Orchard Park, NY (WGR 550) -- The dress rehearsal for the Bills was last week so Thursday in Detroit is pretty much one series and out for the starters. Stevie Johnson said, “As long as we don’t go three and out, we can’t go three and out and we should be good. Hopefully it’s a scoring drive where we can get some extended play from that first series, but as far as three and out, I’d be expecting to go back in.” Chan Gailey said, “We’re thinking in that 10 play area, it might be a little bit more, it might be a little bit less. If you’re going to put them out there for four plays, why put them out there, so you want them to go out there and play enough to get a feel for the game and to hit a little bit because it’ll be awhile before they do it again.”
Johnson may never have to catch a regular season pass from Tarvaris Jackson and then again, he may have to catch 99% of his receptions from him if Ryan Fitzpatrick goes down. The wide receiver said, “I don’t think it affects us at all. For the most part quarterbacks are quarterbacks and receivers are receivers. We’ll be able to build a relationship in about a week. We’ll have each other down as far as chemistry goes and everything will be smooth. As of now, it’s just him getting into the playbook and learning as quickly as possible.”
As far as if he expects to see his new teammate play Thursday in Detroit Johnson said, “I believe he’ll have the basics down, but I can’t say he’ll have everything. I guess that just depends on how much he’ll pick up on the offense. He’s been in the league for a while. I think he’ll be able to pick up the majority of the offense and be able to play well. He had a great college career, I know he’s an athlete, I know he’s a good guy. We’ll see what he can provide when necessary.”
Jackson took plenty of reps Tuesday in practice and will play after Ryan Fitzptraick and Tyler Thigpen on Thursday. Gailey is comfortable with what his new QB knows, “We’re going to get him in. We got him full reps in practice and we’ll get him into the game unless something funky happens with the clock and they keep the ball the last 10 minutes of the game or something crazy like that, but our plan is to get him into the game and let him play. Tyler needs to play and he needs to show what he’s got. This is his shot, then we’ll play Tarvaris at the end.”
Jackson has very limited time to show the coaches that he can be the #2. Gailey said, “What you have to look at when you’re making a decision like this is potential, that’s what you’re looking at. Do we think he can learn it eventually, do we think he can play in this system eventually, that’s a decision we’ll have to make because there’s not enough reps, there’s not going to be enough looks to make a clean decision.”
The Bills have to get down to the 53 man roster after Thursday’s game. It’s something Stevie Johnson knows is part of the business, “I’ve been in the league for five years and I’ve seen how the business works so I know anybody can be up. I know this is the business and you never know who’s going to be gone next.”
Terrence McGee had a setback with his knee Monday in practice and Gailey is worried, “You always are. Until a guy can go out there and play consistently and have no setbacks you get worried. I’ve got a lot more confidence for where Eric Wood is than I do with Terrence McGee because Eric’s had no setbacks, where Terrence had had a couple of setbacks in camp and preseason practice.”
Gailey in confident he’ll have Erik Pears and Mark Anderson available for the opener against the Jets.