What is head coach Chan Gailey looking for?
Gailey, a noted quarterback connoisseur, gave some insight Tuesday afternoon. He explained his chief criteria for a successful quarterback.
"The two most important things about playing quarterback in this league: accuracy and decision-making," Gailey said at a luncheon held by the Monday Quarterback Club at the Adam's Mark hotel.
"Would you like to have a guy that's mobile? Yes. Would you like to have a guy that is extremely intelligent and is smarter than the coach and can make good decisions on the field? You bet you would like that."
But Gailey continued to reiterate throwing the ball on target and making the correct reads.
Among the top quarterbacks in this year's draft class, here are some 2010 completion percentages:
Greg McElroy, Alabama: 70.9 percent
Andy Dalton, Texas Christian: 66.1 percent
Cam Newton, Auburn: 66.1 percent
Colin Kaepernick, Nevada: 64.9 percent
Ryan Mallett, Arkansas: 64.7 percent
Ricky Stanzi, Iowa: 64.1 percent
Blaine Gabbert, Missouri: 63.4 percent
Christian Ponder, Florida State: 61.5 percent
Jake Locker, Washington: 55.4 percent
Gailey elaborated on what goes into being a sharp decision-maker.
"Knowledge is part of decision-making," Gailey said. "Speed in making that decision is important because you don't have a lot of time, standing back there. And then how fast can you give back the information that you've been given.
"If it takes a guy four days to absorb it all and finally get it, that doesn't help us on a Wednesday practice if I gave it to him Tuesday. ... If I give [information] to them Tuesday, they've got to be able to give it back Wednesday."
Bills starter Ryan Fitzpatrick is known for his grasp of complex NFL concepts. The Harvard grad is entering his seventh season.
Speculating about a college quarterback's judiciousness and whether or not he's worth a third or 34th pick requires a leap of faith at some point.
"There are some things we can teach," Gailey said. "There are some things where a guy has a feel for the game and he understands what you're trying to get done."