Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick appeared on Sirius NFL Radio Wednesday and was asked why the team faltered in the middle of the season with a seven-game losing streak that took them from first place in the AFC East to out of the playoff race in the span of two months.
“I guess we weren’t ready for it yet,” Fitzpatrick said. “We weren’t ready to be able to accept the fact that we were playing well and playing as the team that was on the top (of the AFC East).”
During their 5-2 start Bills head coach Chan Gailey did caution his team more than once that sometimes handling success is every bit as hard as dealing with adversity. In Fitzpatrick’s opinion the team struggled with their new found success and unfortunately slid back into their inconsistent doldrums. Then they were unable to dig their way out of the hole they created leading to a 6-10 finish.
Fitz is hopeful that the team learns from their mis-step with success come 2012.
“I think we take it as a learning experience and we try to move forward,” Fitzpatrick said. “This is a team that I think is going to get better and better. We have some stability, just in terms of the coaches are there, with the systems in place for another year, and we’ve got a lot of the same players, so we’re hoping that that stability really helps us.”
Tags: 2011 season, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Sirius NFL Radio
Posted in Inside the Bills
With everything else up in the air you can still count on Fan Friday. So here’s the latest installment and keep those questions coming at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.
1 – Hi Chris,
I wanted to email you because a lot of mis-information at times permeates the message boards re: the Bills. With Coach Wannstedt on board, there is a contingent of Bills fans that feel he will be the de-facto Defensive Coodinator making Coach Edwards the DC in name only. I feel that Chan wouldn’t do something like that and would either fire coach Edwards or come out and say that Coach Wannstedt is the guy from day one.
Can you shed some light on this?
Rich in Pa
CB: As you know Chan Gailey is a straight shooter. His assistants are loyal to him for a reason because they trust him. Naturally every coach at the highest level of football has an ego of some size. I don’t know this, but it’s my belief that Coach Gailey would not have added Dave Wannstedt to his staff if he did not believe in the professionalism of both Wannstedt and defensive coordinator George Edwards.
I have to believe those two men met at length prior to the hiring of Wannstedt so Gailey could ensure that Wannstedt and Edwards would be able to work together in achieving the same goal, which is a much improved defense without letting job titles get in the way.
Wannstedt is the Assistant Head coach in addition to being the inside linebackers coach. Edwards is the defensive coordinator. It’s as simple as that.
Naturally those on the outside are going to speculate that Wannstedt will wield more power because his coaching history is more familiar to fans having been a head coach for two different NFL clubs.
Gailey, Edwards and Wannstedt do not look at it that way. Their commitment is to improving the performance of the team and getting more wins, not who has the best solutions in the meeting room. Gailey trusts that this can be a collaborative effort to make the defense better, but Edwards will be calling the plays on Sundays.
2 – Hey Chris,
Looking forward to the upcoming season! 2 questions for you:
1) Not knowing the rules of free agency, it’s hard to know what QB’s will be available. What are your thoughts on Tarvaris Jackson as a back-up/possible quarterback of the future?
2). Steve Johnson had quite the breakout year last year, and that caught most people off guard. Do you have any thoughts on who may be this year’s breakout performers?
CB: I think with Jackson having a strong background in the West Coast system that he’ll likely go to a team with that offensive system. Seattle is a likely destination for him since his former quarterbacks coach in Minnesota, Doug Bevell, is running the offense there now.
As for a breakout performer, I don’t know that anyone will have the kind of jump in production that we saw from Johnson last season, but players that I believe are on the rise this year for the Bills are Arthur Moats, David Nelson, Torell Troup and Kraig Urbik.
3 – Hey CB,
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions each week. My question for you is: have the Bills announced a new color scheme for the end-zones after the new turf is installed? I personally loved the red end-zones from the 90s. I’m curious if they will change the color or not.
Thanks a lot,
Sylvan Beach, NY
CB: For those of you that missed it this week, the end zones are royal blue with white lettering and red lining. Here’s a sample photo of it.
4 – Hey Chris,
First, just wanted to thank you for doing a great job keeping the passionate Buffalo Bills fans constantly updated! I know its way too early to have predictions and start looking at power rankings, but with the lockout just about over, I started looking at some opinions of some “experts” and none have the Bills even in the top twenty teams.
They often refer to how the Bills only one four games but I don’t think they realize how many games we COULD have won if we could just close a game.
I am very optimistic and have a ton of faith in Gailey and Fitz and truly believe next year we will make a gigantic leap and make the playoffs! Granted were in a very competitive division but I still think we can do it! What are your thoughts for next season?
CB: I’ve withheld judgment on the Bills because in this unusual offseason the roster has yet to take shape. There’s a lot of personnel stuff to be settled in a very short period of time.
The fact remains however, that they do play in a very competitive division. Granted the Jets roster could change dramatically in light of their cap situation and number of marquee free agents, but this uphill climb in the AFC East will be challenging.
In addition the Bills have a very difficult schedule with the NFC East on the slate as well as a much improved AFC West. I’m not trying to dodge you, but I need to see where players like C.J. Spiller, Marcell Dareus, Torell Troup and others are at once they get back in.
Young players that are expected to contribute more in year two or as top flight rookies have been the most affected by this offseason in terms of their development. They can greatly impact the success or lack of success of the club this year.
5 – Hey Chris,
With the whole spring workout schedule lost what changes is Chan Gailey going to have to make in preparing for the season?
CB: In talking to some of Buffalo’s assistant coaches earlier this offseason, they already had put plans in place to simplify the installation of the playbook in training camp. That likely means less volume, fewer plays etc.
I think it’s also possible that play installation could be tied to the framework of preliminary game plans for the first few games of the season. The coaches want to ensure that they can get sound play from their players in the games that count despite the shortened time frame with respect to reps on the field.
So repping those plays that they’re likely to run against the likes of Kansas City, Oakland, New England and Cincinnati in the first month of the season seems advisable. And the coaches have had plenty of time to scout those teams off last year’s film. Granted there will be some changes, but I could see that being a part of what’s different in terms of preparation.
Tags: 2011 season, Chan Gailey, Dave Wannstedt, Fan Friday, George Edwards, New Turf, Ralph Wilson Stadium, Tarvaris Jackson
Posted in Inside the Bills
The NFL announced their ticket refund policy today for the 2011 season.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced a league-wide ticket refund policy Tuesday for any 2011 preseason and regular-season games that are cancelled due to a work stoppage.
Tags: 2011 season, Roger Goodell
Posted in Inside the Bills