Chan Gailey has a golden opportunity to get this ball rolling. How will he play it
When word broke out that Chan Gailey was going to be named head coach of the Buffalo Bills last winter, my first reaction was indifference. I was simultaneously disappointed because he was not coming off of any marked success in any of his recent gigs (the best indicator of future success in any field in my opinion) while also more than willing to give him a chance due to my utter disdain for Dick Jauron and everything he stood (cowered in a corner) for. In the months that followed, he has predictably given me cause for ulcer (game management late against Mia, KC, Pit) and moments of optimism that the tired, old way of doing things at OBD was over (canning the Trent Edwards Experience after just two games, deactivating Maybin when it became clear that he wasn't talented enough to play professional football). All and all, not much has changed since the moment he was hired. OBD, past and present, gave Gailey a 4-12 roster of talent and after a sluggish start that scared me into believing 0-16 was a distinct possibility, the team is staring at 4-12 (if they lose the next two games in which they'll be touchdown dogs in both). Go 4-12 and nobody will call for Gailey's head. Another OBD offseason will come and go where the team puts off solving problems to pursue kick returners and a litany of arbitrary "BPAs" that can't start in the NFL, and the team will enter 2011 predicted to finish 4th, will struggle, play "with heart at times", get swept by the Pats, finish with a losing record that Bill-lievers pin on injuries and luck, while "pessimists/ realists" will point the finger at tangible decision makers, etc. Nothing seems to change at OBD. EVER.
...Unless Gailey and this team stands up, MANS UP, and beat the Patriots this Sunday. End this nightmare streak. Throw the kitchen sink at this team that has bullied the Bills for almost a decade and win the flipping game. ..No moral victories, no weather excuses, no apologies. Win. Chan Gailey can solve a problem that dates back to 2003 in 3 good hours of football. Unleash this game like it's the Super Bowl, pull out all the the stops, WIN the game, dive at Tom Brady's knees every chance you get (if it's cool for Wilfork...), and something will have been accomplished in 2010 as the team prepares to take a step in 2011. Williams, Mularkey, and Jauron had similar chances late in lost seasons several times during their tenures, and they played scared, the season ended with a whimper, and the cycle just started over again the next September. Accomplish something this Sunday, Gailey. One win this weekend and 2010 was NOT more of the same with the Buffalo Bills. Seeing a tangible step in the flipping box score on Monday would set the record straight once and for all. These aren't the same old door mat Bills. 4-12? Same old door mats.