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Gailey says quarterback isn’t an issue, but it soon could be

Buffalo Bills v San Francisco 49ers Getty Images

As the Bills continue to struggle and as quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick continues to play like something other than the guy to whom they paid all that money in 2011, an obvious question is percolating.

Is Fitzpatrick the answer?

“We’re just fine there,” coach Chan Gailey said after Sunday’s 45-3 loss to the 49ers regarding the quarterback position, via Tim Graham of the Buffalo News.  “Don’t go with an issue on that.  That’s not an issue.”

It could be, eventually.  Fitzpatrick is owed a $3 million roster bonus on the second day of the league year, along with a $4.25 million base salary.  Though $7.25 million isn’t much to pay to a starting quarterback these days, they could pay a lot less to a first-round or second-round rookie who could then come in and start right away, like five other rookies have done this season — and each of them has at times looked very good.

If very-soon-to-be-94-year-old owner Ralph Wilson decides that another retooling is necessary, and if coach Chan Gailey loses his job because of it, all bets will be off when the times comes to ante up another $3 million for Fitzpatrick.

Every coach wants his own quarterback, and if there’s a new coach in Buffalo come 2013, he’ll likely want his own guy under center.  Which means that Fitzpatrick could be hitting the market on or before the second full day of free agency.

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48 Responses to “Gailey says quarterback isn’t an issue, but it soon could be”
  1. flash1283 says: Oct 8, 2012 9:34 AM

    QB, front seven, owner. Take your pick!

  2. knew8411 says: Oct 8, 2012 9:38 AM

    I’d think Mr. Gaily would want to figure this quandry out sooner….rather than later. If he chooses not to….they may both be looking for a job.

  3. bdbd20 says: Oct 8, 2012 9:38 AM

    The only issue will be the number for Geno Smith since 12 will not be an option.

  4. totallyuselessme says: Oct 8, 2012 9:39 AM

    Fitzpatrick is an okay QB. He’s better than people realize.

    Problem is, that’s not enough in today’s NFL. The league is so heavy on passing offense these days that if you’re not at least a “very good” QB, you’re not good enough. In the old school you could lean on a running game or a defense and go all the way, no problem.

    But this is 2012, and it’s been a long time since Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson. Being just “okay” isn’t good enough. Unfortunate for Fitzpatrick, but he’s ten years or so past being a viable starting option for an NFL team.

  5. justrunit11 says: Oct 8, 2012 9:39 AM

    With the 7th overall pick the Bills TAKE

  6. billsfan says: Oct 8, 2012 9:42 AM

    He should be working in a market…stocking shelves.

  7. rajbais says: Oct 8, 2012 9:43 AM

    Chan Gailey put himself on the hot seat Because of what he did it during the 2011 off-season. He never fired George Edwards as the DC When Edwards Coche the defense terribly back in 2010. If the defense does not show any promise Why keep the guy When there are other competent coaches out there to take his spot???

    Two consecutive seasons of losing will get you fired especially when you have no winning seasons in a three-year term!!!!

  8. nflsucker says: Oct 8, 2012 9:44 AM

    Same situation as the other eventual basement-dweller in their division this season, the Jets. You can get away with a semi-talented quarterback if the rest of the team is gangbusters. As it is, rots of ruck.

    Weird, that I’d take Tannehill over Fitz or Sanchez, already.

  9. realnflmaster says: Oct 8, 2012 9:46 AM

    The JETS got crushed without their two best players, their best tight end, their slot receiver, and their starting NT out.

    The Jills got massacred with their entire team playing. Ahahahahahaha, they also got massacred week one by those same JETS.

  10. nbaraie says: Oct 8, 2012 9:47 AM

    They passed on a bunch of quarterbacks in the draft that are producing the past couple years. Now they are paying the price, with a another wasted season. Hopefully, they will be bad enough to get Geno Smith next year. The worst thing they can do right now, is turn an 8-8 season.

  11. billsfan27 says: Oct 8, 2012 9:48 AM

    The Fitzpatrick Jeckyl and Hyde QB approach is getting old, and Gailey refusing to face the facts, is getting older.

    Yeah, the defense gave up 600-yds and 45 points, but all of that seems to overshadow the fact that the Bills scored a FG in an offense that was supposed to be explosive under the lead of an offensive mastermind.

  12. cylondetector says: Oct 8, 2012 9:51 AM

    You expect Gailey to throw his QB under the bus?

    Buffalo are a shambles right now, that organisation stinks from top to bottom.

    Gailey was able to design a scheme (very successfully, I might add) that allowed a very limited Fitz to prosper – giving him that huge contract however was silly in the extreme.

