Gailey talks Fitzpatrick, Cam Newton at Combine

February 24, 2011 Updated Feb 24, 2011 at 1:14 PM EDT

By WKBW News


Gailey talks Fitzpatrick, Cam Newton at Combine

February 24, 2011 Updated Feb 24, 2011 at 1:14 PM EDT

Indianapolis ( Bills) Bills Head Coach Chan Gailey addressed the media on the first day of the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Thursday. Below is the transcipt of his comments. Eyewitness Sports will have more on EWN throughout the day.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

On if it would be hard to pass up on a player they viewed as a franchise quarterback who would be available at the No. 3 pick:

I think you have to look at all scenarios. You’re trying to take care of immediate needs, and at the same time, take care of the long-term franchise good. So, as you look at it, you have to consider all scenarios in that situation.

On how he would assess this year’s quarterback group:
It’s a different quarterback group. These guys have been in a lot of different types of offenses. It’s not just your cut and dry pro-style type of quarterbacks that are in this draft. So you’re projecting a little bit more maybe than we have in years past on this group. And there’s a few of them that have been in that, but then again, just like in the last couple of years you’ve had guys who haven’t been under center very often. How are they going to react? How are they going to be able to handle that? And you can handle it in shorts, but can you handle it when there are big guys on the other side about two yards away coming at you? It’s a different thought process.

On how important it is to address the pass rush need:
You look at any football team, and any football team that’s out there, and any one of them puts a premium on pass rushers. Everybody does. So, any time there’s a good group of those guys out there which it looks like, and I haven’t studied them all to this point, but it looks like there is a pretty good group of pass rushers out there this time, then you’re going to see those guys. Everybody taking a real close look and you can’t say they move up faster because they move up fast already. But at least more people may get a chance to have one this year.

On what he considers the team’s base defense:
I think we’re going to be and I’ve hinted at this at the end of the season, I think we’re going to be a hybrid. Some 3-4 and some four-man front. I think we’re going to be a little of both. A lot of teams are doing that now, using 3-4 in certain situations and using four-man in certain situations. And that still creates the problem as long as you have enough 3-4 to keep them being honest. I think we will be multiple-hybrid.

On how a hybrid defense plays into looking at talent in the draft:
You find the best players you can find and then you work your defense around whoever the best football players are. We’ve tried to do that in all areas of our football team.

On how the uncertainty of the labor situation affects his approach to the Combine:
We’ve talked all along about just not having a comment, or trying to deal with anything that goes along with the labor situation. We’re getting ready and preparing for the season. That’s what we’re doing. And we can’t control that. There’s no need to comment on anything.

On his thoughts of Auburn QB Cam Newton:
I’m anxious to see him to continue to work out. I’m anxious to see what he’s going to do here this week. He obviously had a great year. I watched him several times on TV. I have not studied him to this point yet. I’ve looked at a little bit of tape, but have not studied him. He’s a big athlete that is in that Wildcat mode, but obviously has the ability maybe to go to a drop-back passer mode.

On how difficult it is to look at a quarterback who has started only one season:

Experience always helps. I don’t care if you’re in your position out there, if you’re in my position up here or if you’re a player, experience helps. The more times that you have played in big situations, in front of big crowds and in big games it helps you. I don’t think developing the one-year guy is as big as developing the guy that has not been in a typical pro-style type of offense. I think when you’re trying to change a guy’s thought process into a certain mode that’s a little harder to me than it is to take a guy that’s a one-year guy. A one-year guy that had been in the pro-type offense, to me he’s going to understand and be further along than the guy who was one-year in a non-traditional style pro offense. I think that’s the best way to answer it.

On if there is any chance of trading down from the No. 3 pick with the number of needs:
Sure, there are always chances of that. There’s chances of trading down, trading up. We don’t turn our phone off at night. We always are looking for ways to upgrade and if that’s the way that we feel is the best way to go we’ll do it.

On if mobility is important when evaluating the QB position:
I think you have to be able to adjust. Yes, mobility helps, but if you don’t have a mobile quarterback and he’s your best quarterback, you better find a way to be successful without having mobility involved in it. We did it with Troy [Aikman]. In Dallas, Troy wasn’t a bootleg-type guy. We did it a little bit just to keep them honest, but we did it other ways with him. You have to adjust. Whoever your best player is you have to adjust around what they do.

