Rookies and young veterans got a taste of new coach Chan Gailey's style during a recent minicamp. The rest of the club will get their turn during a busy month of June.
A voluntary minicamp for veterans is scheduled for June 4-6 and a mandatory camp for the entire team is set for June 23-25. In between are four three-day organized team activity sessions.
Gailey, who has been coaching 35 years, including 15 in the NFL, is a staunch believer in two tenets: toughness and teamwork.
Without the pads on, it's difficult to show physical toughness during the off-season but that doesn't mean players can't demonstrate mental toughness, he said.
"Well the first thing I talk about is what our team is based on and the first thing you talk about with our football team is toughness, but then I told them that this camp is not about toughness. We don't have pads on," said Gailey when asked to describe his core message to the rookies and young vets.
"Toughness we find out when we get to training camp. This is about mental capacity, effort, being able to take what we teach and put it on the field, and at the same time seeing work ethic without us having to say anything. Who gives that kind of work ethic that you know what you're going to get day in and day out? That's basically what we're looking at."
Gailey doesn't carry the title of offensive coordinator -- that belongs to right-hand man and running backs coach Curtis Modkins. But Gailey will call Buffalo's plays, which is why he'll generally be spending more time with the offense.
"Every single day he's up on the board drawing up plays, with the quarterbacks one-on-one, with the quarterbacks and receivers and with the whole offense," quarterback Brian Brohm said. "He does a lot of teaching. He's very involved with the offense, which I like."
Gailey had great success as offensive coordinator in Denver, Pittsburgh and Miami. He has worked with quarterbacks as diverse as John Elway, Troy Aikman, Kordell Stewart and Jay Fiedler.
"I think he prides himself in coaching quarterbacks as well because he's been in the room with us quite a bit. And he played quarterback so I'm sure he's watching and seeing what we're doing," Brohm said.
Gailey was pleased with the effort put forth during his first official on-field work.
"I felt that we learned a lot," he said. "I thought the guys picked it up fairly well. There was a ton of energy on the field, which was great. That was exciting for us to see as coaches. We had a lot of guys giving great effort.
"To be honest with you, it was great for us as coaches to get on the field and I don't want to say 'practice' coaching but to be out for the first time with the new offense and new defense. That was good for us, too."
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