    Teams have now worked out how to stop the Bills horizontal spread-em offense and Fitz has no answer for that – his is a very limited QB, after all.

  13. quannumkid says: Oct 8, 2012 9:52 AM

    The defense may not be very good, but it’s pretty clear they just gave up in the second half, much like they did against New England.

    They got a couple of lucky breaks early against SF but the offense couldn’t capitalize, mostly because Fitzpatrick just can’t make throws that every other NFL QB (including every starting rookie this season) can make. He routinely misses wide open receivers out of bounds and long, then lobs up underthrown jump balls for interceptions.

    Opposing defenses know he can’t throw the ball to the outside or deep, so all the crossing routes get jumped and any attempt at a screen pass is diagnosed immediately.

  14. sod61 says: Oct 8, 2012 9:55 AM

    Maybe “Super” Mario can move to QB, after all he is getting paid like an elite one.

  15. wwwmattcom says: Oct 8, 2012 9:57 AM

    How complex can the playbook be if other teams are figuring it out week to week? I am calling for Tavaris. Its a move that can save Gailys job for a little while. I think Wannstedt can be deleted immediately.

  16. siriusred67 says: Oct 8, 2012 9:59 AM

    You can’t have a quarterback controversy until you have somebody who is actually capable of taking his place. Tyler Thigpen has proven that he can’t execute the playbook, while Tarvaris Jackson can’t get enough practice reps to even learn it.

    If the Bills don’t draft a QB next year, it could only be because Ralph Wilson forbid his GM from doing it. I’m beginning to think that he forbid Nix from drafting one *this year* because he didn’t want to throw away Fitzpatrick’s huge contract just yet. Fortunately, less than half of it was guaranteed, so they could cut him before next season and save enough money to pay a top-flight QB in the draft. They passed on Nick Foles, Russell Wilson, and Kirk Cousins in the third round to take TJ Graham, a wide receiver that most scouts had pegged as a sixth round pick, and he wasn’t even good enough to start on the active roster until David Nelson wwas lost for the season? I smell Ralph’s money-grubbing fingerprints all over that pick.

  17. notrelated says: Oct 8, 2012 10:09 AM

    Vick for Fitz.. let’s do this.

  18. johnnyjagfan says: Oct 8, 2012 10:09 AM

    He was leading the NFL in TD passes going into this week…slow your roll, people. The Bills aren’t good on D and the 49ers are. Next week shouldn’t be much different at AZ.

  19. ampats says: Oct 8, 2012 10:09 AM

    Good to see the investment in the defense is paying off since they only gave up 45 points this week after giving up 52 the week before.

    Looks like to Bills have taken the lead to finish in the AFCE basement ahead of the Jets who could lose by as many points tonite as the Jills did yesterday.

  20. skoobyfl says: Oct 8, 2012 10:10 AM

    Rplacing horrible QB’s is easy, you just mix one part 13 years / one part senile owner / one part elderly staff = 1 hue waste of money.

  21. sbubandit says: Oct 8, 2012 10:10 AM

    It boggles my mind that Fitz is still starting in the NFL. Let’s add up the numbers and see what they say about him.

    He led the Ivy League in passing with 1986 yard in 2004, less than the top 63 QBs from FBS schools. The only other starter in the entire league from an Ivy League school is Matt Birk, center for the Ravens.

    So Fitz played in for a non-FBS school and put up mediocre numbers against defenses where not one player was good enough to make the NFL, after getting drafted in the 7th round, he became a backup for the Rams, a backup for the Bengals, then a backup for the Bills, before suddenly someone in Buffalo thought they had discovered a starting QB.

    I am a huge Bills fan, been one for nearly 30 years and grew up in WNY, but this team has not had a legitimate QB since the day Jim Kelly retired…in 1996. We are closing in on 20 years of terrible football in Buffalo. Buffalo needs a young franchise QB that we can build around, and not Matt Barkley, I see another USC bust there. They missed the good draft year for QBs this year, but maybe Tyler Wilson from Arkansas. Tyler Bray from the Vols would be a stretch in the 1st, but possibly.

  22. slippyal2 says: Oct 8, 2012 10:11 AM

    Gailey doesn’t know what the issue is, he has had 3 seasons and still can’t identify the issues. Can his and Buddy Nix’s ass.

  23. trollhammer20 says: Oct 8, 2012 10:20 AM

    Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the next Jon Kitna/Dave Kreig, who winds up going from team to team to team as a marginal starter/backup.

  24. notthatguy87 says: Oct 8, 2012 10:22 AM

    Gailey should be on that o-line because he sure is an all pro at protecting Fitzpatrick

  25. thefiesty1 says: Oct 8, 2012 10:34 AM

    Should of kept Vince. He’s still 31-19 as a starter even with the mental baggage. That’s better than a lot of starters in the league.

