Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 12/31/12
The failure to break the NFL's longest playoff drought cost Buffalo Bills head coach Chan Gailey his job. As first reported by the Buffalo News, Gailey was fired Monday following the completion of a 6-10 season. The Bills confirmed the report through their team Twitter account. General manager Buddy Nix, who hired Gailey to replace Dick Jauron in January 2010, could be the next member of the team fired. Gailey was (15-32) in his three years with the Bills. The offseason signing of defensive end Mario Williams to a six-year, $96 million contract spurred hope that the Bills would reach the postseason for the first time since the 1999 season. Instead, Williams and his team were both disappointments. Williams battled a wrist injury for half the season before undergoing a minor corrective surgery. That led to improved play but not to the dominating fashion the Bills had expected when tendering the largest free-agent contract ever signed by a defensive player. Overall inconsistency on defense and offense doomed Buffalo. The Bills haven't had a winning record since Week 3 and none of their (five) victories have come against a team that is above .500. Gailey's departure further muddies the future of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Bills signed Fitzpatrick to a six-year, $62 million contract extension midway through the 2011 season. Fitzpatrick, though, failed to develop into the franchise passer the Bills thought they were paying for. Nix already was talking about drafting an eventual replacement at quarterback in 2013 as this season unfolded. Sports Illustrated reported that Atlanta Falcons pro personnel director David Caldwell, who is a Buffalo native, would be a strong candidate to replace Nix. The Bills will now have their sixth different head coach since the 2000 season. Wade Phillips was on the sideline when Buffalo last made the playoffs in 1999. The Bills suffered a first-round loss to Tennessee via what is known as the Music City Miracle - a lateral on a kickoff return with 16 seconds remaining that Titans wide receiver Kevin Dyson returned for a 75-yard touchdown. Gailey, 60, was 18-14 in two seasons as Dallas Cowboys head coach (1998 and 1999). He also was head coach at Georgia Tech from 2004 to 2007 and has served as offensive coordinator for four different NFL teams (Pittsburgh, Denver, Miami and Kansas City).
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