Welcome to Weird-ville, Chan

So now, the AFC East has Bill Belichick, Tony Sparano, Rex Ryan and … Chan Gailey??

If you think that’s a little strange, then you should’ve seen the press conference that Gailey and Bills GM Buddy Nix just held to introduce the new head coach. Calling it adversarial would be like calling Gettysburg a dust-up.

It kicked off with Nix saying, about poor public response to the hiring, “With all due respect, I don’t care.” He also shot down the idea that Gailey was a consolation prize, saying he was the only one that Nix took to owner Ralph Wilson. And as for the idea no one wanted the job? Yeah, Nix didn’t like that either.

“Well, I wish you guys had been answering my phone the last two weeks,” Nix said. “We probably got ? and I?m trying not to exaggerate ? 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. All this stuff you see, I saw where one of the guys turned down a chance to interview and I was there. I must have been a thousand miles away at the time.

“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. Don?t say I said that.”

Yee-ouch!!! Gailey was similarly defiant — and he should be — to the idea that his hire is being met with a yawn.

“I can?t say anything to change anyone?s mind,” Gailey said. “All I can do is go do is try to help us win football games. We win football games, everybody?s mind will be changed, right? That?s what?ll happen. I?ll say this, there have been 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.”

And so it went.

I do think it’s worth noting that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has said repeatedly, when taking up defense of Wade Phillips, that he regretted pulling the plug on Gailey after two years, as the 1990s dynasty crumbled. And Gailey has been around good teams, having coached with Super Bowl staffs in Denver and Pittsburgh.

But is this scaring anyone in the AFC East? Probably not.

Part of it is that Jim Harbaugh, Bill Cowher and Mike Shanahan reportedly turned down the job, and Brian Schottenheimer, Russ Grimm and Ron Rivera were said to have turned down interviews. Yet, that’s not all of it … The hire of Gailey doesn’t seem all that different than the hire of Dick Jauron a few years back.

So, yeah, there’s not a whole lot of spice to his hire. We’ll see how it works out.


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