  26. hehateme2 says: Oct 8, 2012 10:35 AM

    Tannehill> Fitz > Sanchez

  27. 1972wasalongtimeago says: Oct 8, 2012 10:41 AM

    As bad as Fitzpatrick may be, what’s killing the Bills isn’t their QB; it’s the other team’s QBs. And RBs. And WRs. And OLines.

    But you hired Wannie. You should have known better. Even Sparano was able to crack that code.

  28. joetoronto says: Oct 8, 2012 10:48 AM

    trollhammer20 says:
    Oct 8, 2012 10:20 AM
    Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the next Jon Kitna/Dave Kreig, who winds up going from team to team to team as a marginal starter/backup.
    ***************************************************

    And he’ll still be way better than Russell Wilson.

  29. richardf954 says: Oct 8, 2012 10:48 AM

    forget Fitzpatrick , What about the defense ? watching the niners pileup over 600 yards of offense was beyond pathetic. In their 3 losses they have given up a total of 145 points.

  30. EJ says: Oct 8, 2012 10:49 AM

    realnflmaster says:
    Oct 8, 2012 9:46 AM
    The JETS got crushed without their two best players, their best tight end, their slot receiver, and their starting NT out.

    The Jills got massacred with their entire team playing. Ahahahahahaha, they also got massacred week one by those same JETS.

    At least the Bills offense scored 3 points against SF, unlike the NJ Jets 0. Aren’t you a New Jersey Giants fan anyway?

  31. gah05 says: Oct 8, 2012 10:53 AM

    Coulda Woulda Shoulda…they missed on so many good QB’s in the draft over the last 4 years. Know it all’s at twobillsdrive website over those years screamed to not draft a QB, well guess what? It’s way overdue, whoever is GM come spring.

    Ralph needs to realize, money is better spent on overpaying for a top tier coach/GM then Mario or Fitz. How about Polian one last round?!

  32. baloneyjohn says: Oct 8, 2012 11:09 AM

    Every one needs to be fired, including the hot dog vendors.
    Terrible effort the last two weeks. YUCK

  33. rabidbillsfan says: Oct 8, 2012 11:23 AM

    Listen, here’s the deal. Fitz may not be the best QB, and he has had some rough games, but to place this blame on the QB position is absolutley ludacris at this point. Playcalling and schemes on both sides of the ball are much bigger concerns than how Fitz is playing. The offense left a possible 7 total points on the field in the first half. Why, when we are in San Fran territory, off of a huge, but called back, return do we call an end around against one of the top defenses in the NFL? Then, follow it up with a 2 yard in? Those 2 plays lost us a possible shot at 3 points. Then, you run Jones into the teeth of that same NFL defense and expect him to A.) Catch the ball in traffic, and B.) Fitz to fit it into a tight window. Now, I really don’t want to discuss defense, just because there isn’t really one to describe. However, there needs to be defensive accountability at some point. Gilmore looks absolutley lost, Shep get’s overwhelmed and easily fooled, and then your supposed best players (M.Williams, K.Williams) both get rotated out at the worst possible times. The next time a player screws up, park him on the bench, we are pretty deep in the secondary. Either way, the Bills are where I thought they would be going into week 6, however, I did not expect them to give up 1200 yards and almost 100 points in 2 games going into week 6. Coaches should circle week 8, if I were Buddy Nix, thats when Heads should roll. BTW, I’m all in on Geno Smith, needed to see his performance against some solid competition and adversatiy, and he definetly did not dissapoint against Texas.

  34. dtjano says: Oct 8, 2012 11:35 AM

    QB is an issue. They can’t throw the ball deep. Chad Pennington has a rifle compared to Fitz.

    A lot of quit on the Bills the last two weeks. If they get to 2-5 at the bye Gailey should be fired.

  35. superputman says: Oct 8, 2012 11:42 AM

    Just remember, the offense has to score more points than their defense allows. Also remember that the last two weeks their running game hasn’t gotten going either.

    Not defending Fitzpatrick, he’s played like garbage in their losses – but they NEED to fix their defense and they need to do it NOW. It seems more fundamental than due to lack of talent – missed tackles and wide open receivers. Maybe they bought into the hype and just expect to play good D without much effort…?

    If, as a Bills fan, I had choice of which skill position to upgrade right now I’d go with LB..

  36. gmen1987 says: Oct 8, 2012 12:02 PM

    Fitzpatrick is playing like he alway was, a career backup. Nice move to sign a career backup to that big contract.

    The Bills are just like the city of Buffalo, total losers.

