Bills fans choking on Gailey report

The Buffalo Bills went to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, examined the menu and went with the grilled cheese.

The Bills, of course, tried to order the filet. And the lamb chops. And the cold water lobster tail. But their Diner's Club was declined. Repeatedly.

A lot happened while I was flying transcontinental from Sunday's playoff game in San Diego.

Multiple outlets report the Bills are close to hiring Chan Gailey to be their next head coach. Quite a dropoff from Bill Cowher, no?

ESPN's John Clayton reports the Miami Dolphins are on the verge of hiring Mike Nolan to be their defensive coordinator. Now that's an inspired hire, folks.

Gailey, meanwhile, is hard to swallow for Bills fans, who haven't witnessed a playoff product in 10 years. They were expecting a bigger name, not a retread who sat out the 2009 season after rookie head coach Todd Haley fired him as Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator.

Gailey, who turned 58 this month, was the Dallas Cowboys' head coach in 1998 and 1999, reaching the playoffs both seasons.

He posted a 44-32 record in six seasons as Georgia Tech's head coach. He previously was a coordinator for the Denver Broncos, Pittsburgh Steelers and Dolphins.

His credentials are decent.

Nevertheless, Gailey will endure a fan backlash from circumstances out of his control. It's not his fault so many notable free-agent coaches and hotshot coordinators exed out the Bills like an annoying popup ad.

The Bills have a knack for pulling their fans back like a yo-yo. Remember when the masses were irate the Bills brought back Dick Jauron, and folks wondered if owner Ralph Wilson would get booed during his Hall of Fame acceptance speech? Then everybody forgot and starting thinking Super Bowl the moment the Bills signed Terrell Owens?

That's what the Bills do. We can expect a big-name free-agent signing to yank the fans back on their side. Maybe they'll bring Junior Seau out of retirement.

Gailey might not be a bad hire. He could be the right man for the job and hoist a Lombardi Trophy in a parade through Niagara Square.

Until something even remotely close to that materializes, Bills fans won't get this nasty taste out of their mouths.