January 19, 2010
The Buffalo Bills have officially hired Chan Gailey as their next head coach. He was introduced at the team's facilities in Orchard Park on Tuesday.
The hiring of Gailey is, to say the least, unexpected. The Bills dove into their head coaching search looking for a big name like Bill Cowher, and here they are, weeks later, coming out the other end with Chan Gailey.
The puzzling thing (aside from the fact that Chan Gailey just got a head-coaching job) is that this took so long. It's one thing if it takes time to woo, and then mull over a decision involving a highly sought-after coach and a lot of money.
But this is not a big purchasing decision. Chan Gailey is not the new high-end 60-inch HDTV you need to research for weeks in advance. Chan Gailey is the pack of orange Tic-Tacs you pick up at the counter.
None of this is to say that Gailey is, or will be, a bad coach. He's been around football forever, he obviously knows the game well, and he's got a very solid track record as an offensive coordinator, particularly when he's not always been blessed with great quarterbacks. That's a rare gift, and a reason for upstate New York optimism.
It's just a bit underwhelming, especially when the Bills started off with Bill Cowher and Mike Shanahan in mind. Gailey's 58 years old, he hasn't been a head coach in 12 years and he was on nobody else's short list for a head coaching job. He was about as likely to land another head coaching job as he was to host the 2010 Source Awards.
It kind of feels like that big poker hand, when it comes down to you and one other guy, and the board is showing K♣, K♥, A♣, 10♣, 6♥. You go all-in with a huge stack of chips, and the other guy starts thinking about a call ... he's thinking, and thinking and thinking ... and finally, he calls, you turn over your pocket aces, and then he shows 6♦, 4♣.
That's it, pal? That's what we waited for? I'm guessing that's what a lot of Bills fans are feeling right now.
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