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Inside The Bills

Fitz’s popular mechanics

Posted by Chris Brown on August 12, 2012 – 7:30 pm

Ever since the Bills hired QBs coach David Lee, Ryan Fitzpatrick’s lower body mechanics have been a popular topic among Bills fans. With some of the best completion percentage and accuracy marks in practices this past spring, Fitz is expected to take his game to another level this fall. Buffalobills.com asked Fitzpatrick how he fared with his mechanics in the first preseason game.

A quarterback can practice and rep new throwing mechanics all they want in the practice setting, but live fire is the real test as to whether the motor memory has stuck. Fitzpatrick said after reviewing the game tape with coach Lee that he did pretty well.

“My feet were fine I guess,” said Fitzpatrick. “There wasn’t a drastic, ‘Oh no he fell into bad habits.’ My footwork and stuff was fine. David Lee and I talked about it after the game there was one little thing I did on a play. Again we have a method now and it was ‘You put your foot too far here.’ It was something we could correct on the sideline. Very minor. That being said again it’s a preseason game but the defense was coming at you so it was good to see that I didn’t fall back into old habits.”

The Bills will face another team with a formidable pass rush in the Minnesota Vikings on Friday night.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 8-10

Posted by Chris Brown on August 10, 2012 – 11:30 am

Well preseason game number one is in the books. Just another four days of camp and the team returns to One Bills Drive. Let’s get to your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and @ChrisBrownBills on twitter.

1 - Chris,
I was wondering what kind if influence an improved defense would have on the offensive play calling?  If (IF) this bill’s defense can live up to its billing, will Fitzpatrick need to throw as much?

CB: I asked both Chan Gailey and Ryan Fitzpatrick this very question a while back. Both indicated that when you’re playing with a lead more often there’s less of a need to take risks. Here’s exactly what they had to say about your question.

“You have a football team,” said Gailey. “You don’t have an offense, a defense and special teams. You have a football team and the objective is to win the game. So you’re always adjusting to what the situation in the game is and if we’re in closer ball games and we have leads you do change your thought process and the way you approach the game. And it allows Fitz to alter the way he approaches the game a little bit. We’ve got to continue to work that because we’ve not been in that situation in the last couple of years.”

I think it allows you to limit the risks you take,” said Fitzpatrick. “I think if you’re in games all the time and not falling behind whether it’s from a poor performance early from the offense or whatever it is, you certainly have to be a smarter and more reserved quarterback. With our offense there are going to be times where we take chances because that’s what makes us good as well. But there’s a balance we have to find there in terms of when we’re taking those chances and when to take the checkdown.”

 

2 - Hey Chris,

Thanks for your daily articles and updates.  I had a question about offensive tackle based on your latest article.  A lot of scouts seem to believe that both Glenn and Hairston could be great RT’s.  So why is there only competition at LT?  I think Pears played well last year at RT and I’m glad we have him, but I think he still has plenty to prove.  It’s not like he’s an All-Pro, but it seems like he’s just being handed the RT job without having to compete for it.  Why shouldn’t the loser of the LT competition be considered for the starting spot on the right side?  Isn’t it possible that Glenn and Hairston could be the two best OT’s on the team?

 Thanks,
Ed
Denver, CO

CB: It’s my opinion that Erik Pears had a very good season last year from start to finish. He was a much stronger player after spending an offseason in Buffalo’s conditioning program and put on 20 pounds. His play was rewarded with a three-year contract extension.

Right now he’s working back from a groin strain in camp, so Hairston has been forced to line up on the right side. I think part of the reason RT has been Pears job and his job only (before injury) is because he played very consistently last season and is a veteran presence on what is a pretty young line.

I’m not saying at some point the player that finishes second in the LT competition can’t be the team’s starting right tackle, but I think there’s value in continuity as well and keeping Pears at RT knowing he can do the job is viewed as the best idea by the staff moving forward (provided he’s healthy).

 

3 - Hey Chris,

My question is who are going to be the backups in the secondary? Where do you see Bryan Scott? Do you see much from Searcy? There was a lot of talk about him when the Bills drafted him but hadn’t heard much.

