Bills somehow managed to keep Gailey under radar

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.

33 responses to “Bills somehow managed to keep Gailey under radar

  1. If the Vikings win the SB, people will be wondering how the hell the Bills could pass up the hot coordinator for a guy who was average at best as a HC and just got canned from his last job before the season even started.

  2. I think this is a solid hire. His 18-16 record with the Cowboys was impressive considering he followed Switzer who drafted guys who were worthless and was worthless. Then Chan drafted really well and made it back to the playoffs. yes he had elder statesmen in Aikman, Emmitt, and Irvin, but he got more out of them than Switzer did and Switzer had them a few seasons younger.
    Good hire by the Bills. I appreciate Nix keeping this under wraps, so many haters out there. NOW, get good coordinators, no not good, GREAT coordinators. Mike Nolan?

  3. A lot of guys not taking calls from the 716 area code the past few weeks looks like to me.

  4. I don’t like the implication that he is not a good candidate. What makes people like Russ Grimm or Leslie Frazier better?
    Grimm is a line coach, who has never shown an ability to scheme at the NFL level. Generally, I am against hiring Line coaches as head coaches.
    Frazier has way less experience than Gailey, and there is no reason to think he would be a better head coach.
    If people think Cowher is such a great choice, why don’t they respect his opinion enough to respect Gailey? Cowher thought Gailey would be better than Wiz for the Steelers job. By the way, I think the Steelers would have been just as successful with Gailey, as Mike Tomlin. It is Dick Lebeau and his defensive schemes that are the major forces driving that team.

  5. “So why did the powers-that-be feel the need to keep the courtship of Chan Gailey quiet?”…….Maybe they were embarrassed. The Bills had to settle for what they could get, an average retread.

  6. So you’re saying the Bills didn’t keep this under the radar to keep other teams from poaching their choice, but instead did it to make sure their fans didn’t have enough time to rally an offensive?
    That’s essentially saying that the Bills know they’ve picked a loser. And I completely agree with you.
    Thanks from the AFC East.

  7. Another dumb move, by a very dumb organization. This guy has never won in the NFL, so things will not change in Buffalo.
    It must really suck to be a Bills fan.

  8. Florio, please explain why there are generally candidates lining up for jobs in St. Louis, Detroit, and worst of all, Oakland, but no one wants to work in Buffalo. There’s a story here.

  9. He’s a safe hire when you consider the strong possibility of a work stoppage after next year.

  10. As a Fins fan I am excited with this news. As a compassionate human being, I feel really bad for all the Buffalo faithful. They deserve better.

  11. “…we’re amazed by the ability of the franchise to keep the pursuit of Gailey under wraps…”
    Maybe the problem is that you’re looking for a website update… and email tweet or text…
    …and there’s nobody in the Bill’s front office younger than 75 years old…
    …telephone, three puffs of white smoke… those are your cues.

  12. gailey was fired too quickly in dallas, and jones admitted it.
    haley didnt want competition for his vision. like morris and jauron. and they won how many games?

  13. at least with a few years of Gailey at the helm the Bills should get to pick in the top 5 a bunch of times. Maybe one of those years they will finally replace Jim Kelly with someone who can actually play QB

  14. Why are so many people down on Chan Gailey? The Bills wanted someone with a background on Offense and he has that and Bill Cowher apparently recommended Gailey. As someone who has won at just about every stop in his career, Gailey will be a big improvement over Dick Jauron who only had one winning season as a head coach.
    At least the Bills will not get stuck with the Vikings DC Leslie Frazier. With Perry Fewell as the DC, the Bills Defense outplayed Minnesota’s last year, despite the loss of many players to injury. The Bills allowed the 9th least average yards per play, while the Vikings finished 14th. Anyone who thinks yards allowed per game mean the Vikings defense was better does not understand that is a flawed statistic, because due to the pathetic Bills Offense, the Bills Defense was on the field for 1,086 plays (most in the NFL), while the Vikings defense only had 940 plays.
    Gailey may not be as good as some of the elite coaches who refuse to become the Buffalo coach, but he should do a good job for the Bills.

  15. The Bills continue to be the joke franchise of the NFL. They went an entire decade without making the playoffs. The only time they had a chance at the playoffs in 2004, they fell flat on their faces and choked against the Steelers third stringers. Ralph Wilson has no idea what he is doing at this point. Hiring Chan Gailey would be hiring the offensive equivelant of Dick Jauron, who was a miserable failure. The Bills needed a complete house cleaning but instead get more of the same.
    And somebody please tell the Bills to stop drafting Big Ten players. Donte Whittner, Paul Posluzny, James Hardy, Aaron Maybin. All busts. Send your scouts west of the Mississippi and south of the Mason-Dixon line and you will discover they play football there. The Giants had the same problem under George Young after Parcells left. They reached for Big Ten area players like Jarrod Bunch, Thomas Lewis and Derek Brown (ND) and failed miserably.

