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NFL Notebook

Gailey gets top billing in Buffalo

His hiring ends lengthy search

Associated Press / January 20, 2010

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Chan Gailey was hired by the Bills yesterday, getting a second chance to prove himself as an NFL coach and inheriting a team that has missed the playoffs for 10 straight years.

Gailey was introduced by general manager Buddy Nix at a new conference which ended a two-month search to replace Dick Jauron, who was fired in November. Gailey takes over a team that finished 6-10 and becomes the Bills’ fifth coach since Marv Levy retired after the 1997 season.

Gailey has spent 15 of his 38 years of coaching in the NFL. In his two years coaching the Cowboys, he went 18-14 and led the team to consecutive playoff appearances - both losses. He was dismissed after the 1999 season, and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has acknowledged his mistake in firing Gailey.

The 58-year-old Gailey acknowledged he didn’t know if he’d get another opportunity to be a head coach again.

“If you sit there and say you lose confidence in yourself, no you don’t. But then you see opportunities go by. And you hope that your body of work will speak for itself,’’ Gailey said.

For Nix, it was Gailey’s extensive background that impressed him and met most of the criteria the GM set out when he took over the search two weeks ago.

Nix was eager to find someone with previous head coaching experience and an offensive background.

“This guy met more of the criteria than I thought we could find,’’ Nix said. “And this guy’s won everywhere he’s been . . . He’ll get us back to winning and get to where we want to go.’’

Gailey said he intends to serve as the team’s offensive coordinator, and is assembling a staff.

Gailey has been out of football since he was removed as the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator in August, two weeks before the season opener. He went 44-33 during a six-year stretch as Georgia Tech’s coach before being fired in 2007.

The Bills hit several bumps during their coaching search. They spoke with former Steelers coach Bill Cowher in an attempt to lure him out of broadcasting and also interviewed ex-Broncos coach Mike Shanahan, who chose to coach the Redskins.

Last week, Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer rejected the Bills’ request for an interview.

Dolphins snag Nolan
The Dolphins hired defensive coordinator Mike Nolan less than 24 hours after the announcement he was leaving the Broncos after one season. Nolan replaces Paul Pasqualoni, fired after the Miami defense backslid in his second season. The Dolphins also announced the hiring of former Giants assistant coach Bill Sheridan as inside linebackers coach. Nolan spent four seasons as head coach of the 49ers, where he went 18-37 before being fired midway through the 2008 season . . . The Seahawks chose Packers executive John Schneider as their new general manager, according to a person familiar with the hiring. The person confirmed the agreement on the condition of anonymity because the team had yet to officially announce the hire. Schneider, a 17-year veteran of NFL personnel work, will share those responsibilities with new coach Pete Carroll under Seattle’s revamped football operations . . . Jerry Jones is giving every indication that he is picking up coach Wade Phillips’s contract option for the 2010 season, even without saying so. “We don’t have any funny business here guys. There’s nothing funny going on here, at all,’’ Jones said. “We just want to do this when we both can do it and both get it stated the way we want to state it.’’ The Cowboys are 34-17 under Phillips, playoffs included . . . Randy Fichtner is switching roles on the Steelers’ coaching staff, taking over as quarterbacks coach after previously coaching the wide receivers.

McAllister retires
Deuce McAllister has retired, ending an injury-plagued eight-year career in which he rewrote the Saints’ rushing records. McAllister hasn’t played since 2008 but briefly rejoined the Saints last Saturday to serve as an honorary captain for the playoff victory over Arizona. The move opens up an active roster spot for the Saints, who host Minnesota in the NFC Championship game Sunday. McAllister is the Saints’ career rushing leader with 6,096 yards. His 55 total touchdowns and 49 rushing TDs also are club records. However, he needed reconstructive surgery to repair serious knee injuries in 2005 and 2007, and struggled to regain his form after the second operation . . . Raiders long snapper Jon Condo has been added to the AFC Pro Bowl roster as a “need’’ player . . . Redskins guard Chad Rinehart was been arrested on public intoxication charges after officers responded to a door alarm at Mojo’s Pizza House in Cedar Falls, Iowa, early Monday. When they arrived they found Rinehart pulling on a locked door. He was released by court order . . . The Steelers signed linebacker Derrick Doggett, one of the top special teams players in the Canadian Football League. The Steelers ranked near the bottom of the NFL in kickoff and punt coverage.

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