Respectfully,

bigfoot21 here is sunny South Carolina.

 

CB: Bryan Scott is a linebacker in the nickel packages and that’s really the extent of his role. Da’Norris Searcy as we’ve mentioned several times in our daily Practice Notes reports has been getting time with the starting unit rotating in for both George Wilson and Jairus Byrd. I think the staff wants to try to find a role for him presumably in a subpackage (nickel, dime).

I think sooner rather than later Searcy will be making an impact on Buffalo’s defense. He’s been impressive in the time he’s been with the ones on the practice field. We’ll see what he can do in the preseason.

 

4 - Hi Chris, thanks for all the information through the years. Living in San Diego, my son and I only see the Bills in enemy territory. I am trying to take him back to Buffalo to show him how a real football crowd is.

My question is does Shawn Powell or John Potter have any realistic chance making this team? Though I like the veterans, these young players look pretty good and it might be time for a change. Again thanks, Art
CB: I think Potter could make the roster as a kickoff specialist and kicker on long field goal attempts 55-yards plus. Chan Gailey has made no secret of his feelings about what kind of a weapon he believes Potter can be if he can prove that he can deliver touchbacks with regularity. He basically told me that if Potter can guarantee the opponent is starting in their own 20-yard line every time then it’s worth using a roster spot.

As for Powell I think he’s got an uphill battle. He has raw talent, but he’s not as consistent or polished as Moorman. In a year where the Bills are gunning for the playoffs you keep the guy you can count on punt in and punt out.

 

5 - Hi Chris, thank you for taking my question.

Is Vince Young getting the same attention from Coach Lee on his mechanics and decision making as Fitz is? And if so is he seeing any improvement in his game?

I appreciate your insight. Thanks!

- Chris Kenyon (Albany, NY)

CB: Vince Young is being schooled on the same lower body mechanics as Fitz. The same with Thigpen. A quarterbacks coach works with all of his players and David Lee is no different. Young has performed better over the past week of camp with his accuracy. Young’s arm delivery isn’t prototype, but because he’s so tall it’s a throwing motion that can work in the NFL.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Test for Fitz’s mechanics to come

Posted by Chris Brown on July 31, 2012 – 1:28 pm

Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is very happy with the consistency of his improved mechanics under quarterbacks coach David Lee. And those mechanics have held up in the face of a pretty fearsome pass rush from Buffalo’s defensive unit in camp practices. But Fitz knows that’s not the real test.

“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,” he said. “And not just Week 1 through Week 5, 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.”

Lee is a meticulous charter of Fitzpatrick’s throws as well as those of the other QBs. He doesn’t just chart the throws during team work (7-on-7 and 11-on-11). He charts passes to receivers against air (no defense), individual position drills and 1-on-1s all in an effort to keep Fitz mindful of his mechanics every time he cocks his arm back.


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Fan Friday 7-20

Posted by Chris Brown on July 20, 2012 – 11:37 am

The last Fan Friday before training camp begins at St. John Fisher. Crazy that it’s here already! Here are the last set of questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net prior to the team hitting the field for final preparations for the 2012 season.

1 - Hi Chris,

About Marcus Easley – I can see him being the “#2″ WR, if not to open the season, at least by the bye. However, I suspect that not many outside of Buffalo even know who he is. In fact, I think that Buffalo’s WR corps is underrated in general… if Easley solidifies the #2 spot, I think the Bills could blow up a lot of teams by running 3-wide or 4-wide.

My question is, in general, how long does it take other NFL teams to get a “book” on a WR, and do you think that Marcus has the game to adapt and succeed? 

Thanks,
Brian Park
NYC

CB: I’m a big believer in Marcus Easley’s skill set. His work ethic is impeccable. He’s just been the victim of a knee injury and an unforeseen medical condition. I think his game is good enough to succeed at this level.

As for how long it takes an opponent to get a book on a receiver, it depends on their amount of time on the field. If Easley becomes a regular and wins the outside receiver job opposite Stevie most opponents would have a book on him by Week 4. If his playing time is more intermittent then it would take a bit longer because there would naturally be less film on him.

