Way back in May, in an article that focused on why I thought Vince Young was a poor backup quarterback option for the Buffalo Bills, I made my stance clear on why I think the Bills found an ideal understudy for Ryan Fitzpatrick in Tyler Thigpen.
The argument was multi-faceted. The Bills needed a quarterback that won't challenge Fitzpatrick in the court of public opinion, and in this case, I believe the Bills have failed; Thigpen's ties to Chan Gailey should make him a very popular player amongst Bills fans if Fitzpatrick, the team's unquestioned starter for the moment, struggles next year. It will not, however, be a problem in the short term.
Where the team succeeded is in finding a backup that most closely emulates the playing style and systematic tendencies of its starter. Fitzpatrick and Thigpen are quite a lot alike: they're both gutsy, athletic players that are most comfortable operating an offense out of the spread, preferably in the shotgun. Thigpen and Gailey worked in the Pistol offense in 2008, an offense that Gailey used quite frequently in his first year with the Bills.
Even though it appears that Thigpen wasn't the team's first choice to back up Fitzpatrick - possibly for the controversy reason cited earlier - at minimum, they've secured their offensive identity for the 2011 season, even if Fitzpatrick is injured. Your Bills are going to be a spread-'em-out, shotgun offense next year, friends.