Ladies and gents: We introduce Chan Gailey … visionary?

Chan Gailey is way ahead of the curve, at least according to Trent Edwards. (AP photo)

Chan Gailey is way ahead of the curve, at least according to Buffalo quarterback Trent Edwards. (AP photo)

Remember how so many Georgia Tech fans would look at Chan Gailey and think, “Vanilla”? Well, Buffalo quarterback Trent Edwards looks at looks at Chan Gailey and thinks, “Bill Walsh,” and “Sid Gillman” and “visionary.”

Gailey generally has had a solid reputation as an NFL assistant. That reputation seldom carried over at Tech, where fans mostly grew weary of  seven-win seasons, losing to Georgia and struggling to develop a quarterback. (I’ll post some offensive numbers in a moment.)

But Gailey, now the head coach of the Buffalo Bills after a stopover in Kansas City, is being lauded by Edwards. The quarterback told ESPN’s AFC East blogger, Tim Graham, “I’ll try to explain it as best as I can. I’ve never been around a guy that’s very conscientious of what offensive plays set up other plays. He’s doing a lot of motion and shifting, trying to disguise certain plays so it doesn’t look like the same plays to the defense.

“That’s what’s nice as a quarterback. You’re talking to him and he understands that certain formations we run a lot of the same plays. There’s coordinators that get pretty basic and pretty predictable. I feel like Chan isn’t going to be that predictable. It’s nice to keep the defense off-balance.”

I will grant you that this is Trent Edwards and not Tom Brady or Peyton Manning making the comments. Still, the comments are fairly staggering.

For what it’s worth, this is how Georgia Tech ranked in offense in the ACC during Gailey’s six seasons:

♦ 2002 (9 teams):  fifth in total offense, seventh in scoring.

♦ 2003 (9 teams): ninth in total offense, eighth in scoring.

♦ 2004 (11 teams):  eighth in offense, seventh in  scoring.

♦ 2005  (12 teams): ninth in offense, 10th in scoring.

♦ 2006 (12 teams): third in offense, fifth in scoring.

♦ 2007 (12 teams): third in offense, fifth in scoring.

OK, questions for the masses: Were we missing something, is Edwards missing something, or is the truth somewhere in between

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124 comments Add your comment

Not looking back

May 26th, 2010
11:04 am

Um…Jackets fans got 7 years to evaluate. Trent’s had a few weeks. The truth will come to light.

ogres

May 26th, 2010
11:06 am

Edwards is an idiot. Chan sucks as much now as he did in 2002.

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SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

May 26th, 2010
11:19 am

everybody is a genius in preseason

Alejandro Alejandro

May 26th, 2010
11:22 am

Fire PJ! Bring back Chan!!!

Danga

May 26th, 2010
11:23 am

Wasn’t he thought of as a very good/creative offensive coordinator before he became the GT coach? Maybe the collegiate level just doesn’t fit the man.

JMar

May 26th, 2010
11:23 am

Trent Edwards also isn’t Reggie Ball.

kjax

May 26th, 2010
11:27 am

If you’re going to take all the blame for the bad seasons, then you should at least be able get the credit for the good seasons, right? It would seem to me that, judging by these statistics, Chan Gailey’s final two seasons were his two best offensively at GT, right? I would further argue that 2006 would have been the Sr. year for his first full group of recruits, so it would seem to me that these are the guys HE actually picked for his system. Just going by the numbers, I would say that the guys HE recruited actually performed pretty well under his tutelage. I’m not a GT fan, but that’s not exactly an easy conference you play in down there and you’re most certainly not the first choice of schools for the most talented players in the country. All things considered, I think those stats actually prove the opposite point of the one this article is trying to make!!

Reid Adair

May 26th, 2010
11:29 am

There is a difference between the pro game and the college game. Perhaps Chan Gailey is better suited for the pro game.

We’ll see what Trent Edwards thinks around Week 9 or Week 10 of the NFL season.

