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Buddy Nix: Bills want to bolster WRs, move Stevie Johnson to slot

By Tim Graham

Buffalo Bills General Manager Buddy Nix got testy when asked about the future of head coach Chan Gailey.

But when the topic turned to the draft and player acquisition, Nix became downright chatty this morning on WGR's "The Howard Simon Show."

Nix made a brow-raising revelation the Bills want to trade up to draft a quarterback in April, and the GM didn't stop there. Nix declared the Bills want to add a big wideout and move top receiver Stevie Johnson into the slot.

"We're certainly looking at wide receiver," Nix said.

Nix mentioned Thursday night's game, when quarterback Andy Dalton and receiver A.J. Green -- both sophomores -- helped the Cincinnati Bengals raise their record to 8-5.

"I look at Cincinnati last night," Nix said. "There's Marvin Lewis. He's been 10 years ... I don't know what their record was for the first six or seven years. Then they take A.J. Green and Andy Dalton. That duo has really turned them around and made them a playoff contender."

The Bills traded up to select T.J. Graham in the third round this year. The hope was that Graham's world-class speed would stretch the field, but his development has been slow. Graham started his first NFL game last Sunday.

The season-ending knee injury to slot receiver David Nelson on opening day further stunted what the Bills planned to do in the passing game. The intention was for Johnson to move all over the field to maximize matchups.

"It hurt a lot in the slot because we didn't have a true slot," Nix said of Nelson's injury. "Roscoe Parrish got hurt, and he was what you're looking for in there. You need somebody in there with some exception, and [Nelson] had the great height, and David was going to catch the ball and be able to make something happen in the slot. We're going to get him back. He's going to be well.

"We're going to put somebody else in there. I think Stevie Johnson's a guy that really fits the slot well.

"I think Stevie's a guy that you can play him in the slot or you can play him outside. But we need a big-time outside receiver. T.J. gives us a lot of that, but you still need to get another, bigger guy that can line up out there and catch the ball when he's covered."

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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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