  37. hor2012 says: Oct 8, 2012 12:02 PM

    I’m sure Ryan is a great person. But, even when he was in the mist of his great year in 2011 I never thought he was really a special QB. As far as what the coach said at this point he really doesn’t have any other choice. If you come out and say that you think Ryan needs to replace then you’re admitting you made a mistake, and if that happens you’re pushing up the date when you have to apply for unemployment. I do have a suggest for you as your new coach. How about Chip Kelly. He can lead the rebirth of the no huddle.

  38. patriotinvasion says: Oct 8, 2012 12:23 PM

    And to think I really wanted the Pats to go after Mario Williams and keep Mark Anderson.

    That defense has now given up 48, 52, and 45 in their 3 losses and the 1,201 yards they’ve given up the last 2 weeks is the most since 1950 when some team called the New York “Yanks” gave up more. Wow.

  39. omegalh says: Oct 8, 2012 1:01 PM

    If your team doesn’t have a Franchise QB, what is the point of rooting for the team until they do?

    I’m a Jets fan and I root for 0-16 and #1 pick. Its sad, but its reality. The rules dictate a franchise QB is needed to win the SB. 15 years ago, not so much. 25-40 years ago, it was a RB game.

  40. coseybedaman says: Oct 8, 2012 1:25 PM

    Its a joke to blame Fitzpatrick for these issues. How about the defense allowing 52 points and 45 points in consecutive weeks? Not to mention that the man has NO ONE TO THROW TO! We have the worst WR corps in the NFL. Stevie Johnson is a SOLID SOLID #2 wideout. Get a real #1 and you watch how quickly Fitz starts to shine. The problem is that we were weak at every position when Gailey came to Buffalo. They are slowly building. The potential is rising year by year as frustrating as it can be to wait. Donald Jones, Marcus Easley, Namaan Roosevelt, Brad Smith, Derek Hagan, etc, etc. These are not starting caliber wideouts in the NFL. PERIOD!!

  41. jpmelon says: Oct 8, 2012 1:25 PM

    I don’t understand the hate shown towards Fitz. We all knew the Bills had no receivers this year besides stevie. So between the receiver situation and half of the starting offensive line, I think Fitz ranks around number 4 or 5 of our biggest concerns.

    1. The defence is aweful…Secondary is a joke, pass-rush is a joke.
    2. O-line needs to get healthy, this will bring back the run game.
    3. Chan has no clue on how to coach these players mentally…the second half of that game was a prime example of a team that didn’t give a damn.
    4. We don’t have a No. 2 receiver.
    5. Fitz loses control of his accuracy when he’s trying to force throws that just aren’t there. This problem becomes worse as the Bills fall further and further behind in the game.

  42. promickey says: Oct 8, 2012 2:24 PM

    What retooling again! Please remember that owner Ralph Wilson wanted this team to start winning while he’s still alive.

  43. bradshawlives says: Oct 8, 2012 2:38 PM

    What the hell’s wrong with that defense? 3 games giving up 45+ points.

  44. edavidberg says: Oct 8, 2012 3:44 PM

    What isn’t an issue in Buffalo? Fitzpatrick is horrible, but the coaches and front office are even worse. After the way Fitz ended the season, how do you not take a QB in the draft as a fall back? Cousins would have been a perfect choice.

    Spending a hundred million on one position when your defense is a sieve is just as stupid.

    Bills need to be acquiring assets they have one of the worst rosters in the league.

  45. hehateme2 says: Oct 8, 2012 3:45 PM

    On another note, should a grown man still be called Stevie?

  46. electionconfidential says: Oct 8, 2012 3:46 PM

    A team’s offense needs to put up at least 28 every week in today’s NFL. Obviously the defense can’t allow more than that… Buffalo isn’t cutting it on either side of the ball. Brady would have trouble winning games in Buffalo if his D gives up 40 to 50 per game… anyone would.

  47. 2ruefan says: Oct 8, 2012 3:47 PM

    SERIOUSLY? A team gives up 600 yards to the opponent and the problem is the QB?

    Do you people even WATCH football?

    Fitz can make every throw necessary in the NFL, and has done it with consistency.

    Now, that’s not saying he doesn’t have issues, but you’re just not watching if you’re trying to claim he can’t throw. That is just ridiculous and uninformed.

  48. kwickett85 says: Oct 8, 2012 5:53 PM

    “2ruefan says: Oct 8, 2012 3:47 PM

    SERIOUSLY? A team gives up 600 yards to the opponent and the problem is the QB?

    Do you people even WATCH football?”

    ————————————————

    Do you? Yes you can blame the defense. But they can’t help it when the offense plays poorly and can’t keep them off the field.

    621 yards for the 49ers on offense…while the Bills barely got 200…one of those plays being a 35 yard run by Brad Smith.

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