William Satterwhite

May 26th, 2010
11:38 am

The main difference is that college football and professional football are completely different animals, the NFL is much more conventional and conservative so someone like Gailey who has indeed shown an ability to think outside of the box to a certain degree (but still within the conservative Pro-style mode) can look like a “visionary”. In the world of college football, where you have coaches like Mike Leach and Paul Johnson who can figure out ways to maximize the strengths of athletes who aren’t prototypical NFL-types while masking their weaknesses, Gailey’s Pro-style approach stuck out like a sore thumb.

Gailey is a good NFL fit because only the best players make the cut (for the most part) so NFL coaching is less about trying to put a system in place that can maximize talents and hide weaknesses, the defenses are (for the most part) so fast that they pick up on anything. In the NFL it comes down to individual play calling and the subtle formation shifts that can expose mismatches, that’s what Chan Gailey does well.

Joe Cox

May 26th, 2010
11:43 am

Chan Gailey: Ginger Genius

PMC

May 26th, 2010
11:45 am

It doesn’t really matter, the Bills are a mess they are up against it playing in that division and they took him because he was cheap.

Coach Gailey knows football very well. He knows how to coach otherwise he wouldn’t keep getting great jobs. I just don’t think it’s going to matter.

JB

May 26th, 2010
11:45 am

They are all from a 5 star background in the NFL…….Chan was dealing with mostly 2 and 3 star “types” at Tech. Although he left some pretty dang good ball players for Johnson. Will be interested to see what type players he has in year 4…..or 5……..I’ll be surprised as many will be if the core “key” players are a good as Gailey left. Not bashing, just saying. I know Johnson will never get a WR as good as Calvin or that number 8 that just left. Just ain’t happening. 11 passes a game for a career average. Tech is a career killer for a WR.

Paul H

May 26th, 2010
11:46 am

As UGA fan, he’s welcome to come back to coach Tech anytime. Then again, last year proved it doesn’t matter who Tech’s coach is…

Ted M

May 26th, 2010
11:54 am

I am rooting Gailey and I’m looking forward to seeing how he uses JC Spiller.

How was Bills defense last year? Anyone?

Who is "JC" Spiller?

May 26th, 2010
12:00 pm

Who is ....

May 26th, 2010
12:01 pm

“JC” Spiller?

Barnacle Bill Bavasi

May 26th, 2010
12:04 pm

Wasn’t it Ralph Wilson who flipped off the Tennessee fans last season? He’s definitely gone ’round the bend, pulling Gailey and Nix off the scrap heap.

Dan

May 26th, 2010
12:05 pm

Do you define a first round pick as a career killer, JB. I suppose as long as facts don’t matter, you’re right.

Chan is a better NFL coach. At least there you can lose 6 times a season and still make the playoffs. In all reality, he’ll probably get them to about 8-8 or 9-7 and they’ll plateau and he’ll be canned for someone who they think can get them to 10 or 11 wins.

kjax

May 26th, 2010
12:08 pm

Bills D was 16th overall in points allowed, which was actually pretty damn respectable considering the fact that their D was on the field far more than any other team in the league due to the O’s inability to stay on the field. Not to mention the fact that, by the end of the year, the Bills were only playing D with 3 or 4 opening day starters due to injury. Jauron was terrible at getting his team ready to play. They played hard, but they weren’t conditioned the right way and the team led the league with 21 players on IR by the end of the year. If they stay healthy, they’ll be a very competitive team.

Ted M

May 26th, 2010
12:09 pm

Ted M

May 26th, 2010
12:10 pm

kjax

May 26th, 2010
12:11 pm

“Wasn’t it Ralph Wilson who flipped off the Tennessee fans last season? He’s definitely gone ’round the bend, pulling Gailey and Nix off the scrap heap.” Ummm, no, that was the Titans’ owner, Bud Adams, that flipped off Bills fans… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTxHuUGG_2c

Gordon

May 26th, 2010
12:15 pm

Let’s ask “m” what he thinks. I’m not sure he agrees.

JB

May 26th, 2010
12:16 pm

Dan…….. If you were a high school senior in Georgia, 6-3 215 4.5 speed and caught 85 balls for 1586 yards and 17 TD’s with 30 offers, would Tech be on your list. Please don’t give us the usual Tech dribble about a great Education and after football opportunities line. How’s that working out for Reggie Ball. Remind me again what firm he’s with.

