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Stevie Johnson lobbies for Chan Gailey to give up play-calling

By Tim Graham

INDIANAPOLIS -- Buffalo Bills receiver Stevie Johnson wants Chan Gailey to relinquish the play-calling duties.

Johnson told reporters after Sunday's 20-13 loss to the Indianapolis Colts the struggling Bills' offense would be better off if quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick called the plays instead.

"How I see it, I think we need to let our quarterback call these plays," Johnson said. "He's out there on the field. He sees the adjustments that need to be done. I think we just need to let him make adjustments on the go. I think that's the way we can move the ball better.

"He did it a little bit in the game, and we moved the ball. ... He was hitting C.J. [Spiller], getting his run plays, doing the pass plays, and I just think we should do it more often.

"[Fitzpatrick] knows what to check into and check out of. It's different when you are looking from the booth and say, 'OK, they might be in this' than being out there. That's just my take on it. I just think that he has the ability to control the offense 100 percent. I think we should take advantage of that."

Fitzpatrick and Gailey already had conducted their postgame news conferences and weren't available to respond to Johnson's remarks.

Spiller treated Johnson's comments like plutonium.

"I'm not going to comment on that," Spiller said. "I have no comment. Everybody's entitled to their own opinion. I'm not going to even get into 'Coach Gailey is calling the wrong plays.'

"Coach Gailey has done this for a long time. He's been in the business for a long time. He knows what he's doing. It's up to us to go out and execute. I'm going to leave it at that."

The Bills ended a seven-quarter touchdown drought in the fourth quarter. They have scored zero or one offensive touchdown in four of their past seven games.

The Bills were much more aggressive downfield than they had been this season. Fitzpatrick made a long strike to Johnson up the right sideline for a 63-yard gain, the longest of Johnson's career.

Johnson said Fitzpatrick made those calls.

"It was all Fitz," Johnson said. "Fitz made the adjustments, the audibles, and I think that led to our success, going down the field, making those throws. So I just think we should do a little bit more of that."

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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 | tgraham@buffnews.com


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 | mgaughan@buffnews.com


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 | jskurski@buffnews.com

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