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Chan Gailey had respect to the end among his players

By Jay Skurski

Several players in the Buffalo Bills' locker room spoke today of the debt of gratitude they owe coach Chan Gailey, who was fired this morning.

Here is a collection of some of their comments:

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick: "Chan means a lot to me as a person and as a coach. Before he took over here, I was kind of the lost journeyman, bouncing around from team to team. He was the guy that gave me my first real shot, the guy that showed a lot of confidence in me and has stood by my side for the last few years. He means a lot to me as a coach and as a person and he's somebody I'll always respect."

Tight end Scott Chandler: "He pulled me off the trash heap. That guy gave me a chance to play. He's a guy who's pretty special to me, who I have a lot of respect for."

Receiver Stevie Johnson: "It was a great offense to be in. It was a great offense for me. I'm happy that I was here. I'm happy that he came here and I was able to get that opportunity from him. My feelings about coach Gailey, it's always good. He gave me my opportunity and gave me my chance and I pretty much took advantage of it. But if it wasn't for him who knows what would've happened?

Receiver David Nelson: "I owe everything I have so far to Chan. He brought me in when not a lot of people would. He gave me an opportunity. He continued to stick behind me. A lot of people have doubted me."

Defensive tackle Kyle Williams: "I think everybody in here has a tremendous amount of respect for Chan. I've been lucky in the sense, the two guys I've had as head coaches [Gailey and Dick Jauron] are really, really solid, good men. They're great men to be with. Their yes is yes, their no is no. Obviously we haven't won enough, which is what it's all about."

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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 |

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 |

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 |