Buffalo Bills turn to former Dallas Cowboys coach Chan Gailey to try and end playoff drought

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - Chan Gailey was hired by the Buffalo Bills on Tuesday, 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 Dallas 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 now 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 was entering his second season with Kansas City after a six-year stretch as Georgia Tech's coach, during which he went 44-33 before being fired in 2007. The Bills hit several bumps during their coaching search. They spoke Continue Reading

Buffalo Bills promote national scout Buddy Nix to general manager

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - Buffalo Bills national scout Buddy Nix has been promoted to general manager in team owner Ralph Wilson's first move to revamp his front office. Nix was introduced at a news conference Thursday as the Bills (5-10) prepare to close their season hosting Indianapolis (14-1) on Sunday. Nix fills a void after Marv Levy stepped down as general manager following the 2007 season. Chief operating officer Russ Brandon, who had been filling the GM's role, was promoted to chief executive officer, reporting to Wilson. In introducing Nix, Wilson said it was important to him to hire someone with an extensive football background. That's a switch from Brandon, whose background is in marketing. "I'm here to introduce somebody that we've needed for a long time, something the fans and everybody in the area and myself have wanted, and that's a general manager of football," Wilson said, adding that his decision came down to two in-house candidates. "We really needed somebody who knew all aspects of football." Wilson didn't say who the other person was he considered. At 70, Nix had been out of football after retiring in 2008 following five-year stint as the San Diego Chargers assistant GM/director of player personnel, where he worked under A.J. Smith. He came out of retirement to return to Buffalo this past year after serving as the team's area scout from 1993-2000. Nix has 14 years of NFL experience, mostly in scouting, and previously spent 26 years coaching in the college ranks. That included a nine-year term as head coach at Tennessee-Chattanooga, where he coached Bills receiver Terrell Owens during his freshman year. "It's not what I had in mind when I came back here in February," Nix said. "The longer I've had time to think about it, the more excited I am about it. I believe very strongly that we can get this done. And I'm totally committed to do it." He takes over what's been a dysfunctional franchise that will miss the playoffs for a 10th Continue Reading

Buffalo Bills fire head coach Dick Jauron after 3-6 start

Dick Jauron was fired by the Buffalo Bills on Tuesday, when the coach ran out of time to build a contender or come up with a way to fix an offense that sputtered even with the addition of Terrell Owens. Bills owner Ralph Wilson announced Jauron's dismissal, saying he made the decision "for the best interest of his team." The move came two days after the Bills (3-6) fell further out of contention following a 41-17 loss at Tennessee. A replacement coach has yet to be hired as the Bills prepare to play at Jacksonville on Sunday. Jauron's successor is expected to come from the current staff and be hired on an interim basis only. Candidates include assistant head coach Bobby April and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell. The Bills are averaging just over 15 points from an offense that acquired Owens this offseason but remains unsettled at quarterback. The defense is riddled with injuries, and has allowed an NFL-worst 173 yards rushing a game. Jauron leaves with a 24-33 record over three-plus seasons, and went 5-14 in his past 19. "I really don't have anything to say," was all Jauron would say when reached on his cell phone by The Associated Press. Buffalo, which has not made the playoffs since 1999, has now gone through four coaches since the end of the 2000 season, when Wade Phillips was dismissed. Gregg Williams was not rehired after his three-year contract expired, while Mike Mularkey abruptly resigned after a front-office shakeup following the 2005 season. Jauron was hired by former general manager Marv Levy, who took over the post following Tom Donahoe's dismissal. Jauron has been on the hot seat ever since last season, after he led the Bills to their third consecutive 7-9 finish. Expressing a need for continuity, Wilson elected to retain Jauron. The Hall of Fame owner, however, noted that he was aware of Bills fans' dissatisfaction with the team, and warned that he wasn't going to be "complacent" in seeking improvements, particularly on offense. Continue Reading

Former Buffalo Bills quarterback, vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp dies

WASHINGTON - Jack Kemp,the ex-quarterback, congressman, one-time vice-presidential nominee andself-described "bleeding-heart conservative" died Saturday. He was 73. His spokeswoman, Bona Park, said Kemp died at his home in Bethesda, Md., after a lengthy illness. Kemp had announced in January that he had been diagnosed with cancer. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnellcalled Kemp "one of the nation's most distinguished public servants,Jack was a powerful voice in American politics for more than fourdecades." Kemp, a former quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, represented western New York for nine terms in Congress, leaving the House for an unsuccessful presidential bid in 1988. Eight years later, after serving a term as President George H.W. Bush's housing secretary, he made it onto the national ticket as Bob Dole's running mate. With that loss, the Republican bowed out of political office, but not out of politics. Inspeaking engagements and a syndicated column, he continued to advocatefor the tax reform and supply-side policies - the idea that the moretaxes are cut the more the economy will grow - that he pioneered. Kemp'srapid and wordy style made the enthusiastic speaker with the neatlyside-parted white hair a favorite on the lecture circuit - and amillionaire. Kemp also signed on with numerous educational and corporate boards and charitable organizations, including NFL Charities, which kept him connected to his football roots. Kemp was a 17th-round, 1957 NFL draft pick by the Detroit Lions, but was cut before the season began. After being released by three more NFL teams and the Canadian Football League over the next three years, he joined the American Football League's Los Angeles Chargers as a free agent in 1960. A waivers foulup two years later would land him with the Bills, who got him at the bargain basement price of $100. Kemp led Buffalo to the 1964 and 1965 AFL Championships, and won the Continue Reading

