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Chan Gailey: Wildcat coming, Brad Smith 3rd QB

By Tim Graham

The Wildcat is not dead in Orchard Park.

Buffalo Bills head coach Chan Gailey told reporters this afternoon they will install the direct-snap offense for quarterback/receiver/returner Brad Smith.

Gailey also revealed the team's intention to keep Smith as the third quarterback, which would strongly suggest the Bills won't keep both Vince Young and Tyler Thigpen on the roster.

"We still plan to use it," Gailey said of the Wildcat. "We had to get out of it when Brad had to go play wide receiver full-time" last year because of myriad injuries and the Bills didn't have enough practice time to get him reps at both spots.

"But when we had it, we thought it was a viable option for us during the course of a ball game. We're going to keep it. We're going to keep working with it."

When it comes to the future of the Wildcat around the NFL at a time when many teams have experimented and moved on already, Gailey said "You have to have the right person. We happen to have the right person."

Smith worked with receivers today after much was made of him working exclusively at quarterback in earlier practices.

"It's not like we just flip a coin and we decided where he goes and what he does each day," Gailey said. "He worked at quarterback, which we needed him to do that. He'll go into the season -- unless something major changes, which I don't foresee -- [as] the third quarterback. So he has to have enough quarterback knowledge to get you out of a game.

"He's a very good special-teams player. He lines up and does that. He can play receiver and help us there. He can do a lot of things.

"It's great that he can do so many things. It can hurt him some respects because he doesn't lock in on one thing. But for our football team, he helps us tremendously by being a very versatile player to help us in a lot of areas."

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |