Chan Gailey makes his debut as the Bills coach. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said firing Gailey, who went 18–14 as Dallas’ coach in 1998-99, was one of his biggest regrets. Now Gailey can justify his former boss’ feelings. Fittingly, Buffalo hasn’ t made the playoffs since 1999. “No, I don’t feel re-born,” Gailey said. “I feel like I’ve got a job to do and it’s my job to get this team headed in the right direction. I don’t get in to that emotional stuff.”
Keys for the Bills
• Quarterback Trent Edwards needs to reward Gailey’s faith in him. Edwards won the starting job back from former backup Ryan Fitzpatrick, but can he stay healthy behind yet another suspect offensive line assembled in Buffalo? Edwards’ career mark is 14–17. He had a solid preseason and should re-assert himself under an offensive-minded head coach.
• Buffalo’s new 3-4 defensive scheme will have to survive the growing pains that seem inevitable. The Bills gave up 156.3 yards per game on the ground last year and brought in free agents Andra Davis, Dwan Edwards and Reggie Torbor to shore things up. But they also said goodbye to No. 2 career sacker leader Aaron Schobel, who retired, and rookie ballhawk Jairus Byrd is coming off another surgery to his groin.
Keys for the Dolphins
• Miami’ s offensive line, featuring three new starters, must protect Chad Henne, who starts his first full season at quarterback. Henne was intercepted three times in a 31–14 loss to the Bills last Nov. 29 in Orchard Park.
• The team must re-focus after a week of distractions. The surprising announcement that football czar Bill Parcells was handing full decision-making power to GM Jeff Ireland shook up the organization. Miami coach Tony Sparano’s seat became hotter without the man who hired him in charge anymore.
The Bills have won eight of the last 12 matchups and will be sky-high to make Gailey’ s debut a happy one. Rookie running back sensation C.J. Spiller has energized Buffalo’ s offense and the defense should play well enough to limit the damage of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. Bills 24–17.