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Browns OC Search, Meet the Candidate: Chan Gailey

Taking a look at our next OC candidate, Chan Gailey.

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

With the Browns parting ways with Kyle Shanahan last Thursday morning, I thought it'd be best if we got to know our early candidates. (Ed. note: most of the ‘candidates' are names of coaches floated by various media members. I'm running with them as ‘candidates' until further evidence is presented to the contrary.)

Let's take a list at who is next on the list, Chan Gailey.

The skinny:

  • Born January 5, 1952 (age 63) in Gainesville, Georgia, aka the "Poultry Capital of the World."
  • He is an Eagle Scout.
  • Played QB at the University of Florida.
  • Various college coaching jobs with Florida, Troy State, and Air Force from 1974-1982.
  • Gets first HC job at Troy State in 1983 - Wins NCAA Division II National Championship in 1984.
  • First professional job with the Denver Broncos, various assistant jobs from 1985-1990 - Makes 3 Super Bowl appearances.
  • Moves to the World League of American Football to be the Birmingham Fire's head coach - Playoff appearances both seasons that he's HC.
  • 1993 HC for Samford University.
  • Joins the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1994 as WR coach, named OC in 1996 - Appears in 1995 Super Bowl.
  • Named HC of the Dallas Cowboys in 1998 - only Cowboys coach to make the playoffs every year as HC (Albeit 2 seasons for Gailey).
  • Miami Dolphins OC from 2000-2001.
  • Georgia Tech HC from 2002-2007 - compiles 44-32 record over 6 seasons (goes to a bowl game ever year, winning 2).
  • Kansas City Chiefs OC for 2008 season - demoted, relieved of duties by Todd Haley in 2009.
  • Out of football for 2009.
  • Buffalo Bills HC from 2010-2012 - tallies a 16-32 record over his 3 seasons, fired at the end of 2012.
  • Retired/out of football since 2012.

Why he makes sense:

As Alex Marvez of Fox Sports points out in the initial report, Chan Gailey and Browns GM Ray Farmer were both in Kansas City in 2008. There's the familiarity that the Browns appear to be looking for in their OC.

At least a handful of the candidates that have been tied to the opening have at least some familiarity or ties to the Browns and/or the coaching staff or front office. After a year of Kyle Shanahan, a candidate that seemingly had little, if any, ties to the Browns before being hired, it's clear the Browns are at least looking at candidates they're familiar with.

Chan Gailey may have been out of football the past two seasons, but he does bring with him a strong résumé. His offenses have seemingly always found ways to rack up yards, despite not necessarily having the greatest of talent, specifically his recent stints.

His time in Buffalo is a good example of this. Ryan Fitzpatrick was the QB for the Bills at the time, and despite not being the most talented QB in the world, Gailey was still able to get 3,000 yards and 23+ TD's each of his three seasons there. That's pretty impressive given the QB at hand, clearly the best three years of Fitzpatrick's career.

Even in his one year in Kansas City the team saw steady improvement from the previous year. Again, he was limited with his QB options, Tyler Thigpen started 11 games in 2008. Thigpen still threw for over 2,600 yards, and posted 18 touchdowns. Not terrible, all things considered.

Gailey wouldn't be brought in to be the head coach, which is a good thing for the Browns. He's proven that he can run offenses, and run them well. His veteran presence and his ability to get the most out of the QB position, despite who's playing, should be appealing to Browns fans.

Why he makes no sense:

The guy is 63 years old, essentially retired from coaching two years ago, and now the Browns want to try and resurrect his career. Why?

Gailey may have had some success along the way, but that ship appears to have sailed. The Browns need an OC that is going to come in with a fresh take on the offense, and push it forward. Gailey's lack of exposure to the league for the past two seasons is a big red flag.

Sure, he had some pretty big success early in his career, but those teams were pretty daggone talented. He was an assistant with the Broncos when John Elway was there. An assistant and OC for the Steelers in the 90's when those teams went to the playoffs every year, seemingly. And then he was the HC of the Cowboys when Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith were still there.

Unfortunately for the Browns, their roster just doesn't look like those teams. He's been able to have a long, successful career in the NFL, but a large part of that is due to the teams he's inherited. He's not inheriting John Elway or Troy Aikmen. He's got Johnny Manziel, and the jury is still way out on him.

Gailey seems like a good guy, gardening and golfing, but the Browns need someone who's dedicated to making the Browns a better team, now. It seems like they could find that person elsewhere.


I don't want to hate on Gailey because of his age, or the fact that he's been out of football for the past two years. But, the truth is, the Browns need someone who can come in and hit the ground running. They need someone who won't need to take time getting up to speed again in the NFL. Unquestionably there'll be some of that for Gailey.

I've been of the opinion that the Browns need a bright young mind to come in and lead the offense. Gailey may be a bright offensive mind, but he may be a better fit as a QB coach.

If the Browns could bring in an up-and-coming guy to be the OC, Gailey seems like he'd be a viable option for the QB coaching position.

So, what do you all think about Chan Gailey?