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Monday, March 7, 2011
Steve Johnson: 'I'm with Fitz 100 percent'

By Tim Graham

The big Buffalo Bills debate these days is whether they should select a quarterback with the third overall draft choice or make a long-term commitment to Ryan Fitzpatrick.

The Bills are closely scrutinizing this year's quarterback class. They will attend Cam Newton's campus workout on Tuesday.

Bills receiver Steve Johnson isn't keeping his preference a secret.

"I'm with Fitz 100 percent," Johnson told me by phone from his offseason home in Elk Grove, Calif.

Johnson has plenty of reasons to back Fitzpatrick. They were a prolific tandem last season.

Fitzpatrick relieved Trent Edwards as the starter in Week 3 and got hot with Johnson, who caught at least one touchdown pass in their first five games together and nine touchdowns in their first eight games.

Johnson finished with 82 receptions for 1,073 yards and 10 touchdowns in a breakout campaign.

"After seeing what he did and playing with him last season, it comes down to loyalty with me and loyalty to the team," Johnson said. "I mean, why wouldn't you stick with the guy who pretty much got the ball rolling?

"If we were to take Cam Newton, I wouldn't say it was a negative or be worried with Fitz. If they was to get Cam Newton, I think that could be good, I guess, for the future or if something were to happen to Fitz.

"But I'm rolling with Fitz either way it goes."

Although quarterback is the marquee position, Johnson notes the Bills have all sorts of options to explore with the third overall pick.

"We can go receiver," Johnson said. "We can go QB. We can go line. We can go anywhere in this draft. We were 4-12."