2 - Chris,

I am a little confused about NFL roster limits these days. As I understand it NFL teams can suit up 45 players each game day. That means there are 8 players on the 53 man roster who can’t play on Sundays. Now are these 8 players what is called the practice squad? Or is the practice squad another separate group of 8 players?

Thanks
LeeD

CB: NFL teams can dress 46 players on game day, leaving seven players from the active 53-man roster who are inactive for that particular game. In addition there are eight other players that make up the team’s practice squad. The practice squad is made up of players that are not on the active roster. They would need to be called up to the active roster to be eligible to dress and play in a game.

So in essence a team has 53 players on the active roster and an additional eight practice squad players for a total of 61.

 

3 - Hi, Chris,

First, I’d like to thank you for all the work you do to keep Bills fans informed.  My question concerns the linebackers.  I’ve seen some people ask you about how many WRs we’ll keep; I’m wondering about the LBs.  How many do you see ending up on the roster?  Has McKillop shown anything so far?  Thank you for your time.

John MacGaffick

CB: I think with the team moving to a 4-3 defensive scheme that there will not be as many kept on the roster as last season. Buffalo kept 11 linebackers on the 53-man roster last year and 10 the year before. Knowing a couple of those spots have to go toward the defensive line with it being a four-man front I think the number could be trimmed to seven or eight this time around.

McKillop has proven to be a heady middle linebacker. I think his speed still isn’t what it once was coming off of a major knee surgery. We’ll see if he’s faster in camp. This is a fly to the football type defense so speed is a big key for the linebackers.

 

4 - Chris,

After watching Ryan Fitzpatrick through OTAs and mandatory mini-camp have you seen a marked improvement in his accuracy since he has been working with new QB coach David Lee?  I believe this is the most important key to the Bills success in the incoming NFL season.  Your comments will be appreciated. 

Thanks,
Optimistic Bills Fan
CB: In our one-on-one interview with Fitz he affirmed that his accuracy numbers were as high as they have ever been through the spring workouts. David Lee said Fitz has bought in completely to what he’s teaching and because of that his accuracy has been ahead of schedule in terms of when he thought he would see a difference.

People forget that prior to taking a shot to his chest in the Washington game that Fitz’s completion percentage was 67.7%, which was among the league leaders. And even with a disappointing second half of the season he still had a completion percentage of 62% for the season. So knowing it’s very likely to go up from there should have you encouraged about Fitz’s prospects for 2012.

 

5 - Chris,

Thanks for all the updates on the Bills, it is appreciated very much! I know the Bills haven’t done any work in pads yet, but how does Alex Carrington look so far as a DT? Also, is there a timeframe for when Torell Troup is expected back? Thanks!

Steve B.
Fredericksburg, VA
CB: Carrington is not foreign to playing defensive tackle as he played there some in passing situations over the past two seasons, albeit sparingly. In the spring practices he ran with the second unit at defensive tackle, and also saw time with the first and second nickel subpackages as an inside rusher.

What has to be remembered heading into camp was during the spring Torell Troup was not part of the equation since he was still recovering from back surgery. Troup is expected to get full clearance at training camp this week. Once he is back in the mix, he and Carrington could very well be competing for the same role in Buffalo’s defense.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Lee glad to have front row seat

Posted by Chris Brown on July 20, 2012 – 8:40 am

Bills QBs coach David Lee has been coaching quarterbacks for 38 years, but the competition that will ensue for the backup job behind Ryan Fitzpatrick in training camp next week has him as excited as ever.

“That competition between Vince and Tyler is going to be something special,” Lee told Buffalobills.com. “It’ll be fun to watch.”

Lee will have a front row seat as he’s worked with both players through the spring tightening up some of their footwork fundamentals much like he has with Fitz. Young brings actual game experience to the competition, while Thigpen brings a well-versed knowledge of Chan Gailey’s system with him. It’s likely to come down to the preseason games, but it will figure to be one of the more interesting position battles at St. John Fisher.