JB

May 26th, 2010
12:18 pm

Let’s hope m is not on line today. He would nut up.

messin with sasquatch

May 26th, 2010
12:26 pm

why are we talking about chan again, remind me??

JB

May 26th, 2010
12:27 pm

Gailey won’t succeed in Buffalo for one reason. The owner is not committed to winning. If you are, you don’t hire Chan for 2 mil a year, You hire that square jaw guy from the Steelers sitting at home for 8 mil…………They are looking to exsist, not win.

Ted M

May 26th, 2010
12:39 pm

The square jaw guy recommended Gailey for the job.

Tech Fan Since 1950

May 26th, 2010
12:39 pm

Coach Gailey is a good man and a good coach. He is probably better suited to the NFL, but he did raise the overall talent level on the flats and brought Tech to a new level. It was a plateau he could not top. He did not beat Georgia, did not recruit and develop an outstanding quarterback, and basically was just too conservative, but he did some good things. Best wishes to him at Buffalo.

The Difference

May 26th, 2010
12:41 pm

GT wasn’t happy with 7 win seasons…..the Bills would be ecstatic with a 7 win season.

old gold engineer

May 26th, 2010
12:42 pm

I reckon someone in KC didn’t agree that Chan was an offensive “visionary”. His offenses at GT probably would have fared better had he been able to field a QB that could complete around 60% of his passes instead of under 50%. I always had the feeling when Gailey was at GT that he thought we could end up over .500 and make the playoffs, which would be a successful season in the NFL. Didn’t translate to college, however.

Mike S

May 26th, 2010
12:43 pm

Dan – That First Round pick was one of Chan Gailey’s recruits, not one of Paul Johnson’s. It is Johnson’s system that is a career killer for WR not Gailey’s.

JB – the Bills approached Cowher as their first interview, he turned them down and said he was not interested in coaching this season.

As for Gailey, the key as a new coach in the NFL is getting your team to buy in to your system – it sounds like Trent Edwards has “bought in”. If the

Hmmmmmm!

May 26th, 2010
12:46 pm

sounds like to me they will be running the same play from different formations.

That should be “real” challenging to all of the NFL defenses.

Give em different looks and keep running the same play.

Hmmmmmm!

May 26th, 2010
12:48 pm

Mike S……was it thUGA that had a first round WR draft pick this last year or GT?
I suppose you think being a “1st round” draft pick is a career killer?

Burdell

May 26th, 2010
12:49 pm

JB–

Just wait and see what Stephen Hill does for the Jackets with Bey-Bey gone.

We can still get elite WRs.

indianman

May 26th, 2010
12:50 pm

how many time did coach dailey beat georgia 0

kjax

May 26th, 2010
12:58 pm

“GT wasn’t happy with 7 win seasons…..the Bills would be ecstatic with a 7 win season.” That’s just about the dumbest thing I’ve read on here. The Bills just went 6-10 with three previous seasons at 7-9. It seems as though people listen to what they say on ESPN too much… the Bills are hardly among the league’s worst teams. Perhaps it’s because the league would like everyone to think that the Bills are so bad in order to convince the fans and the franchise that they should actually abandon Buffalo for LA?

Dan

May 26th, 2010
1:00 pm

JB, yeah, I might consider Tech. If I’m an elite receiver, the likelihood is that I’d get the ball about 6 times a game in Tech’s offense.

By the way, how’s that pro-style offense working out for Kregg Lumpkin, Dany Ware, Thomas Brown, David Greene, DJ Shockley, Joe Tereshinski, Joe Cox, etc., etc. etc…

Barnacle Bill Bavasi

May 26th, 2010
1:01 pm

Thanks Ajax. So, now we know Adams and Wilson have gone ’round the bend, along with Al Davis.

kjax

May 26th, 2010
1:07 pm

Read about Nix’s recent accomplishments… Yeah, he’s coming right off the scrap heap, Bill.

