By Tim Graham
When discussing why the Buffalo Bills don't try to air the ball downfield more, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said, "the way that we're set up and the way that we play offense, that's not what we're going to major in."
So I asked coach Chan Gailey on Monday what it would take for the Bills to take some electives here or there.
"There's so much that goes into how you design things," Gailey said. "You design them around your players. You do what they do best. You try to make sure that you are making first downs and giving your players a chance to make first downs and giving your players a chance to be successful.
"So everything's designed around what you feel like your players do the best. That's what you do."
Gailey, however, claimed he has the personnel to go deep. Without naming names, Stevie Johnson has caught long balls before. The Bills traded up to draft sprinter T.J. Graham in the third round.
Even though Gailey has done it before in his coaching career, he agreed with the suggestion he simply doesn't see much benefit in trying to stretch the field with his current offense.
"There's some of that," Gailey said. "It's more of that than having people that can go deep. It's more of by design that it is by lack of personnel; that's for sure."
Gailey shared some additional thoughts on throwing long.
"What you have to do is throw it deep enough to keep people honest," Gailey said. "You just can't throw 6-yard routes the whole ballgame. There's a lot of different ways to do it.
"If you go back and look, I think Houston threw it deep twice when the game was in the balance. They threw one deep late on fourth down, but I think they threw it deep a couple times in the ballgame.
"Sometimes it's deep over. Sometimes it's deep crossers. It's things like that that you have to get a guy to catch a ball and go make a few yards on his own. So I think it's a matter of getting guys to do what they do best. Fit it in to the offense the way it needs to be fit in, and then you go from there."