Cortez going to Buffalo

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:26 PM ET

George Cortez finished the 2009 season with the Calgary Stampeders expecting to come back the next season with his established group of offensive players.

But the Buffalo Bills and Chan Gailey changed those plans.

Gailey took over as head coach of the NFL team in mid-January and called Cortez out of the blue to see if the Stamps offensive co-ordinator would be his quarterbacks coach.

Cortez, who has coached in the CFL and NCAA for 30 years, will head to the NFL for the first time as the position with the Bills was officially announced Monday morning.

"I don't know if it's a lifelong dream," Cortez said. "There was a time in my career where I thought this would be a real good thing to have an opportunity to do. I'm very much looking forward to it.

"I have to say I've been very happy here in Calgary. This opportunity came up and it was a good one, so I thought I would take advantage of it."

After spending three seasons as the offensive architect with the Stamps, Cortez leaves the team in good standing. He helped develop Henry Burris into an upper-echelon quarterback and helped build a strong foundation on offence with the likes of running back Joffrey Reynolds and receivers Ken-Yon Rambo, Nik Lewis and Jeremaine Copeland.

The call from the Bills came as a surprise to Cortez, who wasn't planning on leaving and wasn't searching for a new job.

If he had known he was leaving, "I would never have bothered moving offices," Cortez said about the new football operations building at McMahon Stadium.

"I get to move twice in a span of two months.

"Calgary was a great place for my wife and I. We were fortunate to be very successful in our time here. The relationships with the coaches, players and the city are never going to leave us.

"It's been a great place to be. It's hard to leave, there's no doubt about that."

Cortez's departure leaves the Stamps searching for a new offensive co-ordinator.

Due to the move happening relatively late in the off-season, the Stamps could hire from within and that could make former quarterback Dave Dickenson a candidate for the position.

Although Cortez said it's not his place to say what Stamps GM-head coach John Hufnagel should do, he said Dickenson would be a good candidate.

"If that's a goal that Dave has in the future and he's committed to it, I'm sure he would do a good job," Cortez said.


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