Chan Gailey Finding Lots of Love

I normally do not comment on polls. There’s no other reason for it other than a desire to get an unadulterated snap shot into how this little corner of Steelers Nation views an issue of the day.

The current poll, asking fans to sound off on who they thought was the Steelers worst offensive coordinator.

The poll went up in conjunction with the posting of the final article of the series on the Steelers 1989 season, the one that recounted and lamented Chuck Noll’s decision to hand the keys of his offense to Joe Walton.

Walton took and early “lead” in the voting with no clear contender challenging him for this “honor.” And for a time, Ray Sherman was the only other former offensive coordinator to amass any significant “support.”

But as time worn on, and as the article on Joe Walton (click here to read it now) shifted down the page and then into February’s monthly archives, the competition stiffened.

Sherman’s numbers went up, as did those of Bruce Arians, with Mike Mularkey also picking up votes.

Curiously one former offensive coordinator is finding a lot of love (or at least a lack of animosity), and that man is Chan Gailey.

Chan Gailey and the AFC Title Game Against Denver

Gailey held the title of offensive coordinator during the 1996 and 1997 seasons. And while the Steelers offense played well during that time, Gailey is perhaps best remembered as the man who “cost” the Steelers the 1997 AFC Championship game against Denver by calling two goal line pass plays that resulted in interceptions.

Steel Curtain Rising of course did not exist back then, but in any number of heated conversations at the Pittsburgh Steeler Fan Club of Maryland’s Purple Goose Saloon, I defended Gailey.

But I was in the minority, but at the Purple Goose as well as much of the rest of Steelers Nation could not forgive Gailey for calling those pass plays when the Steelers had Jerome Bettis waiting to pound it through.

For a long time it seemed that those two interceptions were what would mar Gailey’s tenure as offensive coordinator, but that doesn’t seem to be the case, at least with this poll.

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