Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick talk on Tuesday following the teams morning walk-through at St. John Fisher. Below is the transcript of his comments:
On the challenge of practicing without WR David Nelson:
It is kind of like the OTAs and the mini-camps that we had when Stevie (Johnson) was not out there. It is good to work try to work and get some sort of relationship with some of the other guys. Stevie is a guy that I have 100 percent confidence in. David is a guy that I have 100 percent confidence in. I think we are on the same page with a lot of stuff, so I want him out there more than anything. But I think maybe it is a good thing to get some other guys in there and try to establish a better relationship with them. And then have David back healthy in a few days.
On how WR Marcus Easley and WR T.J. Graham have done taking first team reps:
They have done a good job the last few days. This training camp the practices are so up and down, you just go for consistency. You are going to have good days. You are going to have bad days. But we want to make sure that they have more good (days) than bad out there. And it is good to get them out there running with us a little bit and making plays. Marcus (Easley) did a great job catching the ball the other day. He had some contested catches. And everybody was able to see T.J.'s (Graham) speed on a couple of those.
On Graham's development over the past three months:
A lot has been made of his study habits. And that is fine, and he studies. But his progress is not just the mental side of it. I think he is learning how to be a receiver. I think OTAs and mini-camp were so helpful for him. Just to get out there and figure out how to run routes, and how to figure out the timing with the quarterback and those different things. He has done a nice job and he just needs to continue to get better. He is certainly not there or not even close to being where he has the potential to be. But he is doing a good job in terms of getting better every practice so hopefully that continues.
On if there is anything noticeably different about TE Scott Chandler this year:
Not really. I think just the more comfortable you get with a guy the more balls he is going to catch. And he is a guy that we have developed a good relationship, on and off the field, the last few years. He obviously started off last year on fire in terms of the touchdowns and stuff. He is a really good player. He is a nice big target, tough to cover. And that is another guy that I love throwing to.
On the work he has done on his mechanics translating to full-speed practice:
At this point I feel like it is easy to have better mechanics. But it is when you get into the games that it is really going to be the test for me. And not just Week One through Week Five, it is going to be the whole season. Staying consistent. Staying on top of footwork and different things. That is where it is really going to help me is throughout the season once blitzes are coming and once you are speeding up your footwork a little bit and stuff you do not expect is happening. That is when the footwork is going to be something I have to rely on and that is what I am really looking forward to is him (QB Coach David Lee) staying on me in those times.
On if those mechanics have become second nature:
Yea, it has. The other thing though is that it is just an answer maybe for some of my consistency issues. And so I will still fall into an old habit. "Well you threw the ball behind him because of this." And it is something we have worked on and talked about. And I think that is helpful.
On what he was thinking when WR David Nelson went down with a knee injury:
It is a big relief that it is not serious. You never want to see anybody get injured. But it did not look good when it happened. So for him to come out - you know he is going to be OK in a few days - that was good news for us. He is a big part of what we do. And I think he is going to have a great year this year.
On the difference between this team with Head Coach Chan Gailey compared to what he has seen in years past:
Well I think we have just continued to add pieces. Since he has been here we are heading in the right direction. Every year we are heading in the right direction. We keep bringing in better players and we keep making this thing more competitive in practice. And I think that is the biggest thing. Players feel that the players who have done well over the last few years have been rewarded. So there are a lot of good things happening in the organization right now. But as players we know that we have to go out there and do it. And you know we are out here working every day and looking forward to the season.
On why players have taken to Coach Gailey a bit more:
I just think Chan is a guy that, especially offensively speaking, he has given a lot of guys opportunities that maybe they did not have that opportunity in the past, me being one of them. (WR) Stevie (Johnson), (RB) Fred (Jackson), whoever it is he gives guys opportunities and I think that gives guys added confidence. I think in him saying, "I know you can go out there and do it. Let's see it." I think that gives guys confidence and that is why you have seen some of the more unheralded guys step up and thrive in his system.
On how much it meant for Coach Gailey to give him that shot:
It is huge. I am a guy that I believe in myself. But it is always nice when you have a head coach that also believes in you. And it is not just talk. I mean he shows it just through the things he lets me do throughout the week and on Sundays. And it is not just me, it is with a lot of the guys. So that helps. That helps the team's confidence. That helps individually with guys' confidence level. I do not know that you play any harder, but you play with more confidence when you are out there.
On how comfortable he is in his third year in this system:
Chan and I are in a good place right now in terms of my understanding of what he wants to get done and his understanding of my strengths. But this offense, the beauty of it is it is constantly evolving with new pieces we are adding and new players and different things that we want to get done. We are always finding new and different ways to make plays better or to change plays. Football is never a game that you can master. You just continue to get better, to react to different defenses and that is the fun of the game for me.
On rookie CB Stephon Gilmore:
I can tell you that my opinion of him has changed since draft day, when I saw him drafted and have no emotion or expression on his face. Now I understand why knowing him. It was not that he was upset to be in Buffalo. He just has such a quiet confidence about him. He is genuinely a great guy. But he wants to get better each and every day. And I can do nothing but respect that -the way that he works out here, and how he is trying to get better and asking questions and doing all that. There is a lot that has been talked about him but he has to go out and do it on Sundays. And he knows that. And I think he is excited for the challenge and he will be up for it.
On if Gilmore's draft day expression put him off a little bit:
No. I mean I was a little surprised. I thought he would have a little bit of a smile. But it did not. But like I said, knowing him now that reaction made sense. That is him. That is his personality.