They say first impressions can mean everything. If the feedback from Buffalo's quarterbacks on head coach Chan Gailey is any indication, the Bills head coach made a powerful one. Gailey's exposure to his roster of players has been limited to this point, but it didn't take long for Buffalo's head coach to effectively provide direction for his signal callers.
Buffalo's three quarterbacks had the chance to sit down with Chan Gailey Monday as the team's voluntary offseason conditioning program got underway. Gailey, who is also serving as their offensive coordinator, went over some of the basics of the offense while also demonstrating his vast knowledge about the game and orchestrating a productive attack.
"Very impressed," said Ryan Fitzpatrick. "He' s a guy that's been around for a while. You could obviously get the wisdom and experience factor from him right away."
"I like the way he carried himself in the meetings," said Trent Edwards. "Just getting the chance to sit down with him I feel like he's a confident coach. He's an offensive tough-minded coach who wants to run the football and throw the football and run a balanced attack."
Edwards, Fitzpatrick and Brian Brohm received their playbooks Tuesday afternoon and will continue to delve into Gailey's new scheme. They don't know many specifics to this point, but they do know based on their sit down with Gailey that things will be decidedly different.
"We've talked about it and the terminology is going to be a lot different," Fitzpatrick said. "Sometimes you'll have a lot of carry over just in terms of the way formations are called and plays, but just from talking (Monday) with coach Gailey it'll be a lot different from the way plays were called here before. That'll just be a learning process for everybody."
For the quarterbacks the relationship dynamic with their head coach will be different from what it was in the past. Gailey will be their head coach as well as their coordinator, something Fitzpatrick has experienced in the past.
"Mike Martz was my head coach and coordinator in St. Louis," he said. "It'll be great because I feel like that relationship is so important, the quarterback-head coach relationship and this makes sure you're always on the same page and know what to expect from each other."
Edwards welcomes that change after feeling like there were communication breakdowns and mixed messages in the past.
"I don't want to talk negatively about last year's staff, but as a quarterback you want to have one person to listen to and one voice," Edwards said. "The last couple of years there was kind of… he would say one thing to one guy and then he would say it to another guy and what you're looking for would kind of get lost in the process. Here with the situation we're in, if you like something offensively you're telling it to the head coach because he's also the offensive coordinator and he's going to get that done for you."
Buffalo's quarterbacks know that Gailey does not have a set offensive system. He adapts to the personnel he has on his roster. They do know that no matter where he's been his teams score points, something sorely needed in Buffalo with the Bills finishing 28th, 30th and 23rd in points per game the past three seasons.
"You want to score points as an offense and a quarterback and that's kind of what we're trying to do," said Edwards. "You look at his track record, yes he scores points and do we need to do that more here? Obviously we do, and I think that's kind of why we brought him in.
"He has a long list of quarterbacks that he's worked with that have succeeded in this league and I'm anxious about the opportunity to work with him."
"It's very encouraging," said Fitzpatrick of Gailey's successful offensive history. "You just get that from talking to him right away. You get the experience and the knowledge. He's been around for as long as he has for a reason. We're really excited to have him here."