ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson and chief executive office Russ Brandon didn't attend Tuesday afternoon's news conference to introduce Chan Gailey as the head coach.
That means a lot of the questions I solicited from you in the morning were rendered moot. General manager Buddy Nix stood on the podium with Gailey at One Bills Drive in a session that addressed many of the questions you deposited in the comments section.
randalstroup: Give us one reason to be excited about this move. What does Gailey bring that hasn't been here the last 10-15 years?
Gailey: "Well, if you don't believe in yourself and you don't believe in the people that you're going to bring in and the way you're going to run a football team, then you shouldn't be standing up here in the first place. And probably every one of those guys believed in what they were going to do. And I certainly do, myself, believe that. You can't promise in this league. There's 31 other teams out there that are trying to do the same thing that you are doing. Nobody, nobody can.
"You can't take me for my word because we haven't done it yet. I understand that. So all you can do is understand who we are, what we're about, what we're trying to get done and you can hope, fans can hope and expect and that's a big difference because I learned from a coach way back, there's two types of coaches: those who hope to win and those who expect to win. I've been around enough winning and enough winning programs and enough winning organizations that when I walk on the field I expect to win, I don't just hope to win. I expect to win."
jsnynole: What type of football does he think would be most successful in Buffalo?
Gailey: "I believe you've got to run the football. You've got to be able to run it. Now, you don't have to lead the league in rushing to win football games. You don't need to lead the league in passing to win football games. You've got to be smart. You've got to move the football, be intelligent with how you try to score points each and every week and that's what we’ll try to do."
tourneypredictor: Will Gailey be the head coach and offensive coordinator?
Gailey: "I will do both. I may have a guy that has the title of offensive coordinator, but I'm going to run the offense to start with. If you want to get it the way you believe it needs to be done from the start, then you need to do it. Mess around here and try to make this mesh with that, you have to get it the way you want it and what you believe in. That's what I plan to do. That way, even if as time goes on, I distance myself a little bit from it -- I'm talking about years, not days or months -- I'll still have the basis of it and know exactly what's going on so that I can correct it and do whatever needs to be done to get it right if it's not right."
davidgirard55: Please ask Chan if he will bring accountability to players who underperform.
Gailey: "I believe in organization, removing the grey area as much as you possibly can. ... Once everybody has their role defined, once everybody has exactly what they're trying to get done explained to them perfectly, then there's accountability -- for everybody, from the top to the bottom for everybody that's involved in winning football games.
"I believe in character. I believe we're going to try to get our guys to understand how important it is to do things the right way both on and off the field. It's for the good of the team, and it's for the longevity of their careers."
stepgonzo: Mr. Nix, despite you feeling that Gailey is the right man for the job, do you think this choice for our head coach will alienate bills fans?
Nix: "[There were reports] we offered this guy, and we offered that guy. First of all, I'm smart enough I wouldn’t offer a guy without him meeting our owner. That’s out of respect for him, and he does own the team. The only guy that was invited in here to meet the owner is standing up here now. So that answers the question about how many got offered, I think.
"I also would tell you that without any doubt in my mind, we got the best-qualified guy, a guy that was on the list early. We wanted to do a thorough search, but we got the right guy. We got the right guy for us. I’ve got full confidence in him and to answer your question, I’ve always a bit lucky and the search turned out good."
BillsFanLancasterPA: With so many candidates reportedly not interested in this opening or even interviewing for it, what type of position does that put someone like Chan Gailey in, if in fact he was our sixth or seventh choice?
Gailey: "I can’t say anything to change anybody's mind. All I can do is go try to help us win football games. We win football games, everybody's mind will be changed, right? That's what will happen. Now I will say this: There's a lot of sixth- and seventh-round draft choices that have become Pro Bowlers, right? It's what you do with the opportunity when you get it."
t2: Is Chan a fan of the 4-3 or 3-4 defensive scheme?
Gailey: "I think right now we're going to look at other options [the Bills have been a 4-3 team]. I don't want to sit here and say that we're going to do this and that today. That’s one thing that I have to see the coaches that we’re talking about. I have an idea of the direction we’d like to go, but I want to talk with Buddy about drafting. How can you draft for the certain positions if you go to 4-3 or 3-4? You have to talk about all of that to see the direction that you want to go. But I know one thing: I’m much more open to the 3-4 than I used to be because I know what a pain it is to go against it every week."
trunxc44: Who are the assistant coaches going to be?
Gailey: "Well, the people that we're going to attract probably won't have the names that somebody might recognize right off the bat. We're going to get the best teachers, the best people to help fit into a program. Everybody's not the superstar on the team. Everybody's got a role on the team. We're going to get the best people to come in here and be a part of our organization to help us build a winner. And everybody's got a role. That's my job as the offensive side of it.
More from Gailey on assistants: "[The process of finding assistants has] already started. That's something, when you get the call the very first time about, 'Hey, we may be interested in visiting with you about the job,' you start to formulate that in your mind. Now you don't make the calls, but you start to formulate those things in your mind. But that, again, is a very fluid situation because you may be able to get some people; you may not be able to get some people. You would like to fit things in exactly perfect, but it will not happen most times. But, yes, I have given that some thought. No, I'm not going to name names. ... I think we've got the right people in mind as far as teachers and being able to put together a winning unit."
hawkeyeharv: Why didn't the big names such as Bill Cowher and Mike Shanahan want to come to Buffalo? What scared everyone away?
Nix: "I'm trying not to exaggerate, but we got 15 calls a day, begging for an interview and wanting this job. I could've hired 35 or 40 the first week. And you would be shocked at some of the names.
"Trust me, it's a good job. Don't ever think you can't fill coaching jobs even if they're bad. Oakland gets a lot of calls."
Rfeynman1: What does he think about his present QBs and who does he see starting this year?
Gailey: "Buddy and I have talked about it somewhat, but until I get in there and watch film and evaluate, it's unfair for me to sit here and say what's going to happen. That's not fair. I would be talking off the cuff, and that's the quickest way to get in trouble.
"So I want to make sure that we do a thorough evaluation, a thorough study, do a great job of deciding and then us talking about what needs to go on in the future. So, no, I can't tell you what's going to happen right now, what the plans are. I know both guys have had some success playing in the NFL, but they have not done it for a length of time with consistency. So can they? We're going to decide that."