BILLS: Parrish fights to change his image
There was a running joke in the Buffalo Bills media room during April’s NFL Draft. It centered on the Miami Dolphins’ selection of Ohio State receiver Ted Ginn Jr. with the ninth overall pick.
“The Dolphins just drafted Roscoe Parrish,” the joke went.
Whether that’s an insult to Ted Ginn Jr. or a complement to Parrish, the Buffalo Bills third-year receiver, remains to be seen. But one thing is clear, Parrish doesn’t care for the comparison.
“I don’t compare myself to anyone at all. I’ve been in this league longer than him (Ted Ginn Jr.),” he said.
Unfortunately for Parrish, as long as he and Ted Ginn Jr. are battling each other in the AFC East, the comparisons will continue. Both receivers are small by NFL standards, with Parrish listed at 5-foot-9, 171 pounds and Ted Ginn Jr. at 5-foot-11, 178 pounds. Both players also excel on punt returns.
Parrish, though, would like to be thought of more as a wide receiver. With a full year of offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild’s system under his belt, Parrish is confident that will happen in 2007.
“I’m very comfortable,” he said. “I can just go out there and take care of my assignment. ... I look at myself as a receiver first, so I look forward to helping the offense as much as I can.”
If June practices in shorts are any indication, Parrish should be able to live up to his word. Several times during minicamp and spring practices, the University of Miami product made Bills defenders look bad. In one-on-one matchups, Parrish’s quickness often wins out.
Of course, to see more time on offense means Parrish will have to beat out some worthy competition. He split slot-receiver routes last season, though Josh Reed generally got more snaps. Along with unquestioned No. 1 Lee Evans and veteran Peerless Price, there’s only so many passes quarterback J.P. Losman can make.
“Our talent level at receiver is really good,” receivers coach Tyke Tolbert said in an interview with buffalobills.com. “To get more of those guys on the field is good because they’re all playmakers. They can all make plays with the ball in their hands. If you get a situation where you can put more receivers on the field, the guys in our room will be happy with that, and they’ll make more plays.”
Parrish caught 23 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns in 2006, though he’ll be remembered most for his scintillating 82-yard punt return for a touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The play was arguably the highlight of the year for the Bills.
Read more at www.niagara-gazette.com