Fewell expected second Bills interview

January, 29, 2010
1/29/10
11:25
AM ET
A couple of weeks back, readers scoffed at the notion that Perry Fewell's decision reflected poorly on the Buffalo Bills' head-coaching vacancy.

[+] EnlargeFewell
Marc Serota/Getty ImagesPerry Fewell was disappointed he didn't get a second interview to be the Bills' head coach.
Fewell chose to take the New York Giants' defensive coordinator's job rather than hold out for the slim possibility of achieving his dream: being an NFL head coach.

In my mind, a person should pursue the dream until it's dead. It's not as though Fewell was desperate for work. He was a hot commodity, courted by the Giants and Chicago Bears.

But readers thought I was misguided and proclaimed Fewell knew when he interviewed that he didn't have a shot at the job, that there was no reason for him to hold out hope.

Turns out, he was holding hope. And he simply gave up.

Fewell, speaking with reporters for the first time since he joined the Giants, was asked if he was disappointed not to get a second interview with the Bills before they hired Chan Gailey.

"I thought I did a good job in the interview process the first time," Fewell said. "So, yes, I did expect a second interview.

"If I would have won one more game, then I would have said I did a great job in leading the Bills. I [would've] had a winning record. But I won three games and lost four games. So they thought they needed to make a change, and so they did. But I was just appreciative of the opportunity to lead the Bills.

"Obviously, your aspirations are to be a head coach. So obviously you're a little bit disappointed when you're not the guy."

One thought that keeps coming up in my mind is that, theoretically, the Bills could have retained Fewell as head coach and hired Gailey to be offensive coordinator.

Gailey was out of work throughout the entire 2009 season, hadn't been an NFL head coach since 1999 and didn't have many alluring employment prospects. Multiple sources tell me Gailey likely would have taken over the new San Antonio franchise in the United Football League had the Bills not made him an offer.

And how often have you heard of someone being fired as a coordinator and getting their next job as an NFL head coach? Maybe there's an obscure example out there, but I've asked a few accomplished, veteran coaches if they've ever heard of such a thing, and to a man they can't come up with a precedent.

To think that the only way the Bills could have landed Gailey was to make him the head coach reminds me of a scene from "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation," when Clark and Ellen Griswold discuss the fact Cousin Eddie is out of work.

Clark: "How can they have nothing for their children?"

Ellen: "Well, he's been out of work for close to seven years."

Clark: "In seven years he couldn't find a job?"

Ellen: "Cathrine says he's been holding out for a management position."

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