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Coaching staff for Bills? How about 17?

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Posted: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 7:59 am

Some quick thoughts on the Bills’ coaching staff, the NFL playoff overtime rules plus the Colts’ firing of Bill Polian through the eyes of Buffalo GM Buddy Nix, and an athletic honor for the daughter of a Bradford High alumnus:

BILLS’ coach Chan Gailey met with the media on Monday afternoon as he introduced the newest members of his coaching staff.

Already announced was the fact that Dave Wannstedt, the former Bears’ and Dolphins’ head coach, would be the new defensive coordinator, replacing the fired George Edwards.

Meanwhile, the Bills have added two other assistants to replace those who went on to new jobs.

In addition, the team announced former tight ends coach Bob Bicknell will now coach wide receivers replacing the departed Stan Hixon. Adrian White, previously the defensive quality control coach, will serve as the assistant defensive backs coach and Bob Sanders becomes linebackers coach, effectively replacing Wannstedt (inside linebackers), after coaching the outside linebackers last season.

In addition Andrew Dees and Eric Thatcher have been hired as assistant offensive line coach and defensive quality control coach, respectively.

In keeping with the proliferating coaching staffs of NFL teams, the Bills, including Gailey and two strength-and-conditioning assistants, have 17 coaches for their 53-player roster and 8-man practice squad.

If that seems like a lot, it’s not.

Several of the NFL’s 32 teams have over 20 coaches, a couple with 22.

WHEN Nix met with the media earlier this month, he got a couple of questions that weren’t directly related to the Bills.

One concerned the Broncos’ one-snap victory over the Steelers in the overtime playoff game at Denver when Tim Tebow hit Demaryius Thomas with an 80-yard touchdown pass that voided Pittsburgh getting an OT possession.

“I was shocked,” Nix admitted. “I was just settled in for the overtime and then it was over, so we didn’t get to practice the (new) rule much.

“I think that overtime rule (each team is guaranteed one possession unless a TD is scored) is a start. (But) I don’t like the fact that the rules are different when you get into the playoffs than they are during the year. If that’s a good rule then we ought to have it all of the time ... but all we get is one vote.”

He was also asked about the firing of Polian, the former Bills’ general manager who also had great success with both the Panthers and Colts.

“(I was) shocked, like everybody else, I guess,” Nix said. “I’ve always kind of looked up to Bill and the things he’s done. I followed him here. I've heard all of the stories about him. (I was) shocked, but we’re all just temporary anyway.”

THE WORLD CUP  isn’t related to soccer only.

There’s also a World Cup for youth softball set for January of 2013 in the Netherlands.

And one of the players who has already qualified for that event is the daughter of 1991 Bradford High alumnus Jennifer (Miller) Vinay.

Skyler Vinay, grandaughter of Rixford’s Jim and Judy Miller, is a junior first baseman/outfielder for Steel Valley High School in Munhall, Pa., a Pittsburgh suburb.

Skyler is also the goalie on SV’s girls’ soccer team and carries a 3.9 grade-point-average.

Her selection to the World Cup was based not only on softball ability, but also on social skills, academic achievements, and civic pride.

The World Cup itinerary will include educational side trips, including a tour of Paris.

In softball, she was MVP at both the Columbus, OH, Fast-pitch College Showcase Tournament and the Queen of Diamonds Showcase Tourney at Winthrop University, SC.

Skyler plans to attend a southern college, play softball and major in athletic training.

(Chuck Pollock, the Times Herald sports editor, can be reached at

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