Hall-of-Fame QB Jim Kelly likes the Bills’ new look — he wore one of the redesigned jerseys the team unveiled Friday night — but he prefers their old quarterback. Kelly told NFL Network on Monday that Buffalo did the right thing by bypassing a quarterback with the third overall pick in April’s draft — they took Alabama DL Marcell Dareus — and making veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick the unquestioned starter.
“If you look at Fitzpatrick’s stats over the course of the last part of the year, he’s right up there at the top with the other guys. I’ve been watching him throw for the last, probably, month, and he’s done such a great job of communicating and how he’s running this offseason program with the receivers,” Kelly said on NFL Total Access. Fitzpatrick established career-highs with 13 starts, 3,000 passing yards, 23 TD passes and an 81.8 QB rating in 2010 even though he didn’t become the starter until Week 3. He’s been running workouts for the players during the lockout after getting a vote of confidence from Bills GM Buddy Nix before the draft. “If I have the third pick overall in the draft, you better be darn sure who you’re taking,” said Kelly, who was guarded in his praise of No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton.
“And to pick a quarterback with the top-five picks, I don’t really — to be honest with you — think that there was a guy worthy of picking in the top five.” Buffalo (4-12 a year ago) has only reached postseason twice since Kelly retired after the 1996 season, but he thinks Dareus can best help Fitzpatrick and Co. return. “The key is putting pressure on the quarterback,” said Kelly, “knock him on his butt a few times.”
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