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Run-first offense

New Bills head coach Chan Gailey said Tuesday that a good running game is at the heart of his offensive philosophy. It's a philosophy built on a lot of success.

When he was Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator, the Steelers had the NFL's second-best rushing attack in 1996 and ranked No. 1 in 1997. It helped that Gailey had a strong offensive line (anchored by All-Pro center and Hall of Fame finalist Dermonti Dawson) and running back Jerome Bettis, who arrived in a trade from the Rams in 1996 and went on to enjoy his two most productive seasons in Gailey's offense.

Gailey was in Dallas as head coach and offensive play caller in 1998 and 1999. Emmitt Smith rushed for 1,300-plus yards in each of those seasons.

Bobby Humphrey was a rookie when Gailey took over as O-coordinator in 1989. Humphrey ran for more than 1,100 yards his first year and over 1,200 in Year Two.

Gailey's track record building strong rushing attacks should make running backs Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch happy.

---Allen Wilson 

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Bills | Bills coaching
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