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Lee & Fitz: Mutual respect

Posted by Chris Brown on July 16, 2012 – 8:18 am

As we examine the question of whether Ryan Fitzpatrick can be an upper echelon quarterback in our Top 25 questions until training camp series today (Monday), part of the reason he’s likely to improve is QBs coach David Lee. The reason that Ryan Fitzpatrick and QBs coach David Lee clicked right away is because Fitz was open to trying new things to improve his game. Of course Lee’s 38-year record of improving quarterbacks didn’t hurt either.

“From what I’ve seen I think that relationship is very good and very strong,” said head coach Chan Gailey. “I think they both have a great deal of respect for each other. I don’t see any reason that it should be any different as time goes on.”

Lee said he respects Fitz’s toughness. Seeing him get back up after the hit he took from London Fletcher and stay in the game is what sold him. But he also likes Fitz’s demeanor when things aren’t going right.

“I think the biggest thing is in his eyes when he does something good and he does something bad and when he has a bad day, how does he react,” said Lee. “In his eyes is he shook a little? Does it bother him or does he know he’s good and know he’ll get it corrected. I see that (sense of calm) in him. His eyes just tell me a lot about when things go bad. That’s what I like about him right now.”

“Knowing I wasn’t where I needed to be at the end of last year I didn’t think there were a few simple things that I was doing wrong that would be able to fix it,” said Fitzpatrick. “Lee pointed some things out and that’s been really eye-opening for me and something that really will help me improve this year.”


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Fitz’s accuracy trending up

Posted by Chris Brown on June 29, 2012 – 10:45 am

Ryan Fitzpatrick’s completion percentage peaked last season after Week 8 at 67.7% on the season. When the season was over it was at 62%. Is his completion percentage and accuracy trending up as the Bills get set for training camp?

In an exclusive one-on-one interview with Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Bills QB tells me that his accuracy is superior to that of any other time in his pro career.

“My accuracy this offseason is higher than it’s been in my whole NFL career,” Fitzpatrick told Buffalobills.com. (David Lee) charts everything. He charts when we’re throwing one-on-one, team and even on air. He’s making sure that I’m getting the most out of everything. You see it in the numbers now and hopefully it translates to one the field as well.”

Fitz also talks about the number two receiver job, what he thinks of the left tackle competition and playoffs. Watch the whole Ryan Fitzpatrick interview in the Media Center at Buffalobills.com.


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Lee’s coaching more than mechanics

Posted by Chris Brown on June 14, 2012 – 10:42 am

Bills quarterbacks coach David Lee has been lauded by Buffalo’s quarterbacks for his expertise on the mechanics of throwing. Head coach Chan Gailey has even admitted that he’s learned a couple of things from his veteran assistant. But Ryan Fitzpatrick says Lee’s coaching expertise goes way beyond the basics.

“Everybody talks about what David Lee can fundamentally help me with, but we had a meeting this morning where I came in early and we went over some throws from OTAs and my thought process and on trying to play winning football,” said Fitzpatrick during an appearance on WGR Sportsradio 550.

Lee was the Miami assistant coach that revamped the Wildcat formation for the NFL and was a former quarterback himself in college at Vanderbilt where he was named team MVP in 1974.


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Jaws on Fitz

Posted by Chris Brown on June 12, 2012 – 10:14 am

Appearing on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski gave his take on the outlook for Ryan Fitzpatrick this coming season.

“With Ryan here’s the thing that I love, and I look at this as a quarterback. When did I get better? I got better in the offseason,” Jaworski said. “Last year there was no offseason and that hurt guys like Ryan Fitzpatrick who needs that work. He’s going to get that work now because he has an outstanding quarterback coach in David Lee. That’s a critical relationship.”

Jaworski, who spent two months this offseason breaking down every pass thrown by the top 30 quarterbacks in the league, believes a lot of what led to Fitzpatrick’s struggles were related to his throwing mechanics.

“I broke down every pass of Ryan Fitzpatrick from last season,” he said. “I watched every ball Ryan Fitzpatrick threw. You see a lot of great plays, a lot of positive plays. But the negative plays, the majority of them are based on mechanics. Improper mechanics hurt him. His mistakes were made when his feet were not underneath him, when he wasn’t balanced. Mechanics are the foundation of playing that position on a consistent basis. What I’m looking forward to is the hard work that he’s going to do and seeing a much more consistent quarterback this season.”

