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Buddy Nix: Stop asking about Gailey and Fitzpatrick, or I'll hang up and listen

By Tim Graham

Buddy Nix acknowledges that Buffalo Bills fans are fed up with the idea of Chan Gailey and Ryan Fitzpatrick returning next year.

Nix is fed up with the questions.

Buffalo's general manager threatened to end his weekly show on WGR about two minutes after it started if host Howard Simon didn't talk about something else. Simon asked some pointed questions about how committed the Bills are to keeping Gailey as coach and Fitzpatrick as quarterback.

"Howard, you can change the subject, or we can let this thing go dead," Nix said after hearing one too many questions about Gailey and Fitzpatrick.

Simon's opening question to Nix regarded the difficulties of maintaining a stay-the-course philosophy when the team is 4-7 and about to miss the playoffs a 13th straight season.

"I don't think you preach that all is well because it's not," Nix said. "We haven't won enough games. But to keep saying 'Stay the course' is not hard. I think the hard part of that is listening to it. You people that have to hear it, they get tired of it, and I don't blame them.

"But I do know this: You have to do it. You just cannot have complete turmoil and turnover all the time. Again, it's not hard for me to sit here and say that that's the right way. It's just hard for fans and you guys to hear it."

Simon followed up by asking if Nix expected Gailey and Fitzpatrick to be back in 2013.

Nix had said on his Nov. 9 show he wanted to draft a franchise quarterback. A week earlier, Nix told reporters at One Bills Drive that Gailey has at least two more years left on his contract and that Gailey's job is not in jeopardy.

"You know, I addressed that about two or three weeks ago, and the reason was so that I wouldn't have to do it every week or after every loss," Nix said. "So I'm through discussing that."

Simon asked if Nix has total control of football operations.

"You know, I got a boss just like you do," Nix said. "Mr. Wilson is, obviously, the owner and anybody that says he don't have the final say is living in a dream world."

Nix's ultimatum came after a question about whether Ralph Wilson has given Nix any indication of whether he wants Gailey and Fitzpatrick back.

Later in the segment, Nix made another acknowledgement that the final say will be Wilson's.

In speaking of how long Nix, who will turn 73 next month, wanted to remain the Bills' GM, he said: "I came here to help try to get us on stable ground and get this football team moving in the right direction and get a basis of players that could compete and build it where it would last. That's my goal, and as long as I got enough energy to keep the pace, I'm going to keep doing it -- unless Mr. Wilson tells me I'm not. That's a guy that could decide that, obviously."

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham | [email protected]


Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan | [email protected]


Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski | [email protected]

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