Jim Kelly: Defense can be Fitzpatrick’s best asset

Getty Images

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.

14 responses to “Jim Kelly: Defense can be Fitzpatrick’s best asset

  1. Me thinks this is a banner year for Fitz. He didn’t deliver last year in the clutch so with the defense they have, he has to put points on the board or he will be looking for work elsewhere.
    I was under impressed with the two times I saw him and it seemed he didn’t handle pressure well.

  2. Im not a Bills fan but I feel no team and city is as deserving to see winning seasons again than Buffalo. That first game they played against the Pats last year, in those sweet white throwbacks, where they smashed Brady was awesome!

  3. I liked watching him play. I will never forget that story about him calling the same plays after getting concussed.

  4. @purplengold
    Read the article before you comment please.. Any team with a good D will benefit from more opportunities in better field position.
    I really feel we do have a chance of challenging for a playoff spot this year. The D will have a better scheme and better players. The D wasn’t that good and the offense kept us in most of our wins last season. But now, Kyle Williams is healthy, Dareus has a year under his belt, we added 2 quality pass rushers. As long as Williams stays healthy he can be a beast! It’s going to be tough to double Williams and go 1 on 1 with the rest of the D line. This instantly makes our pass defense better.. You can send less pass rushers and have more players in coverage. The D was pretty opportunistic last year and caused alot of turnovers. If they can get to the QB more often and get off the field on 3rd down, they can be a very good Defense. The offense did produce, if they can be consistent! This can be a playoff Team!!! GO BILLS!!!

  5. Bc it looks good on paper doesn’t mean it’s good. Mark Anderson is avg at best. Was a product of the system in NE. where was he before that? Buffalo still has no secondary. You can’t count on a rookie at cb to be a difference maker his first year. Yes I know Peterson was but as a returner not as a cover guy. Remember every team in the nfl loses a d lineman to injury so who is it going to be in buffalo? A lot of people picking this team to be a playoff contender. Sorry I’m not on the bandwagon 8-8 at best. Who is playing linebacker for the bills? Nick Barnett? And who else!? Plz don’t say lights out. I haven’t even talked about fitztragic & his special wide receivers. I would bet Mario Williams plays half a yr. in 2 yrs he’s only played 16 games. There is a reason the texans let him walk. So buffalo makes him highest paid defensive player in nfl….what a joke!!!

  6. Kelly is absolutely right. Look at the teams with an excellent D, the QB has a much easier time, shorter fields, more opportunities to score and likely less points that they have to score, considering the D should keep the score low.
    Yes, Kelly and the Bills had a high powered offense, with some of the best play calling of the 90’s, but they also did benefit greatly from their stout D. Fitzpatrick is no Kelly, Stevie Johnson is no Andre Reed, but they could have something special of their own.
    Hopefully Fitzpatrick gets the same opportunity.
    Go Bills!!!! #BillsMafia

  7. There are three basic models for success as indicated by the champions the last 12 years or so – skewed to the offense with a bend-but-don’t-break takeaway heavy defense (Colts, Saints), a skewed to the defense with a don’t F’it up offense (Steelers, Ravens), or mediocre but balanced (Giants). So to be a champion you need to have a Brees/Brady/Rodgers QB and a takeaway savvy defense, or a Lewis-Reed/Harrison-Palamalu LB-Safety tandem with a low risk QB/very good RB offense, or a middling of offense and defense like the Giants and hope you make the playoffs and get hot at the right time. The Bills have a ways to go to get to even the Giants’ level. Their defense hasn’t been very good the last few years, and Fitzpatrick, while decent, hasn’t shown to be even at a Cutler level much less a Brees/Brady level.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!