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Chan Gailey: Brad Smith is a quarterback like Kordell Stewart

Brad Smith, Leodis McKelvin AP

Brad Smith is not a wide receiver anymore.

Smith, who was listed as a receiver but was really more of a playmaking jack of all trades in his five seasons with the Jets, is now listed as a quarterback on the Bills’ roster. Bills head coach Chan Gailey says he views Smith as primarily a quarterback, but a different kind of quarterback.

“Brad is a very good athlete and was a very good quarterback coming out of college,” Gailey said. “He has proven he can make plays on the football field in a lot of different ways. We love his versatility and what he is going to bring to our football team.”

The Bills have Ryan Fitzpatrick as the starting quarterback and Tyler Thigpen as the No. 2, but Smith can do things that Fitzpatrick and Thigpen can’t, and Gailey sounds like he’s interested in giving Smith regular snaps at quarterback. Gailey compared Smith to Kordell Stewart, who played both quarterback and receiver for the Steelers in the 1990s, when Gailey was their receivers coach and offensive coordinator.

“I see him being used in a similar role as I used Kordell in Pittsburgh,” Gailey said. “He can play some receiver and quarterback. He gives you a lot of versatility. He can play special teams, cover kicks and return kicks. He can do a lot to help a football team win games.”

Gailey said Smith would also be ideal as the primary ball handler in the Wildcat package. He rushed 38 times last season for the Jets for almost 300 yards and a touchdown in that role, but he has attempted just seven passes in his five seasons with the AFC East rival. Buffalo’s head coach said Smith would also be a kick returner along with C.J. Spiller.

The NFL has eliminated the third quarterback rule and expanded the game-day active rosters from 45 players to 46, meaning Smith could be the No. 3 quarterback on the Bills’ depth chart but wouldn’t be restricted the way third quarterbacks were in the past.

“You have 46 players to place wherever you want,” said Gailey. “It is an advantage with a guy like Brad Smith. He can come in and out. He can go in and play, and come out. You don’t have to re-designate someone else. In my opinion, it is good for teams to have a guy like that.”

There’s a risk of the Bills getting too cute, giving Smith too much to do and keeping him from doing any one thing very well. But there’s also the potential for Smith to become a unique player who does things with the ball in his hands that no one else in the NFL is doing: Smith could be a threat to run for a touchdown, throw a touchdown pass, catch a touchdown pass and return a kick for a touchdown, all in the same game. In Gailey’s mind, the possibilities are endless.

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25 Responses to “Chan Gailey: Brad Smith is a quarterback like Kordell Stewart”
  1. daburgher says: Jul 30, 2011 7:19 AM

    Chan is a smart guy… this is going to be fun to watch

  2. merc13 says: Jul 30, 2011 7:19 AM

    People don’t realize smith can’t throw the ball, other teams gotta know this, every time he’s in at qb it’s gonna be a run.

  3. ghostshock says: Jul 30, 2011 7:21 AM

    The Bills are craaaaaaazy.

  4. phinheads says: Jul 30, 2011 7:29 AM

    losers

  5. ceo4eva says: Jul 30, 2011 7:37 AM

    dumb… someone doesn’t just play QB after 5 years removed

  6. depotnator says: Jul 30, 2011 8:00 AM

    Smith must have been desperate for coin to exile himself to the hinterlands. Maybe he just likes Niagra Falls.

  7. polishkingski says: Jul 30, 2011 8:18 AM

    see?….we are better than the eagles now. superbowl, here we come! this is pathetic.

  8. romeisfallingagain says: Jul 30, 2011 8:32 AM

    This is the type of thing that would work a lot better on Madden than it actually does in real life.

  9. qdog112 says: Jul 30, 2011 8:43 AM

    So you think Smith can’t throw and ole Chan must be crazy? I think you’re wrong and he’s right. Smith can throw an he does present a multi-skilled issue for defenses. His passing stats (TD/INT)compare favorably to Ponder 49/30; Gabbert 42/18; Locker 53/35; Smith56/33. The guy is a football player who represents a changing skill-set of today’s QBs. You have to be able to do more than sit in a pocket.

  10. EJ says: Jul 30, 2011 8:44 AM

    Gailey is saying that Smith will be a versatile player for Buffalo. Nobody said that he was gonna take over at QB ceo4eva. Why even comment phinheads? I don’t even know why the person in charge of approving our comments lets that go through.
    Go Bills!!!

  11. cup1981 says: Jul 30, 2011 9:06 AM

    Dear Chan,

    Using “Kordell Stewart,” “quarterback” and “good” in the same paragraph makes us cringe. Please refrain from doing so in the future.

    Sincerely,
    Steeler Nation

  12. emersonbigguns says: Jul 30, 2011 9:20 AM

    Does that mean he is rather “light in his cleats?”

  13. mfclock says: Jul 30, 2011 9:23 AM

    if dude was a qb in college, do u really think he hasn’t thrown the ball in practice or in the off season with the hope he’d someday get to showcase his skills in a regular season game?? c’mon son, he’ll be ready.

