Orchard Park, NY (WGR 550) -- By this time next week, the Buffalo Bills could have a whole new look to them.
The way the third season for the most recent regime has gone, it's feasible that head coach Chan Gailey, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt and many, many more could be in their last few days of employment at One Bills Drive.
It's a day that should have everyone that's a part of the organization on high alert. Changes may be on the way.
"It could be," said veteran safety George Wilson. "I'm not going to sit up here and speak in hypotheticals. We'll just have to wait and see. And I think that's everybody. I don't think that anybody in this building should be completely comfortable with where we are and where our team has been."
Not only is it the third straight losing season for Chan Gailey, but it's also his third straight season with a double-digit loss total. In a production based business, that's enough to scare just about anyone that they may not be employed too much farther.
With so much hope, optimism and even expectations heading in to the season, 2012 has been a colossal disappointment for all those involved. But Gailey went even farther than that.
"The last three [seasons] have been frustrating," the head coach remarked. "I've been fortunate enough to be around situations in the past where we've been able to turn it around in a fairly short period of time and we haven't been able to do it yet. So yeah it's been disappointing to me personally. It has."
In those three seasons, Gailey's Bills have a pedestrian win-loss record of 15-32 and have allowed 400-plus points every year. In fact, under this regime, the Bills have only one win over a team that has finished the season with a winning record -- the New England Patriots in 2011.
Safety is not guaranteed, nor is a changing of the guard and absolute certainty. The performance of the Bills in their Week 17 tilt against the New York Jets on Sunday could play a role in any decision that needs to be made.
Gailey, and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, both have a lot on the line once the season comes to a close. With all the talk of a new quarterback at One Bills Drive and even General Manager Buddy Nix making public comments about drafting a player to challenge for the job, it'll make even the most confident person a bit uneasy.
"Yeah, it is [tough to block it out]," Fitzpatrick said. "You try to. You try to make sure that your main focus, certainly on game day, but throughout the week is on preparing and getting ready. But it's hard, just with all the uncertainty in the air right now with what's to come. I think it's very hard at this point to block out and for it not to be on the forefront of your mind. You've just gotta make sure it doesn't affect -- and I've got to make sure that it doesn't affect the way that I play."
The quarterback and wide receiver Stevie Johnson seemingly grew up together as NFL players throughout the past few years. When Johnson was drafted, he had to work his way up from the bottom of the depth chart all the way to the top. Along that journey, Fitzpatrick threw him the ball many teams throughout all the practices as a player that had been labeled the journeyman backup upon arrival.
It was a story tale type of start to commencement of their respective beginnings atop the depth chart. The finish, however, seems to hold anything but a happy ending for half of the duo. Johnson says he feels for his teammate.
"Yeah, definitely because that's my friend before my quarterback," the wideout replied. "So the sympathy thing, yeah, it is there. Because it's a lot on that position -- but that's around the league though. If you win, you're the man. You lose, everybody looking at you like it's your fault. I can sympathize with him, but I can sympathize with every other quarterback in the league also. It's just the nature of the business."
On the season, Fitzpatrick has thrown for 3,175 yards, 23 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. While his interceptions are down from 2011 (23), his passing yards are way down as well (3,832 in 2011).
Only one game keeps some key members of the organization from being knee-deep in the uncertainty that surrounds so many throughout the NFL.
Who will make it out alive at One Bills Drive?
It's a wait-and-see sort of situation until that black cloud finally arrives in Orchard Park on Monday.