can read all about that Chief connection here.)
Before the Chiefs hired Haley (and before he was on our radar as a candidate), I suggested Gailey as a candidate for the Chiefs head coaching job. I won't delve into all the reasons why but it's fair to say I thought the Chiefs could do a lot worse than hiring Gailey.
Talking with Brian from Buffalo Rumblings this week, I asked him what the fan base thinks of Gailey more than a year into his tenure.
It's mixed, but mostly negative at this point. After 11 years without the playoffs, Bills fans are behaviorally conditioned to ignore fluff and hype and focus on results, and no matter what we like about Gailey - and there's a lot that we do like about him, specifically as the architect of the offense - the Bills are coming off a 4-12 season. He's liked, and there is a small sense of hope, but the only thing that matters is results.
This sounds about right. Think back to the Chiefs first year under Haley when they won four games. There were some things we liked about him and the way he ran the team but ultimately it's about results and Haley didn't get it done that first year.
Luckily, he made a major jump in year two. It's gonna be interesting to see how Gailey's tenure plays out in Buffalo, especially after I campaigned for him in KC.