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Wannstedt not alarmed over hefty gains

By Tim Graham

Buffalo Bills head coach Chan Gailey has expressed dismay over allowing so many gargantuan plays in Friday night's exhibition loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

The Bills' first and second units were gashed by Vikings players who won't get drafted in your fantasy league, with the exception of receiver Percy Harvin.

In the first half alone, the Vikings had eight gains of 16 yards or longer, five of 21 yards or longer and three of 33 yards or longer. Most of those big gains came on second-and-long plays.

Bills defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt isn't about to panic.

Wannstedt spoke about those plays today. He wrote off the long scrambles (41 and 23 yards) by backup quarterback Joe Webb and emphasized the defense remains a work in progress.

"I was pleased when you look at the running game," Wannstedt told reporters today after practice. "I was telling Chan, 'Quarterbacks are not going to scramble like that kid did.' So I put that to rest. I take fault for that. I underestimated what a great athlete that kid Webb was. The minute that we adjusted our rush and said 'We're going to go back to a specific deal to contain him,' we sacked him once. So we're going to rush the passer good.

"The big plays were a little disturbing, and when you've got a couple of young players -- Aaron Williams is almost like a rookie and Stephon [Gilmore] is a rookie -- at two critical positions, they're going to be tested every week, and they're going to see things that are new for them. We're going to have to work through that and get them caught up to minimize the big plays.

They hit the one trap play on us. The only things that really bothered me were the two big plays outside. The quarterback scrambles and the running game, we've played the run. This will be a great test for us this week against the Steelers, but we've been fairly consistent with that all camp."

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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 | [email protected]


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 | [email protected]


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 | [email protected]

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