Warpaint Illustrated: Gailey returns to Arrowhead

By Nick Athan

October 28, 2010

Sunday afternoon, the Bills travel to Kansas City riding a two-game winning streak at Arrowhead Stadium and the Chiefs want revenge. But so does Buffalo head coach Chan Gailey, who was jettisoned a year ago by Todd Haley.

In the NFL you have long-term memories. Anyone who tells you differently is fibbing. Former Chiefs offensive coordinator Chan Gailey was fired just ten days before the start of the 2009 regular season.

Ouch! That had to sting a little bit. �

But is it really a big deal? I mean, coaches are hired to get fired in the NFL and Gailey�s had his share of coaching ousters. However, you�d have to say it would only be human for Gailey to hold a bit of resentment against Kansas City.

“I understood exactly where Todd was coming from; he and I were on different pages, and he wanted to do it the way he wanted to do it, and I understand that completely,” Gailey said. “I’ve been there. I know exactly what was going on. There’s no hard feelings, it’s business, I understand it. You go on with life. That’s the way it is.”

That�s the high road for certain and it appears Haley feels the same way.� �

“It had nothing to do with coaching ability. When you do work as close as you have to work in this business, there needs to be a great fit,� Haley said.� �But it was the fit aspect of it. That’s probably an underrated item in this league.”

The Chiefs are going to have their hands full with the Bills. Led by Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo nearly upset the Ravens on the road last weekend, falling in overtime 37-34.

Still this team can move the ball and score points. On the season, they�ve already scored 121 points in six games. That�s impressive when you consider that Fitzpatrick took over for the Trent Edwards. The Bills released Edwards in late September. Since inserting the Harvard quarterback into the starting lineup, the Bills put up 30-points on the road in New England and they certainly didn�t embarrass themselves against the Ravens this past Sunday.

That could pose a problem for the Chiefs secondary, which has struggled for most of the 2010 season. If the Chiefs don�t put pressure on Fitzpatrick, this game has all the makings for a prime upset. Especially when you consider Fitzpatrick is 2-0 as a starting quarterback versus the Chiefs, including a 16-10 victory a year ago.

However, since the Bills have won two consecutive at Arrowhead, including a 54-31 shellacking in 2008, some of the players haven�t forgotten that beat down. So it should serve as motivation to not take Buffalo lightly despite the fact they haven�t won a game this season.

Chiefs Notes:

Wide Receiver Dexter McCluster didn�t participate in team drills on Wednesday. The rookie from Mississippi has been battling a high ankle sprain that he suffered in the fourth quarter against Jacksonville. Though he did tell a local TV station Wednesday that he�ll be ready to go on Sunday. �

His status was also in jeopardy the opening week of the season. He was battling a major bout of the flu but he managed to play against San Diego. And if you recall, he had a 93-yard punt return that sealed the victory for Kansas City. The Chiefs are hoping history repeats itself that he can do the same thing Sunday against Buffalo.

On Wednesday, Quarterback Matt Cassel talked about his short stint under Chan Gailey last season. He pointed out to the media that though he respects his former coach, this year’s offense under Charlie Weis is much better than it was a year ago. He also credits the teams� success this season to being more comfortable in his surroundings in year No. 2 versus year No. 1. �

When you consider his team already has four wins under their belts (matching last years total),� plus the fact Cassel has thrown nine touchdowns and just three interceptions, I�d say the decision to remove Gailey probably sat pretty well with Cassel.