On if the recent success of QB’s taken in the NFL draft, does it seem more compelling to want to take a QB with the third overall selection:
If you talk to the personnel people they’ll probably tell you they’re doing a better job of looking and finding the flaws that keep guys from being not as successful as some other guys have been. So, probably the combination of doing a better job of finding all the information that you need to find out about and maybe even some of the situations they have been in have really helped them. You look at [Joe] Flacco. You look at the [New York] Jets. They both have great defenses that don’t make the quarterback go win every game. So, that’s helped them. [Sam] Bradford, to me, played really good this year even though they didn’t have a top defensive team they really did some good things. So, that’s another way that it happened well for a quarterback. There are lots of different things that have gone into quarterbacks being successful the last few years. And yes, to answer your question, I think it makes everybody say, ‘Let’s not be so hard on that statistic from the last 15 [years]. Let’s look at the last four or five [years].’

On the performance of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick this past season and would he be confident going into the season with him as the starter:
Yeah, I’ve said all along, I am extremely confident in Ryan Fitzpatrick. I really am. I think that he played well enough, until he got to the very end – the next to the last game he was in when he got banged up – I think he played well enough to prove to a lot of people, me and my staff included, that he can play well. We can win a bunch of football games with a guy a like that. I’ve been to the playoffs a couple of times with guys that haven’t performed as well as Ryan has. So, I think we can do it.

On if he regrets not giving QB Ryan Fitzpatrick the starting job coming out of training camp last season:
Yeah. Shoot yeah. If I knew then what I know now I wouldn’t have done that. But you do what you have to do with the information that you have. You make a decision, you live with decisions. You hope that you learn from then quickly and you rectify the situation. We were fortunate to be able to do that.

On how drafting RB C.J. Spiller worked out last season and what he needs to do to get better going into his second season:
It didn’t work out like everybody planned – he planned, I planned, any fan out there planned – it didn’t work out like any of us had planned. I still he’s going to be a very good to great player for the Buffalo Bills. There’s no question in my mind about that. I think I’ll do a better job of creating ways to use him more. When you are establishing what you’re trying to get done offensively, you have a hard time deviating too much to do things for one guy and to create things for one guy because we were in the process of evaluating everybody and trying to create things for everybody on our offense. It was a ‘getting to know you’ year. So, I think I’ll do a better job next year of incorporating him and I think he’s got to do better at ball security and pass protection. Those are the two areas he’s got to get better at. I’m not telling you anything we haven’t told him.

On if Spiller’s season changes anything on taking a RB really early in the draft:
No it doesn’t. The issue with that is the situation C.J. found himself in and that we were in. He’s still a great player. He’s still a great young man. He is going to be very productive in this league for a long time. Just because it didn’t work out, that wasn’t his fault. I don’t even think it was the process’s fault of who to draft. I think it is more the product of the situation and us being in our first year. If we would have been in the third year and taken him, I don’t think it would have had the same results. So, I think there are a lot of factors. We put the expectations on the ones – on the first guys that are taken. Everybody in this room out there in the football kingdom puts expectations on ones. That’s what we do.

On what he looks forward to most going into the 2011 season:
I’m excited about our football team. I think we’ve laid a decent foundation. We don’t have wins to show for it, but I think we have a decent foundation to build on that and have a successful playoff football team. I’m looking forward to seeing the additions that we make. That’s why we’re here this week. Then, build from that and see where it takes us.

On if he can assess his first year coaching in Buffalo:
Four out of 16 is what… 25 percent? Well, 25 percent. That’s what it is. This is a win business, that’s bottom line. You can’t candy-coat it any way. There’s no way to candy-coat it. You line up, you play and you win or you lose. There are no moral victories.

On what he expects to do different this upcoming year:
I think we’re on the right track. I do. I believe we have character on our football team. I believe they understand. Hopefully we’re going to get better in each phase of our football team. You’ve just got to get them to understand how to win that close game. We had a bunch of close games last year that we didn’t win. So, as soon as we learn how to take care of business in some of those closer ones, then you get over the hump. When you get over the hump you get some confidence. When you get some confidence great things can happen.

On how challenging it is in the AFC East to get confidence:
Let me tell you, in my opinion there’s 31 other teams and anybody on any given day… I know ya’ll get tired of hearing this, but anybody can beat anybody on any given day. It’s the truth. I know we had playoff teams from our division. I understand that, but every year is a new year. Every year somebody gets an injury here or there or doesn’t get an injury here or there and allows you to go be successful. I don’t think it’s the division as much as it is how we play. If we do what we need to do we give ourselves a chance to be in the playoffs. That’s the goal, is to be a champion in this league.

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