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Bills Quarterback Doug Flutie Press Conference

Phone ConferenceBills Quarterback Doug Flutie speaks to the press.



            **Q: What about this week are you going to start, has that been concluded?**  

F: I really don't know. I took the snaps today, Rob (Johnson) did some throwing and looked pretty strong throwing the ball and all of that, but he still has how many days, I don't know. So I don't know that anything is etched in stone, but as of right now I am working on that premise.

Q: If you were coming into the league now there is a lot more more open-mindedness about using different quarterbacks, do you agree?

F: I agree 100 percent.

Q: Do you think you would have been an instant accepted quarterback if you were coming into the league right now?

F: I think I would have yes. I think the NFL would have been a lot more receptive to me know then they were fifteen years ago. With the zone blitzing and all that they realize the advantage of a mobile quarterback and some of the things that brings to the table. I mean guys of every size are getting it done in their own way and that is just the way it has always been. I mean guys have their own way of getting it done. We played Minnesota two weeks ago and I said before the game that it must be the biggest weight differential between two starting quarterbacks in the history of the league. Dante (Culpepper) looks like a tight end but he can play quarterback. You have got to take your ability and the things you do well and go with it.

Q: That being said, a trailblazer or not, do you see more quarterbacks now with your size with your abilities becoming a common occurrence?

F: I think my size is still a question as far as guys coming in my size they will still be doubted that that is a disadvantage to them, but I think the athleticism is now definitely looked at as a positive. Everybody labels me as a scrambler I think I have the left the pocket three times in two weeks. You have to have the capacity to read defenses, deliver the ball and do all of that and then if you are an athlete as well at the position that is a bonus.

Q: When you went to Buffalo you knew that you were going to the backup, circumstances changed and in 1998 you had an incredible season that everybody wanted to watch…

F: When I signed I was told I would be given an opportunity to compete for the starting job and two weeks later they signed Rob (Johnson) for all the money and he takes 90 percent of the snaps in the first minicamp so it was pretty much determined that he was the starter.

Q: How did you handle that?

F: I was frustrated because I thought I was going to be given an opportunity to compete for that job, but if that was my role that was my role and just said wait and be patient and take my opportunity when it came.

Q: How divisive, if you think it is divisive is it for a team to go back and forth the way your team has with two quarterbacks?

F: It is at a necessity right now Rob's hurt and it happens people get hurt. The first year Rob got banged up I went in and played and things were going so well we stayed with it and then last year I played throughout the season and the decision was made at the end of the year which was frustrating to me, but this years situation is Rob's banged up and I am playing right now.

Q: You say Rob is healthy, would you be apprehensive about the fact you might be benched again, would you accept your role?

F: As of right now I have taken the assumption that I am the backup for whatever reason and I will just deal with it from there. I'll take my opportunities as they come and make the most of them and if they want me to sit and watch I'll sit and watch.

Q: How difficult was it for you to reconcile getting screwed at the end of last year and come back this year and basically be able to take this party line now?

F: I'll tell you what it was a frustrating offseason no question, but I really don't want to get into what happened last year, but no question it was frustrating and then coming into this year I just had to take the attitude like I did in 1998, be patient wait for an opportunity to get on the field and try to help the team win whenever I can.

Q: Was it currently about your relationship with Wade (Philips) it can't be easy for him the way he whole thing played out?

F: No I think he felt very uneasy about it at the time of the decision and that week and getting ready for the playoff game and all of that. Our relationship has never been strained I respect Wade and he and I get along fine, but I have had my problems from that standpoint.

Q: Are there any residual effects on you because of that situation at the end of last year…

F: There are residual effects. It is scar tissue that has built up over sixteen years from every situation that I have been in with the NFL. I mean you want to go back to the decision that was made in 1988 when I basically helped win seven out of ten games and then the decision was made to put Tony (Eason) in at the end of the season. All of that stuff year after year it builds and it builds and it makes you tougher and tougher and makes you fight harder for what you want.

Q: Maybe it is a good thing?

F: In an odd way yes, but I wouldn't wish it on anybody because they were some very frustrating times.

Q: Do you feel like you are always on a tryout?

F: Always, everyday at practice, everyday at training camp, everyday in mini camp, everyday on the field no doubt about it and if I was 6'3" I would not feel that way.

Q: Does there ever come a time when you feel like you'll drop it and get out?

F: You feel that way and you feel like saying I, but the bottom-line is you would like nothing more than to go back and prove them wrong again and wait for that next opportunity.

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