When Jim Kelly was quarterbacking the Bills to four straight Super Bowls, he was often put into good field position thanks to big plays by Bruce Smith, Cornelius Bennett or Darryl Talley.
That’s made Kelly hip to how much a good defense can make a quarterback’s job easier and he thinks Ryan Fitzpatrick could have just such a defense on his side this season. Kelly told Sirius XM NFL Radio, via the Bills’ website, that he’s excited about how much Fitzpatrick will be able to benefit from the additions of Mario Williams and Mark Anderson.
“If this team stays healthy and this defense stays healthy then Ryan Fitzpatrick’s best asset will be a dominating defense that will shorten the field for him so he doesn’t feel like he’s carrying the whole burden of the Buffalo Bills, not just the team, but the whole city on his shoulders,” said Kelly. “He knows he can’t do it himself. Last year was his first year, but he didn’t have OTAs to help him prepare with his teammates and really jell as a team. … He has to play better and I think he knows it. He doesn’t need me to tell him that. I’ll tell you what though I’m more excited about this year than any of the last 10 years at least. I know that.”
If the Bills defense is able to do what Kelly and others hope they can do, the Bills will be able to take fewer risks on offense then they did last season. Fewer risks should theoretically lead to fewer turnovers from Fitzpatrick, a must after he turned the ball over 45 times over the last two seasons. If he doesn’t, the team might well make quarterback the focus of their next offseason.