Buffalo Bills coach Chan Gailey switched into his college recruiter mode Wednesday morning and rallied the blue-and-red loyalists.
Gailey and Bills General Manager Buddy Nix spoke to about 450 of the team's suite-holders and premium-seat buyers at a breakfast at the Adam's Mark Hotel in Buffalo.
"When I came here I heard, 'Oh the cupboard's bare,' " Gailey said. "The next thing I heard was the team's in disarray. The next thing I heard was the sky is falling. . . . But I'm here to tell you folks, it's not. We've got some good players. We've got some good young players. . . . Buddy and our personnel department are going to do a great job of stacking players on players. But we've got the nucleus to be a good football team."
Gailey showed some of the fiery communication style that he had to use when he was head coach at Georgia Tech, something that was not part of the repertoire of former Bills coach Dick Jauron.
"I've been in that stadium when it's deafening, and I was on the other side, and it's no fun," said Gailey, whose former NFL stops included Denver, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Miami and Kansas City. "So I don't say I or me very often, but one of my goals is to make this one of the toughest places to play again in this NFL."
Other comments from the 40-minute session:
*Gailey on the team's injuries in 2009: "I never say you can't do something about injuries. There's a lot of people who say injuries are just bad luck. . . . I've been fortunate through the years. The teams I've been on have been able to stay healthy. And one of the reasons is the type of strength and conditioning coaching that we have given the players and the preparation that goes into that. I've hired two great guys that are going to head up our strength and conditioning program."
*Nix on expectations: "People ask me why should we believe this is gonna be any different? Talk is cheap, we all know that. It's like I've always said, don't tell me about the labor pains, just show me the baby. That's what we've got to do. We've got to show you the baby, and the baby is winning."
*Gailey on the draft: "You look for the best player on the board at positions you need. . . . We need certain positions. If I took a poll here, 90 percent of you would get it right, what we need to do, who we need to go after. It's not like it's a secret. . . . We need positional help in a lot of areas, if not we need depth in a lot of areas."