Rick Stewart/Getty Images
A little disclosure, but Gailey, not Black-Ops Tomlin, is the reason for this column. The man is coaching his ass off. Add Mike Shanahan—the man Buffalo courted for a $10 million a year deal before settling for the “uninspiring” Gailey—to the list of higher-paid, higher-profile NFL coaches like Bill Belichick and Andy Reid who Gailey out-dueled this year.
Gailey’s hand-in-glove relationship with newly christened franchise QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has led to some heady on-field performances and numbers. It has established the Bills as not only a relevant NFL team (which is news), but also a playoff contender as the season reaches its mid-point.
While Gailey’s defensive coaching has left a lot to be desired at times, his offensive schemes have been creative and fresh.
He’s bunched receivers at the line, gone five-wide regularly, effectively used Wildcat in short-yardage situation, and has found a way for a Bills offense to use a tight end for the first time since Bush Sr. was president.
He’s done it all with offensive personnel that make a sixth round pick look like a top prospect. After linemen Wood and Levitre, only backup guard Chad Rinehart and journeyman tight end Scott Chandler have been drafted higher than the seventh round.
Gailey likely won’t get the credit he deserves, but Bills fans are still glowing after watching him out-Belichick Belichick in the final minutes of the Bills’ first victory over the Pats in eight years.
And you gotta love the sleeveless windbreaker.