Guest Essay: The myth of ‘Buffalo Bill’

The recent Democrat and Chronicle news stories and opinion pieces focusing on the appropriateness of “Columbus Day” and the oppression and indignities suffered by Native Americans encourage readers to critically question our social and governmental actions, as well as clarify our personal values. We’re also led to recognize and question why racism has permeated all elements of our society. For example, as a die-hard Buffalo Bills fan since 1960, I have admired the Bills organization for bringing excitement and drama to Western New York each year. However, after reading and researching Kurt Anderson’s new book, Fantasyland, I’ve discovered some disturbing facts about the man behind the Buffalo Bills team name, William “Buffalo Bill” Cody.Most Bills fans, probably give little thought to who Buffalo Bill Cody was and what values he demonstrated through his actions. Like most Bills fans, my perception of Cody was that he aggressively rode his horse through the western plains, killing thousands of buffalo; hence becoming a somewhat appropriate symbol for a professional football team (except for vegetarians and animal rights activists). Anderson, however, reveals these additional facts about Buffalo Bill, which should give pause to any admiration of Cody:Corporate marketing, preying upon our gullibility, our desire for heroic role models and our general lack of critical thinking skills has allowed the Bills organization to create a myth about Buffalo Bill Cody, whose values and behaviors contradict the values implicit in our U.S. Constitution and the major religions. One wonders how many other “lies” we’ve been led to believe by other corporate advertisers and our government. As a result, we’re left with some critical questions: Dan Drmacich is retired principal of School Without Walls in Rochester Continue Reading

Jim Memmott: Respecting and processing the unlikely success of the Buffalo Bills

Sunday, Orchard Park, temperature in the low 40s, steady rain, Buffalo Bills vs. the Oakland Raiders, why am I here?There was a time in the 1990s when I lived for days like this, or at least when I was paid for days like this.Notebook in hand on behalf of the Democrat and Chronicle, I would roam the parking lot in the stadium before Bills games, asking the fans what possessed them to come out on a bone-chilling October day to watch a game they could see in the cozy warmth of their living rooms. Read: Sal Maiorana says these 'misfit' Bills look pretty impressive They would tell me that they had been attending Bills games since they were in kindergarten, that there was no better place than Orchard Park on a late fall/early winter Sunday.I would write down the magical powers of their vintage Bills sweatshirt or what they said about dressing in layers, and then, fingers numb, I would retreat to the press box where I would warm up and, if I was lucky, chat with Van Miller at halftime and grab something to eat, as well.That was then, this is now. I’m sitting in Section 331, Row 1, seat 19, upper deck, here on my own volition, watching the game, wrapped in a dozen layers, my glasses misting over, shivering, asking myself, “Why am I here?”It’s a tough question. The Bills haven’t made it to the playoffs since eight days into this millennium when they lost to the Tennessee Titans 22-16. (Don’t look it up.) They have often raised hopes in September, only to break hearts in October and November. Coaches arrive, promise the moon, and then leave town.This year? It seems different, though, of course, that could be the hypothermia talking.The latest coach, Sean McDermott, a young guy who has the good sense to sing the virtues of Western New York every time he’s near a microphone, has urged us all to “respect the process.” And, good heavens, the Bills have won five games and lost only two. Keep going at this pace and they Continue Reading

Final score: New York Jets 34, Buffalo Bills 21

It was a Color Rush game on NFL's Thursday Night Football and the Buffalo Bills were whitewashed by the New York Jets.Buffalo had three turnovers, Tyrod Taylor was sacked seven times and the Bills lost 34-21 to the Jets.Read Sal Maiorana's instant analysis here.1st QuarterAfter a Jets three-and-out to start the game, Buffalo lost 12 yards on its first possession and punted to set up New York's touchdown.New York marched 54 yards in eight players to take a 7-0 lead. Jets' quarterback Josh McCown scrambled 10 yards untouched for a touchdown with 7:43 left in the first quarter.2nd QuarterBuffalo wide receiver Jay Zones scored his first career touchdown early in the second quarter to cap a 62-yard drive for the Bills. Jones had three catches for 29 yards on the drive, including the 10-yard TD reception from Tyrod Taylor.The Jets went up 10-7 on a 45-yard field goal by Chandler Catanzaro. New York had a 20-yard touchdown pass nullified due to an offensive pass interference penalty on the drive.It looked like Buffalo would tie the game or take the lead at the end of the second quarter but Jordan Matthews lost a fumble at the Jets' 31-yard line with 55 seconds left.3rd QuarterThe Jets took a 17-7 lead on McCown's 25-yard touchdown pass to Robby Anderson. New York had three plays of at least 20 yards on their scoring drive. The 10-point margin was the first time Buffalo was behind by more than seven points all year.The Bills went three-and-out for the third time in the quarter and the Jets only needed two plays to score. Bilal Powell ripped off a 51-yard run and Matt Forte scored on a 10-yard TD run to make it 24-7.Buffalo tight end Nick O'Leary lost a fumble after a 23-yard reception and the Jets recovered on the Bills' final possession of the third quarter.4th QuarterBuffalo's third turnover led to another New York touchdown. Tyrod Taylor was sacked and fumbled on third-and-10 from the Buffalo 20. Jets linebacker Demario Davis recovered and returned it 12 yards to the Continue Reading

