As the Bills close in on hiring Chan Gailey to become the franchise’s next head coach (we know this not because FOX’s Jay Glazer reported it on Monday afternoon before anyone else, but because ESPN is claiming credit for it now, three repeated entries on the scroll at a time), we’re amazed by the ability of the franchise to keep the pursuit of Gailey under wraps, especially in light of the number of former players who have access to the organization’s secrets.
So why did the powers-that-be feel the need to keep the courtship of Chan Gailey quiet? No obvious reason for radio silence existed; Gailey was available, and there was no downside to word of his candidacy emerging.
But consider the Redskins’ experiences two years ago with Jim Fassel. The pursuit unfolded slowly, giving the media and the fans enough time to muster loud opposition, which many league insiders believe ultimately prompted owner Daniel Snyder to pull the plug on Fassel and promote Jim Zorn, who already had been hired to serve as offensive coordinator.
As to Gailey and the Bills, word broke as the two sides were/are finalizing a deal, giving the fans and the press little or no time to build momentum against the hiring of Gailey, who went 18-16 in two years with the Cowboys, as the successor to Barry Switzer.
And regardless of whether Gailey is or isn’t the best man for the job, he satisfied one key qualification.
He didn’t hang up the phone when the Bills called.