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The Buffalo Bills flirted with the big splash. Wooing the likes of Mike Shanahan and Bill Cowher, Buffalo was reportedly willing to spend any sum of money to bring in the right head coach for their football team. New GM Buddy Nix, however, had other plans in mind, settling for 58-year-old Chan Gailey as Buffalo's new head coach.
Gailey comes to Buffalo with 12 years of head coaching experience, but just two of them came at the NFL level, when he coached the Dallas Cowboys to consecutive playoff berths in 1998 and '99. He last coached as the offensive coordinator in Kansas City, where Todd Haley relieved him of his duties prior to the start of the 2009 season. Gailey takes over the reigns of a Bills franchise that has missed the playoffs for ten consecutive seasons.
Now that free agency and the NFL Draft have come and gone, Gailey is under more pressure than ever to get the most out of his young team. Nix and Gailey have a roster-building plan, and to this point they've executed it. But that plan has also left them with the same major questions at quarterback and along the offensive line that have plagued the franchise for years. Gailey's not only under pressure to develop young, highly unproven talent at those positions, but to then answer those questions quickly - within a year or two, perhaps - if the Bills are forced to address them in 2010.
Coaching in the NFL is never easy, but Gailey's got an uphill climb both in winning over a skeptical fan base, as well as bringing along one of the youngest, most inexperienced teams in the NFL. Nix and Gailey have their plan, but patience is at an all-time low. Without early results, the franchise in general could be plunged right back into turmoil.