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Time to reassess, but Gailey backs Fitzpatrick, Wannstedt

By Tim Graham

Buffalo Bills coach Chan Gailey stood at the lectern in Ralph Wilson Stadium and glumly noted the bye week is time to re-evaluate his team.

But he already has his mind made up about his quarterback and defensive coaching staff.

Gailey reiterated his faith in quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt after Sunday's disheartening 35-34 loss to the Tennessee Titans.

"We have to re-evaluate everything," Gailey said. "That's what you do with the bye week. You look at it, and what's good you try to keep. What's bad, you try to see what you need to do to get it done.

"If we'd won, we'd still be doing that."

Asked if the Bills' defensive staff would be subject to changes after giving up 197 rushing yards to the NFL's worst statistical run offense and another 193 yards passing, Gailey scoffed and said, "No."

The Titans scored the winning touchdown on a fourth-and-9 play from the Bills' 15-yard line.

The Bills have allowed an average of 45 points in their four losses.

Fitzpatrick had two second-half turnovers, a fumble on the first play of the third quarter and an interception inside the final three minutes. The Titans converted both giveaways into touchdowns.

Fitzpatrick blamed himself for getting "greedy" on the interception, but Gailey supported his quarterback yet again.

"He made a bad throw at the end," Gailey said. "Other than that, he played really, really good. He made one bad throw. If you get rid of all the quarterbacks for one bad throw, you're not going to have any quarterbacks left."

Up by six points with three minutes to play and the Titans starting to burn their timeouts, the Bills had a third-and-7 situation on their own 39-yard line. Fitzpatrick threw to the right sideline for Donald Jones, and Jason McCourty picked it off at the Titans' 48-yard line.

"I just got greedy in a situation that I didn't have any business being greedy in," Fitzpatrick said. "It was a dumb throw, dumb decision by me. Third down at the end of the game, game on the line, Chan put the ball in my hands, essentially, and I threw an interception. So that one hurts."

Fitzpatrick was otherwise efficient. He was 27 of 35 for 225 yards and three touchdowns, although many of his yards were on screens.

Bills receiver Stevie Johnson also backed up Fitzpatrick after the game.

"He played a great game," Johnson said. "I was proud of him. I know the type of player that he is. You all know the type of player that he is. We're going to get better from here."

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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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