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Thigpen, Young prove knowing playbook overrated

By Tim Graham

Maybe it's not that big of a deal how quickly new Buffalo Bills backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson learns the playbook.

Bills coach Chan Gailey pointed out this afternoon Vince Young and Tyler Thigpen know the offense.

What good has that done the Bills?

Apparently, not much.

The Bills lack faith in either of them to fill in for Ryan Fitzpatrick if necessary. That's why they traded for Jackson and cut Young this morning.

Gailey said Young had the offense down "with his thought processes. But you've got to be consistent with all that, too. We just didn't see the consistency. Obviously, Tyler hasn't jumped up there yet either with consistency. We're going to try to see if we can find somebody that will give us consistency."

Gailey, like Buddy Nix earlier in the day, said he was unsure if the Bills would keep four quarterbacks given Jackson's arrival less than two weeks before the season opener at the Meadowlands. Gailey did reiterate Brad Smith would be the third quarterback.

Final roster cuts must be made by Friday. That gives the Bills four days to evaluate whether a quarterback who just got his playbook is a safer bet for the No. 2 job than a quarterback who knows the offense and can't execute it to Gailey's satisfaction.

"Any time you don't have consistency, whether it's guard or defensive end or linebacker or wherever it is, we're looking to create competition," Gailey said. "That's where we are right now. We haven't found the consistency that we want.

"We're going to see how fast [Jackson] can learn. We're going to try to play him Thursday night, let him get in the huddle, get a feel for things, how we do it."

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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 |