Nix’s job with the Chargers was to oversee both pro and college scouting and to be one of the main decision makers in each NFL Draft. Nix was a major reason the Chargers turned around from a losing football team to a rebuilt, winning team. In 2004, three players Nix drafted were selected to the 2005 Pro Bowl. In 2005, six players Nix drafted were selected to the 2006 Pro Bowl. In 2006, eleven players Nix drafted were selected to the 2007 Pro Bowl. In 2007, eight players Nix drafted were selected to the 2008 Pro Bowl.

The Chargers won four out of the last five AFC West titles with Nix as Assistant GM and Director of Player Personnel, in charge of college scouting and instrumental to the decision making process of their NFL drafts.

Roll on Chan

May 26th, 2010
1:09 pm

Gailey is perhaps the greatest coach in the history of ga tech to never win a backdated national unrecognized title , and its a shame

ROLL TIDE

Paddy

May 26th, 2010
1:16 pm

Chan will prove he has great offensive vison, until….Buffalo play a team that has a defensive coordinator, !

JB

May 26th, 2010
1:30 pm

Dan….I’m back from lunch……….Listen, I’m not a Tech hater, although I am a Dawg fan……I’m just saying that if you were a kid with those stats I mentioned and you sat down with you dad and high school coach, Tech would not be high on the list UNLESS you were interested in a degree from Tech, then the point in mute. If you hope to get to the next level at WR, TECH and JOHNSON are not for you.
I make the point about Reggie because because a lot of your fellow bloggers on here think that if you don’t go to Tech, you’ll be picking peach’s your whole life. Tech is a wonderful education, but NOT the only one.

Cracker Jacket

May 26th, 2010
1:33 pm

Gailey will do fine in Buffalo. The jury is still out with Johnson. Winning with Gailey’s players is one thing but doing as well with his recruits may be more difficult!

Bob in SF

May 26th, 2010
1:34 pm

Generally college coaches play to win and NFL coaches play not to lose, that was a big reason Chan didn’t succeed at Tech. Also he was too conservative for the college game and never could develop players, QB’s in particular, without the massive amounts of classroom time players get in the NFL. But in his defense he has put up some pretty good pro offenses at Pittsburgh, Miami and even KC. KC might have been terrible but he them scoring some points out of a spread hybrid when he was OC there. Buffalo is a bad job with not very good players so Chan seems doomed to failure there regardless of his qualifications.

wiley

May 26th, 2010
1:38 pm

He may very well be a great NFL coach but he def didn’t know much about running a successful offense on the college level. Good luck Chan…thanks for the 2007 class.

Dan

May 26th, 2010
1:40 pm

Agreed, JB. There are plenty of successful folks from UGA. You may be one of them. I understand that there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

Along the same lines. you don’t have to play in a pro-style offense to be successful at receiver. Let’s be real here – UGA has the best WR in the country but he isn’t going to be a top 5 pick because of his production. He’s going to be a top 5 pick because of his ridiculous athleticism. If he went to Tech, he’d still be a top 5 pick. The point is that it’s about the talent of the player not the system he plays in. To your other point about the narrow curriculum at Tech – fair point. If you want to major in history, Tech isn’t the place for you.

Dan

May 26th, 2010
1:43 pm

Mike S – Bay Bay fourished in CPJ’s offense. I don’t understand how that – combined with his status as a new multimillionaire and first round pick – reflects a career killer for WR. And I don’t see how it’s relevant that he was recruited by Chan. He’s proof that you can succeed in CPJ’s offense.

wiley

May 26th, 2010
1:43 pm

JB…our offense only needs one dominant receiver…you saw how well it worked with D. Thomas. If I was an elite receiver…I would jump at the chance to be the only big time passing threat in an offense like Johnsons. That means you get all the hype and inflated stats because most of the passes come your way….I mean some pro style offenses fling it almost every down but each receiver is only getting 4-6 passes a game. Both offense types can produce elite receivers….Thomas proved that this year. He played two years in this offense and it did not hurt his draft stock at all. In fact I think it helped it…