In talking about having David Lee as his quarterbacks coach, Fitzpatrick mentioned how no other coach he’s had at this level really schooled him on the proper mechanics of throwing. When asked about this Jaworski was not surprised.

“I’m not trying to bad mouth NFL coaches. They’re as committed to their work as anyone, but I’ve always said that the quarterback position is the worst coached position in the NFL. What happens is you have a lot of prima donnas that make a lot of money and you’ve got a coach that’s making $200 thousand that’s supposed to be tough and disciplined on them and a lot of times players don’t buy into that because of their stature.”

Fortunately that’s not the case with Fitzpatrick, who has bought in completely to David Lee’s mechanical expertise.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fitz’s three steps

Posted by Chris Brown on June 4, 2012 – 1:20 pm

Here’s a closer look at some of the minute details examined and rectified by Bills QBs coach David Lee with respect to Ryan Fitzpatrick’s footwork and habits that he believes affected the accuracy and consistent power of Fitz’s passes last season.

“Three things, number one is when he was releasing the ball,” said Lee. “I think that Fitz, when he lets that thing go between nine and 12 yards he’s not underthrowing anybody. It’s when he holds it longer and it comes out at 15 or 16 (yards). That’s when the underthrows come into play.

“He does an unbelievable job of looking people off. I’ve coached smart guys, (Chad) Pennington, this guy looks where he’s not throwing better than anybody I’ve ever seen. But when you come back (to your target) you have limited your time as to where you’re focusing in throwing. So he’s so good in looking him off that it hurts him when he comes back (to his target) because he doesn’t have a long enough picture as to where he’s going to intersect the ball and the receiver.

“I told him if we can cut that time of looking him off a little bit just so we can get a little bit of a focus back (he’ll be more accurate).

“Secondly, his left foot has got to be up the field and not pointed out of bounds or the ball is going to leak out of bounds.

“Thirdly is to get his right hip to fire into the throw. I’ve asked him to throw it with your right hip and see how it feels and just trust it. It’s been a lot, but there are reasons that you miss guys out there.”

When changing a quarterback’s release point related to his throwing motion that can take upwards of eight-thousand throws according to Lee, who successfully changed Tony Romo’s release point after a full offseason of training. Only having to change Fitz’s footwork mechanics and time spent looking off defensive backs figures to be shorter.


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Fitz knows how to throw

Posted by Chris Brown on May 30, 2012 – 11:53 am

There are reports out there about Ryan Fitzpatrick’s work with QBs coach David Lee on his throwing mechanics. Lee is not teaching Fitzpatrick how to throw with respect to his arm. He’s coaching him up on certain mechanical flaws that can create inconsistency in his throwing, and most deal with the lower half of his body.

As we profiled in our story on Fitz’s work with coach Lee last Thursday, most of what Fitz is working on concerns the lower half of his body, especially his footwork. Fitzpatrick wouldn’t be in the NFL if he couldn’t throw. His 62% completion percentage last year despite some mechanical issues with his throwing that weren’t addressed serve as indication of that.

Now with Lee watching every one of his snaps, that percentage figures to be respectably higher in 2012.


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Fitz off and running with QBs coach Lee

Posted by Chris Brown on May 23, 2012 – 4:26 pm

Be sure to check the home page Thursday morning at Buffalobills.com as we talk with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick about the throwing mechanics he’s already working on with QB coach David Lee. Here’s an idea of what Fitz was expecting as he began work with Lee, who is known as a master at fixing flaws in passing mechanics.

“I was expecting that,” Fitzpatrick told Buffalobills.com. “I knew that he was a technician and a hard worker. Everybody told me about his work ethic and how passionate he is about football so I was excited for it.

“He’s a big proponent of just being able to throw with your lower body. Sometimes when you get closed off as a thrower with your front foot in terms of where it’s pointed where you can’t get your hip through and use your legs it becomes a throw with all arm and you lose a lot of power.”

