There will be an interesting sideline rivalry taking place Sunday in Kansas City when the Chiefs host the winless Buffalo Bills.
It will be the first time Todd Haley and Chan Gailey have crossed paths on the field since August, 2009, when Haley fired Gailey as offensive coordinator after the Chiefs were ineffective in the preseason. Gailey was hired as the Bills’ head coach after last season.
It was clear early that the Haley-Gailey match was merely just a good rhyme.
Haley was hired as the Chiefs’ coach after he was the offensive coordinator of a high-powered offense in Arizona. Haley was hired as the Chiefs’ coach in February and Gailey was a holdover from the previous regime. Gailey is a more conservative offensive coach than Haley and it was obvious it wasn't a good fit when Haley became uncomfortable with what he saw in the preseason.
Haley served as his own offensive coordinator last season. After the Chiefs went 4-12, Haley jumped at the opportunity to hire former Notre Dame head coach -- and his good friend -- Charlie Weis as Kansas City’s offensive coordinator. Haley likely would have brought Weis with him to Kansas City had he been fired a year earlier.
The Chiefs are in a much better spot offensively this year. They have the No. 1 ranked run offense and are scoring points at a higher clip. Plus, without his offensive coordinating duties, Haley has said he has more time to oversee the entire roster.
Gailey, despite his team’s 0-6 record, too is better off after the firing. He is one of 32 NFL head coaches.
Even though Haley and Gailey are better off now than they were when they split, be sure that they both want to beat the other Sunday, although I expect them both to downplay the meeting in the days to come. Haley will not want a coach who he fired to come in and the stop the momentum of the 4-2 Chiefs. Gailey would surely love nothing more than beat the man who embarrassed him by firing him before the start of the season.