Last week, we dragged up comments made by Buffalo Bills GM Buddy Nix about head coach Chan Gailey from early November while talking about everyone's current favorite Bills buzzword: continuity. For the sake of clarity, here are those comments again.
"I hope I can put that to rest," he said of the idea of making a coaching change on November 2. "The age-old thing - and they've done it around here for years - is to start over about every three years. What that does is make damn sure you don't make it."
"I know you fans have been through 12 years, or whatever it is, and you're frustrated about it," Nix would later continue. "The big thing is you don't want to start over. If you start over, you're going to get 12 more, and that's not where we're headed."
Those comments, especially for a man as transparent as Nix has been, seem pretty ironclad, even if they're almost two months old now. (Nix has refused to answer questions about Gailey's job status for weeks now, postponing that discussion until after the season.) It's easy to maintain that there's enough of Nix on record to take him at his word, and to predict that both he and Gailey will be back in Buffalo next season. (Which is exactly what I did last week.) There's a question, though, that's worth pondering, especially as the Bills continue to spiral out of control in the most disappointing season in recent memory.
That question: what if it's not up to Nix?
I can't imagine that CEO Russ Brandon and the rest of the Bills' business organization is too keen on the idea of selling Gailey to this fan base heading into the off-season. For one, Gailey's popularity is zilch at the moment, and it'll be that way a week from now, as well, regardless of the Week 17 result. They've lived through that type of retention before - the announcement that Dick Jauron was sticking around after the 2008 season was met with derision and depression - and things didn't turn out so well.
What if - and we're just spitballing here, at this point - the Bills' idea of continuity this time around is to tell the GM to fire the head coach? Clearly, the Bills are going to have a hard time selling games out next season without some sort of change, and it's not uncommon for owners to make this type of request in the NFL. (Yesterday's opponent, in fact, went through just such a transition last off-season.) It'd be the equivalent of blowing up the operation without starting over: the organization stays the same from the top down to the coaching level, and that's where all the change occurs. Would you approve of that direction?
That's the poll question below, but we have a follow-up question for you guys and gals, as well: would you expect Nix to throw loyalty to the wind and fire Gailey in that scenario? Let us know with a comment below.