Read how Lee has already helped improve Fitz’s consistency in terms of throwing power and accuracy Thursday morning on the home page of Buffalobills.com.


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VY not aware of Wildcat plans

Posted by Chris Brown on May 15, 2012 – 12:39 pm

Vince Young, who was introduced to the Buffalo media on Tuesday was asked about whether there might be any plans for him as a Wildcat option in the Bills offense.

“Not that I know of,” said Young. “Right now I’m just learning the new terminology and just trying to get a lot of work in with Coach (David) Lee. The most that I can under the new rules that we have, that’s the biggest thing just trying to learn as much as I can right now.”


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Belief in Young lies in QB tutors

Posted by Chris Brown on May 12, 2012 – 6:45 am

There might be some NFL clubs out there that don’t harbor the same faith that the Bills do in Vince Young. There’s a good reason why.

A good number of NFL clubs don’t have the quarterback tutors that Buffalo possesses. The Bills have head coach Chan Gailey and QBs coach David Lee, two of the more renowned molders of quarterbacks. Both have a long track record of maximizing the talents of quarterbacks, and Young has an awful lot of talent.

GM Buddy Nix sounded convinced that their abilities as coaches will bring out the best, and minimize any flaws in Vince Young’s game.

“We’ve got two of the best quarterback coaches in the business, starting with Coach Gailey and then David Lee,” said Nix. “Those guys are good teachers. I remember I saw Vince practice as a freshman at Texas. It goes way back. I’ve always admired his ability and the things he can do. I think our guys will get him more accurate and help him as far as not turning the ball over.”

Gailey has maximized the quarterback talents of players like Kordell Stewart and Jay Fiedler, and Ryan Fitzpatrick has been more successful under Gailey than any other coach in the NFL. Lee revived Chad Pennington’s career in Miami and has maximized the talent of a countless number of college quarterbacks. With that kind of tutelage guiding him, Young should be at his best in Buffalo.


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Fitz developing a drawl

Posted by Chris Brown on April 23, 2012 – 10:21 am

Ryan Fitzpatrick hopes his mechanics are even sharper under new quarterbacks coach and strict technician David Lee this season. What he is trying to avoid however, is the development of a southern drawl being surrounded by a host of coaches and players in his position room with southern accents.

“I don’t have any sort of accent,” said the Arizona native. “Being around Buddy (Nix) and Chan (Gailey) and now Coach Lee… they’re all so southern. And Tyler (Thigpen) even I just find myself slipping into a drawl every now and then. I’m telling you it happens. I’ll say some phrase that I’ve never said before.”

Nix is an Alabama native, Gailey hails from Georgia and Thigpen is from South Carolina. David Lee however, is a Missouri native, but he’s likely picked up a bit more of a southern dialect having spent most of his coaching career in the SEC.

No word if ‘y’all’ has been uttered by Fitz as of yet, but he does admit that certain words are coming out of his mouth with a bit more of a southern dialect.


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Lee spoke with Fitz

Posted by Chris Brown on February 8, 2012 – 1:11 pm

Bills new QBs coach David Lee did speak with Ryan Fitzpatrick by phone after being hired and enjoyed the conversation. But before Lee can help make Fitzpatrick a more effective quarterback he’s got to master Chan Gailey’s offense.

“I had a real good visit with him,” said Lee. “Don’t know when I’ll get to see him you know we got these new rules and they get to stay away from us for a long time but I’m not ready to see him yet anyway.  I don’t enough about him or the offense to help him out right now.”

As we profiled in our home page story, Lee is known as a master technician when it comes to quarterbacks.


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How Gailey’s getting Lee up to speed

Posted by Chris Brown on February 1, 2012 – 5:01 pm

There’s always an intense period of study when a player is given the task of learning a new offensive system, but coaches go through it just as often knowing how transient their profession can be. So just how is Bills new QBs coach David Lee getting up to speed on Chan Gailey’s system having never worked with him before?

Simply put he’s meeting with Buffalo’s head coach on a daily basis.

“We meet every day just about going over certain aspects of it and once he sits in the breakdown meetings, in which we go through all 1,100 plays (from last season he’ll have it down),” said Gailey. “We go through every play and evaluate every play and every player here for the next month and a half or so. By the time we get to the end of that he’ll know it as well as the rest of us.”