  14. richm2256 says: Jul 30, 2011 9:24 AM

    Kordell Stewart was such a huge success.

  15. nickster2k says: Jul 30, 2011 9:43 AM

    merc13 says:
    Jul 30, 2011 7:19 AM
    People don’t realize smith can’t throw the ball, other teams gotta know this, every time he’s in at qb it’s gonna be a run.

    =====================

    well….Kordell couldn’t exactly throw the ball either

  16. MichaelEdits says: Jul 30, 2011 9:44 AM

    “He can come in and out.”

  17. ampats says: Jul 30, 2011 9:46 AM

    phinheads calling someone a loser. As the saying goes,takes one to know one.

    Bufffalo just jumped ahead of the circus(team that plays its home games at SunLife) in the AFCEast.

    And I don’t mean the Jets.(SunLife)

  18. thesilverbandit says: Jul 30, 2011 10:16 AM

    I really believe the knowledge and optimism that Chan Gailey brings to the Buffalo Bills will help them be much more exciting than Bills teams in recent past. Not only picking up Brad Smith from a division foe, but utilizing him in a way that they didn’t will present a challenge for everyone in the AFC East. Bills are not limited on the offensive front with Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller as both are elusive Running Backs, and with a plenty of speedy Wide Receivers such as Steve Johnson, Roscoe Parrish and Lee Evans. That alone should lend itself to an exciting season. There are still a few wholes in the defense which need to be evaluated, especially with the loss of Paul Posluszny, and the question marks surrounding Shawne Merriman and how much he will contribute this year. On the last note, there seems to be a lot of negativity from opposing fan bases about the move acquiring Brad Smith. Well all I can say as a Bills fan is that I’m excited to have him and our team and that I’m sure that Jets fans would love to have him back after that failed attempt of Nnambi Asomugha.

  19. polegojim says: Jul 30, 2011 10:33 AM

    Kordell had his place – but not as a starter. If Smith truly is ‘like Kordell’ he would cause some wrinkles that the predictable Bills haven’t seen in …….well…… a very long time.

    @daburgher – Chan may be a smart man, but when you run his stats, he’s just not been highly successful in the NFL and OC or HC, even when the teams he coached for did well.
    Buffalo’s running game will improve, passing game will not. Overall mediocrity. That maybe why he likes Smith – he may envision Smith bringing linebakers up for some quick slant success. He better have a decent blocking full back though for the blitz when Smith is taking snaps. We’ll see if he’s come up with a formula that’s escaped him thus far in his NFL career.

  20. mommydrank says: Jul 30, 2011 10:54 AM

    Gimmicky offenses don’t have long term success in the NFL, and they never win championships. So this offense is perfect for Buffalo.

  21. Deb says: Jul 30, 2011 12:50 PM

    All the people making such nasty comments are either afraid of a Bills resurgence or have no idea what Kordell accomplished (with Chan’s help) as “Slash,” including helping us get to a Super Bowl. If he’d stayed in that role, he’d have had a monster NFL career. And cup1981, I don’t cringe nearly as much at the mention of Kordell the QB as I do at the mention of O’Donnell.

    Gailey is a smart, creative coach, and the Bills are better than their record. Chan wouldn’t be giving Smith a QB spot if he didn’t know the kid had the skills to mix things up on occasion. He’s not planning to annoint him the next Jim Kelly. This makes me look forward even more to seeing what the Bills have in store.

  22. backindasaddle says: Jul 30, 2011 1:13 PM

    Kordell Stewart was hype with a weak arm.

  23. rabidbillsfan says: Jul 30, 2011 1:46 PM

    I love how single-minded the “fans” on this site are. I’m pretty sure the reason they listed Smith as a QB is because of the Log-Jam at receiver. Now with Smith taking the 3rd QB spot, he doesn’t have to lose one of his “pure” recivers on gameday. No matter what way you look at it, thats a genious move. Brad Smith is a Wild-Card. When he is on the field, Defenses will have no idea what is going to happen. So what about this scenario, 4 wide, Smith and Fitz in the Gun. Ideally, either player could get the ball snapped to him, and just because Smith gets the ball, doesn’t mean Fitz could bounce outside for a Flea-Flicker type play. This team is trying to get as far away from “one-dimensional” as possible. Brad Smith will help this team become “Multi-Dimensional”. In the 7 close loses last year, the Bills lost by a combined 35 points, 5 point avg. per game. Thats a single score per game, that wirth the addition of Smith, the Bills could overcome.

  24. cosanostra71 says: Jul 30, 2011 1:56 PM

    could be exciting… having a player like Smith that contributes from all over the field is invaluable…

  25. macjacmccoy says: Jul 30, 2011 7:03 PM

    Actually sounds interesting. He might be a very valueable guy if he can pull it off. The only person even coming close to doing that much is Desean. He has ran for a couple touchdowns, returned a couple, and caught a couple but he aint throwin any. Obviously hes not on the same level as Desean is well except maybe at returning but if he can really throw the ball like Kordell, Gailey might be on to something.

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