Gailey: Developing spread QBs isn’t easy

INDIANAPOLIS — Thursday’s laundry list of news conferences at the NFL Scouting Combine kicked off with Bills coach Chan Gailey, who was peppered with questions mostly about one guy: Auburn QB Cam Newton.

Gailey, a far cry from Jets counterpart Rex Ryan when it comes to gushing at the podium, held his cards close to the vest about the Bills’ plans for the third overall selection in April’s draft, and he said he has yet to study Newton at a deep level. Gailey talked about the challenge of developing — in Newton’s case — a one-year starter who played in a spread offense in college.

“I don’t think developing the one-year guy is as big as developing the guy that has not been in a typical type of offense,” Gailey said. “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.

“You can handle it in shorts, but can you handle it when there are big guys on the other side, two yards away, coming at you?”

The Bills’ decision to pick or pass on the Heisman Trophy winner — whose stock is on the rise following a workout before media earlier this month — could send ripples through the first round.

Gailey said he’s extremely confident in his starting QB, Ryan Fitzpatrick, telling reporters he has been to the playoffs with lesser passers. The coach didn’t sound like a man about to reach for the wrong guy in the draft.

“I think you have to look at all scenarios,” he said. “You’re trying to take care of immediate needs and, at the same time, take care of the long-term franchise good.”

– Marc Sessler

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