Buffalo Bills players throw support behind Chan Gailey


It's that time of year in the NFL.

Stories like this begin cropping up all over the map: Player X throws his support behind a struggling coach on a team resembling a sinking ship.

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This time around it's the 4-7 Buffalo Bills and coach Chan Gailey, who saw his play-calling critiqued by receiver Stevie Johnson this week, but has the backing of more than a few players.

"I think Coach Gailey's got a great mind offensively," running back Fred Jackson told The Buffalo News. "I think he's doing some tremendous things for us. He's utilizing his skill players. We just have to be consistent, as those players."

Bills defensive tackle Spencer Johnson doesn't want to see a coaching overall, despite Gailey's 14-29 record over three seasons.

"I love Chan," Johnson said. "If we go 9-7, everybody's talking something totally different. We're still going to keep the faith and keep playing hard and see how it goes."

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The Bills have five games to improve on the four-win campaign, but nothing about this year's Bills suggests the can win out. The defense has been a vast disappointment. The Bills can't rush the passer or effectively use the talent they've assembled up front.

Gailey's best argument comes on offense, where the Bills have shown hints of explosiveness. C.J. Spiller has blossomed into an electric play-maker, but Gailey deserves heat for yanking his running back on critical drives. His backfield-by-committee obsession is baffling, maddening and Shanahan-esque.

The deeper issue lies at quarterback, where the team doesn't seem convinced Ryan Fitzpatrick is the guy. We aren't convinced, either. Three years into the Gailey Project and more questions than answers remain.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.