Ok so far I've been a nice little boy. I jump on board the Buddy Nix band wagon because of the man's success as Assistant GM for the Chargers. I've jumped on board with the Chan Gailey hire. He wasn't my first choice, heck I never even herd of the guy until about a week ago, but if Nix truly believes that this is his guy then I'm on board. Then Chan said that he'll be hiring teachers at the coordinators positions and that he'd running his own offense. Fine, I actually think that that will be a good idea.
Then we hear that big name coaches still want to jump on with the Bills and join Chan's coaching staff. Guys like Dan Reeves and Jim Bates. I'm thinking awesome, even if they don't coach for us, we could definitely use them in some capacity. Reeves' coaching career is probably over, but he could definitely be useful in the front office and in scouting department. Bates on the other hand I could go either way on. Then we hear nothing. NOTHING. No follow up or anything.
Now today comes along. Chan has hired Curtis Modkins as his OC. A running back specialist that has previously worked with Chan for 5 years at Georgia Tech, and another with him as the Chiefs' RB coach. At first I'm thinking WHO? (Admit it, you all thought the same thing, no one knew who this guy was). But after a little research, yeah good hire. And what I mean by that is good hire in Gailey's system. Chan will call the plays and Modkins will help him manage the offense. To add to that, Modkins has already helped develop some rather successful backs in the NFL in Beanie Wells and Jamaal Charles, so the guy obviously has a pedigree as a good teacher.
But here's where I have to say that I'm not pleased. I'm seeing a trend develop: no name coaches that may very actually be yes-men for the hire ups that no one saw coming and don't have a proven track record to boast about (Nix and Chan can be described as anything but yes-men by their interactions with the media so far... as for Modkins, I have the strange suspicion that he does fall into the yes-man category). So far this has been working out. I'm honestly on board with the moves that have been done so far. BUT the aforementioned trend needs to stop NOW. Chan Gailey's two biggest hires are still coming up: QB coach and Defensive Coordinator. We cannot afford that these positions be yes-men to Chan.
Right now Dean Pees is rumoured to maybe be our next DC. I'm not sure how I feel about this. He's shown great things as the Pats DC, and I truly believe that the Pats scapegoated him at the end of the season when they fired him. That being said, he's still a relative no name without much of a track record beyond his time under Belichick. I'm on the fence for him. And to be totally honest I think I'd rather have someone with a longer record of success, aka a former HC or long time DC that's looking for a job. (update: as per PFT: Pees might be coming here, but he might have also accepted a job somewhere else. This is confusing)
What I think we need at DC is someone that is essentially capable of being the a head coach for the D. Someone that can form trust with the D and mould it into the image that is available to him with the players that we have. Basically I want a guy that will do for the defence what Chan has said he will do for our offense. And I don't think that Dean Pees is that guy.
As for QB Coach, this NEEDS to be someone that has proven he can develop QBs. I say this because while Chan Gailey has a record of getting everything possible out of mediocre QBs, he's never really developed a successful one. Call me nuts, but I want a good QB that will last more than 3 seasons before he fizzles out. Chan himself has never actually been able to provide that. That's what we need a strong coach that will develop a QB for us. I'm thinking that the best way to achieve this is poaching one out of the college ranks, as the good QB coaches in the NFL tend to already be in a coordinator position. Either way, this hire is VERY important to this team and following the currently established status quo is not an option.
So yeah, there it is. We've established a status quo in the last few weeks, and while it support what it has brought us so far, we cannot continue in that direction for these last two crucial hires.