Gailey: QB Young has edge to win Bills backup job
Two completions – one deep and another a check-down – went a
long way in providing quarterback Vince Young the edge in the fight
to be the Buffalo Bills’ backup.
Without making any guarantees, coach Chan Gailey announced after
practice Monday that Young has performed well enough in two
preseason games to earn more playing time with the second team
offense heading into this weekend’s preseason game against
”Oh yeah, he’s got the edge or I wouldn’t have given him more
reps,” Gailey said. ”He’s made more things happen, so you’ve got
to give him credit for that.”
Gailey’s announcement came after the Bills (No. 19 in the AP
Pro32) returned from a two-day break following a 36-14 preseason
loss at Minnesota on Friday. Despite the lopsided score, it was a
game in which Young showed how quickly he’s become comfortable with
Gailey’s offense since signing a one-year contract with the Bills
Young has spent the offseason and training camp competing with
returning backup Tyler Thipgen for the No. 2 job. The loser of the
competition is expected to be cut because the third-string job is
going to receiver/wildcat specialist Brad Smith.
Young took a big step forward after going 8-for-14 for a
team-leading 123 yards passing and engineering a touchdown drive
The seventh-year player and two-time Pro Bowl selection opened
the second half by hitting T.J. Graham in stride for a 64-yard
completion. On the next play, Young was credited for changing the
call at the line, and dumping a short pass to halfback Dorin
Dickerson for a 14-yard gain that put Buffalo on the Vikings’
Tashard Choice scored on a 1-yard run two plays later.
Thigpen, by comparison, hurt his chances by going 8 of 15 for 56
yards, and throwing an interception that was returned for a
touchdown with 3:18 left that put the game out of reach.
Gailey said the test now for Young is to see how he can handle
more responsibility and an expanded game plan.
”It’s definitely good news,” said Young, who has gone from
being the NFL’s 2006 offensive rookie of the year with Tennessee to
being on his third team in three years. ”It’s opportunity, man.
That’s all you can ask for.”
Gailey had even more to announce on an eventful day that began
with the Bills releasing veteran defensive end Shawne Merriman. The
coach said rookie second-round pick Cordy Glenn had won the
starting left tackle job.
Gailey made the decision in part because Chris Hairston will
continue starting at right tackle in place of Erik Pears, who
continues to be sidelined by a nagging groin/hernia injury.
Hairston was expected to compete with Glenn to start on the left
Starting right defensive end Mark Anderson was held out of
practice Monday due to a groin injury that Gailey said has nagged
the player for the past three weeks. Gailey didn’t say how much
time Anderson is expected to miss.
Dickerson missed practice due to a thigh/hip injury, and it’s
uncertain whether the halfback will play against Pittsburgh on
Online: http://bigstory.ap.org/NFL-Pro32 and