Bills coach Chan Gailey gave quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick about as strong an endorsement as one could expect today in a season-ending news conference at One Bills Drive.
Asked how committed he was to Fitzpatrick as the starting quarterback in 2011? "Very committed. He’s done a lot of good things. He can improve. But we’ve got to stop the turnovers. But if we can do that I think we give ourselves a chance to be a successful offense."
Gailey said he is eager to see Fitzpatrick return with a healthy offensive cast next season.
"To be honest with you I'm looking forward to it very much so," Gailey said. "And I think our offensive line is going to be a lot better next year. I think we're going to be able to do better things with C.J. Spiller next year. ... He (Fitzpatrick) allowed other guys to flourish and that’s what he does. He puts the ball where it needs to be for people to make plays and that’s the one thing you like about the guy. He gives your team an opportunity to win."
x Gailey said he sees the defense continuing to play a multiple-front scheme and not playing strictly a 3-4 front. Said Gailey: “There are a lot of people that are called 3-4 fronts. I think we’ll probably end up being a true multiple front team instead of a true 3-4 team just because our personnel dictates that. I think we’re probably a little bit better suited. I’ve not talked to the defensive staff about this, but just looking at it on the surface right now, I’d probably say we’re going to be multiple front rather than Kansas City sit in 3-4 no matter what, Cleveland sit in 3-4 no matter what. I don’t see us being that team. I see us being more of a multiple team.”
x Gailey said the scheme won't preculde the Bills from drafting a great player at No. 3 overall just because he may or may not fit.
x Gailey described the position of linebacker Aaron Maybin on the team as "tenuous."
x On safety Donte Whitner, set to become a free agent: "Tenuous would be another word you could use there. ... He’s a really good player, you’d love to have him on your football team but we’re in a business where that doesn’t happen every time."
x On the offensive tackles: "I thought Demetrius (Bell) had an OK year. I didn’t think he had a great year. And I know the injury, he couldn’t practice Wednesdays at all the whole year, and again I’m not trying to make excuses for anybody but I’m just stating facts, he didn’t practice on Wednesdays. I think a year of strength and core development I think will help him tremendously. He missed all of that last year because of the shoulder, he got no upper body work, he got no lower body work and he gutted out the season. He and Eric (Wood) gutted out the season for us and you’ve got to like that about a guy that will do that. But I think his upside is tremendous. The right tackle, I’ll be honest with you, I thought Erik Pears played as well as you could expect the last game and a half he played for us."