Lee knows he’ll have to be able to coach it on the field by the time OTAs roll around in May, but he believes it’s more than enough time for him to master it.

“I’ve been studying and I’ve actually tested myself, run off some tests,” Lee told Buffalobills.com. “I’m just that kind of learner. I’ve got to study it, pound it and grind it in there. That’s what I’m doing right now and Chan has been wonderful in teaching me along the way in how we read this and how we read that. I’ve got to hear a word and know a concept and where all three guys are going. That takes some time on my part with some hard-headed study.”


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Lee sees double threat in Smith

Posted by Chris Brown on January 30, 2012 – 2:48 pm

Bills QBs coach David Lee was largely credited with introducing the Wildcat scheme to the NFL back in 2008 when he was quarterbacks coach with the Miami Dolphins. Now with the Bills, Lee sees an even more dangerous ball handling weapon in Brad Smith than he ever had in Miami in an exclusive one-on-one interview with Buffalobills.com.

“I’m really glad he’s here,” said Lee of Smith. “I think the biggest thing is in Miami we ran it with Ronnie Brown, who wasn’t a really good passer at all. Brad is just such a good passer and I remember watching him with the Jets. So he could keep the opposing coverage back meaning they can’t run 10 of them all down on the line of scrimmage, which is something we ran into in Miami when they realized that Brown wasn’t a threat to throw the football.

“Brad gives us more dimensions. We have some things that we have in mind and that’s yet to be finalized as to what we’ll do. But there are some things that we’ve done that may suit Brad Smith.”


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QB mechanics a focus with Lee

Posted by Chris Brown on January 30, 2012 – 2:44 pm

Bills news quarterbacks coach David Lee, a former college QB himself, is a stickler for quarterback mechanics. He knows their importance with accuracy in a passing attack and in studying Buffalo’s QBs on tape will recommend any adjustments he sees fit for his trio of signal callers.

“Accuracy is the number one critical factor at the quarterback position,” Lee told Buffalobills.com. “It does come down to your fundamentals. It’s like a golf swing. If you have poor fundamentals you could hit 1,500 balls and can’t be more accurate and keep the ball in the fairway. At the same time at the quarterback position if a guy’s fundamentals are good and he has a systematic approach to how he wants his mechanics to be when he throws the ball. What’s happening between his upper body and lower body at the same time. Getting those two in sync increases accuracy and velocity.”

Even though a player like Ryan Fitzpatrick will be entering his eighth season in the NFL next fall, Lee said a quarterback is never too experienced to make an adjustment for the better in his throwing mechanics. 

“Talking to a guy I had recently in Chad Pennington, he said that at age 32 he never thought he would change a couple of things, but he did with me,” said Lee. “It was with his lower body, his left foot was blocking his right hip. Those things, if a quarterback at this level knows you can get him better and he buys in, once he buys in that you’re going to help he’s sold and you’ve got him. That’s something we want to work with Tyler (Thigpen), (Ryan) Fitzpatrick and Brad (Smith).”

Check out Buffalobills.com’s exclusive one-on-one interview with David Lee later this afternoon in the media center at Buffalobills.com.


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New QBs coach sees team on rise

Posted by Chris Brown on January 13, 2012 – 4:04 pm

It’s not often that a veteran assistant coach like David Lee willingly takes a vacant assistant position after an NFL team has had a couple of sub-.500 seasons, but Buffalo’s new quarterbacks coach believes the Bills are poised to take the next step in 2012.

“Chan Gailey has been a successful head coach everywhere he’s been,” said Lee. “His teams have always moved the football really well.  Being able to coach under him was the difference in my decision to come to Buffalo.  I believe the Bills are a team on the rise and will continue to improve.  I’ve known Buddy Nix for a long time since our coaching days in the SEC where he was a fantastic defensive coach.  Everyone on the coaching staff believes in Chan and Buddy. That was very evident on my visit to Buffalo, and I’m excited and proud to be the Bills’ quarterbacks coach.”


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