Final score: Buffalo Bills 34, Oakland Raiders 14

The Buffalo Bills are 5-2 for the first time since 2011. Buffalo trounced the Oakland Raiders in the second half for a 34-14 victory on Sunday at New Era Field.Read Sal Maiorana's instant analysis here.1st QuarterJamize Olawale scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to cap a 13-play, 81-yard drive to open the game for Oakland. Derek Carr completed a 21-yard pass to former Buffalo BillsLee Smith to put the ball at the Bills' 1-yard line.2nd QuarterBuffalo forced a three-and-out and then marched 64 yards in nine plays to tie the game at 7. Tyrod Taylor threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Holmes. Taylor bought time with his feet and Holmes streaked across the back of the end zone and got his feet in bounds for the score. Zay Jones caught a 22-yard pass from Tyrod Taylor on the drive.The Bills scored a defensive touchdown to take a 14-7 lead. Buffalo cornerback Leonard Johnson drilled DeAndre Washington after a short completion, the ball popped loose and rookie Matt Milano returned the fumble 40 yards for the score.Oakland scored a touchdown on fits first drive but they're next four possessions ended with three punts and the end of the first half.3rd QuarterAnother quarter, another Raiders fumble. Milano ripped the ball from Oakland punt returner Jalen Richard and Mike Tolbert recovered at the Oakland 14 for the Bills. Stephen Hauschka made a 35-yard field goal to put the Bills up 17-7,Oakland turned the ball over on its next possession. Micah Hyde intercepted Carr after Buffalo linebacker Preston Brown tipped the ball to give Buffalo the ball at the Oakland 41. Hauschka made a 44-yard field goal. Hyde leads the NFL with five interceptions.4th QuarterThe Bills forced a punt in the third quarter and put together an 80-yard touchdown drive to take a 27-7 lead. Taylor scored on a quarterback sneak on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line on the first play of the fourth quarter. Taylor completed a 36-yard pass to Holmes on third-and-3 to keep the drive alive.Carr tossed a Continue Reading

Sean McDermott was right, Buffalo Bills haven’t earned anything yet

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Richie Incognito’s words hit harder than perhaps any block he threw on what was a long, frustrating night in the Jersey swamp. “It wasn’t anything different they did, nothing that surprised us,’’ said the Buffalo Bills veteran guard who grew up just seven miles from MetLife Stadium in Bogota, New Jersey. “They just outplayed us, outcoached us. Hats off to the Jets. They whipped our butts. It wasn’t our night.’’ Yup, coach Sean McDermott was right. They don’t hand out trophies when a team is 5-2. In fact, after Thursday night’s embarrassing 34-21 loss to the New York Jets took a pin to the Bills’ bubble, the only thing being handed out was humble pie. Large slices of it. The Bills did sense the moment, right? A big, bright stage. The media capital of the world. A national television audience on NFL Network.An opportunity to hit the NFL’s halfway mark with six wins for the first time since 1993, their last Super Bowl team when they were 7-1. A chance to tie the idle New England Patriots atop the AFC East. A golden chance for quarterback Tyrod Taylor to step out from under those labels of “underrated’’ and “underappreciated.’’ A night for the team’s vaunted running offense and run-stuffing defense to toy with the Jets, just as Buffalo did in the season opener. If the Jets hadn’t had bad luck, they’d have no luck at all, losing their last three games by margins of 7, 3 and 5 points. They could keep the game close and make it interesting, but win it? Get outta here. Really, it’s not that the Bills (5-3) lost to the Jets (4-5) by a score made somewhat respectable by some garbage time heroics by Taylor, it’s how they lost that is most disappointing after the way they had conducted themselves in impressive home wins over Tampa Bay and Continue Reading

Buffalo Bills set franchise record for most season tickets sold

(AP) — Call it the Rex effect. The Buffalo Bills have sold more season tickets than at any time in their 55-year history. The team said Monday that 57,500 season tickets have been purchased, beating the previous record of 57,132 set in 1992 — when the Bills were going to Super Bowls. Buffalo has a 15-year playoff drought going, the longest current streak in the NFL. Last season, the Bills sold 47,482 season tickets. With Ryan installed as the new head coach and such additions as running back LeSean McCoy and receiver Percy Harvin, there apparently is Bills fever in western New York. New owner Terry Pegula says the organization has been “humbled by the fans and their outpouring of emotion when they learned this team would remain in Buffalo.” Limited individual game tickets remain only for the season-ending game against the Jets, Ryan’s former team. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading