Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 1/22/13
The Buffalo Bills have not had a truly elite quarterback — or even an above-average one — since Jim Kelly retired almost two decades ago. Wide receiver Stevie Johnson would like to see that change. Johnson told the The Buffalo News on Tuesday that he would like to see the team bring in a new quarterback to challenge Ryan Fitzpatrick for the starting spot this fall. “If we went out and got another quarterback, who knows what’ll happen?” Johnson said. “Fitz may still win, or the other guy may win. Let it happen like that” Since taking over for Trent Edwards in 2010, Fitzpatrick has been the undisputed starter, starting the team’s last 45 games. Buffalo has struggled mightily over that span, going 16-29 with three consecutive last-place finishes in the AFC East. The Bills have not posted a winning record since 2004, and haven’t reached the playoffs since losing the “Music City Miracle” to Tennessee after the 1999 season. While Fitzpatrick’s statistics have not been terrible — his 83.3 passer rating ranked 17th in the league this season — the Harvard grad has not shown significant big-play ability. He has thrown for 300 yards in a game just seven times in his career (four of which have come against the Patriots, including three of his top four single-game performances). The Bills have seemed content with their starter, however, as the team has not drafted a quarterback before the seventh round since Edwards (third-round) in 2007 and has shied away from big-name free agents. Though Johnson says he still has faith in Fitzpatrick, who by all accounts is a good friend of his, the wideout would like to see some competition in camp this summer. And with new head coach Doug Marrone entering his first season and Fitzpatrick is currently the only quarterback under contract, now may be the perfect time to stir things up.
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