  16. Lets remember that Grimm is an o-line coach on a team that doesnt exactly lead the league in rushing.

  17. All the talk about Leslie Frazier. And the Rooney Rule. If Leslie Frazier was white, he wouldn’t get half the attention he’s getting for not being hired. Gailey will prbably do fine, thee guys usually do better in their second go-round a head coaches, because they look back and learn from past experience.

  18. Might not be a bad thing, since Buddy Nix, the architect of the Chargers (post Mike Riley) was behind it – if he is doing personnel, it could be a pretty good hire, lets see what staff he can assemble.
    One thing…they couldnt get a marquee coach, but got Terrell Owens? How far has that dude fallen….

  19. @ Bake
    Do you mean coaches like Jim Mora Jr, Wade Phillips, Marty Schottenheimer, Dan Reeves – how many Superbowls have they won?

  20. Whether or not the Vikings win the Super Bowl has nothing to do with who the Bills choose as their next head coach. They wanted an OFFENSIVE coach with HEAD COACHING EXPERIENCE. They did NOT want Leslie Frazier.
    Just because Frazier was the only guy available that they had KNOWINGLY interviewed doesn’t mean they wanted the guy. Before Gailey had even had a 2nd interview, it was already reported that the Bills no longer had interest in Frazier (or Frazier was no longer an option, however you want to look at it), . That tells me that the guy wasn’t an option either way. If talks with Gailey broke down after it was made public they didn’t want Frazier, they’d have no shot at him. Obviously, that possibility didn’t worry the Bills.

  21. The Bills also kept Harbaugh COMPLETELY under the radar. He was listed as a “stealth candidate” but no one knew about the interview that happened or that we offered him the job and he rejected it until Casserly said something on the pregame show over the weekend. How do we know there weren’t OTHER candidates who were interviewed behind the scenes?

  22. 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.
    That is not nice !!!!

  23. When you get great players, sign them. The Bills are cheap. Instead of keeping antoine winfield, jason peters, nate clements, jabari greer, pat williams, takeo spikes, anthony hargrove, peirson preleau…they are in a state of constant re-build.
    When you let great players leave and pay mediocre back-ups, you still need to fill ALL the holes. The Bills would have made the playoffs had they kept a few of their best players and drafted better than Mike Williams, Maybin, Losman, Whitner, Roscoe, Hardy, Josh Reed, John McCargo, etc. Those are all #1’s and #2’s in this decade. Wasted. and the best players walk away. It has to come from the top, and Ralph needs to spend the money we fans give him.
    Is anyone aware that the Bills sell out every game at 72000 tickets? Name another small market dominating like that! C’mon Ralph, gotta be in it to win it, and the NFL, the sponsors, Toronto, and the fans are supplying enough cash to make it happen. Stop overpaying for crappy front office guys like Modrak and John Guy and hire some people for less than 6 figures to hustle and find some good players. It all seems so easy, after the fact.

  24. When green bay hired Mike McCarthy , he was solidly in last place in the minds of Fans…Also interviewed for the Packers position were defensive coordinators Wade Phillips (San Diego), Ron Rivera (Chicago), Tim Lewis (New York Giants) and Jim Bates (Green Bay) and offensive coordinators Maurice Carthon (Cleveland) and Sean Payton (Dallas). Thompson had arranged to interview Pittsburgh offensive line coach Russ Grimm later this week.
    McCarthy has done a nice job with the youngest roster in the league year in and year out , plus dealing with ” As the Favre Blows” drama.
    If Gailey wins its a good hire and if he doesnt it isnt, thats always the bottom line.

  25. # kravon says: January 19, 2010 10:09 AM
    @ Bake
    Do you mean coaches like Jim Mora Jr, Wade Phillips, Marty Schottenheimer, Dan Reeves – how many Superbowls have they won?
    I think Bake would imply that Tom Coughlin (1 SB), Bill Billicheck (3 SBs), Mike Shannahan (2 sbs), and Tony Dungy (1 sb) as each of these men were fired from their previous stints. You could include Dick Vermiel (1 sb) and Chucky (1 sb) as men who succeeded in the second stint.
    So believe it or not, a retread coach can be a good hire. If you don’t believe that, go ask the New England Patriots if they feel the same about retreads.
    Pay attention people, Gailey will succeed, he has proven his ability to coach good defense, and as long as he hires a good D-cordinator the team will compete. It will help if Billicheck retires though.

  26. Meet the new Bills…..same as the old Bills…..See ya in a couple of years when we do this over again….

  27. “…we’re amazed by the ability of the franchise to keep the pursuit of Gailey under wraps…”
    Translation: “We’re pissed everyone knew about it before us.”
    Even more accurate translation (since, with Mr. Florio “we” always means “I”): “I’m pissed because everyone knew about it before me.”

  28. didn’t Chan Gailey get tossed from Georgia Tech?
    And didn’t wasn’t he relieved of play-calling duties after a couple of preseason games and eventually was let go?
    Solid hire, Bills! Heckuva job!

  29. This hire is no big deal,its not like you hired Bill Cowher or Tony DUNGY,he was ass as a head coach,under the radar,this guy hasnt done nothing as head coach but lose.

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