Found July 04, 2012 on Queen City Sports:
Buffalo_bills_v_71a8

It’s may seem pretty odd to peg an eight-year veteran as having a “breakout season”, but Buffalo Bills’ quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is a completely different story.

Since being drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL Draft, Fitzpatrick has been a backup journeyman for the greater portion of his career. That is, until February 7, 2009, when he signed with the Buffalo Bills.

With incumbent starter, Trent Edwards, at the helm, Fitzpatrick was listed as a backup quarterback once again. However, when Edwards went down with an injury, Fitzpatrick played well. When then-head coach, Dick Jauron was fired, interim head coach Perry Fewell named Fitzpatrick the starting signal caller for the remainder of the year.

When Chan Gailey took over, Fitzpatrick was again relegated to the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart, until the third week of the season after some atrocious play by Trent “Captain Checkdown” Edwards.

In the past two seasons as a full time starting quarterback for the Bills, Fitzpatrick has completed 60% of his passes for 6,832 yards, throwing 47 touchdowns to 38 interceptions, increasing his yardage by 832 yards last season.

Many pundits will explain that it takes roughly three years of play to determine whether a player is a solid prospect for a respective franchise. Well, Fitzpatrick is entering his third season as a starting quarterback for the Bills. This all comes with a knowledge of Coach Gailey’s playbook, who has been his coach since he became a full-time starting quarterback.

Another thing Fitzpatrick has going for him that should ensure a breakout season is that the team brought back his favorite target, Stevie Johnson, who was the first wide receiver in Buffalo Bills history to gain 1,000 receiving yards in consecutive seasons. He has also had time to become acclimated with former undrafted free agent-turned slot receiver David Nelson, who should be on pace for about 60 receptions this season.

Furthermore, Fitzpatrick is learning from quarterback coach, David Lee, on proper footwork technique that had hindered his play, as well as some accuracy issues.

“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.”

Fitzpatrick continued to prove his will to learn under Coach Lee, adding:

“He’s all about the lower half. The footwork, making sure you’re not getting your feet in the way of your hips when you’re throwing the ball. That’s something we’ve worked on a lot because I have an issue with balls I’m throwing to my left, just making sure everything is open so I’m not closing my hips off and can’t fire with balls dying. There are a lot of things that we have been looking at after he made a bunch of clips from last year of specific throws that I’ve struggled with.”

If all goes according to plan, and the offensive line can stay healthy, coupled with the consistency he has developed with his wide receivers, the Bills’ quarterback should be poised for a breakout season and help the team make a playoff run this year.


THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES
PASS THE MIC

Bills WR Steve Johnson debuts rap video

Buffalo Bills WR Stevie Johnson has dove into the pool of famous athletes that want to try their hands at making music. His track “Run It Back,” is on-par musically with what’s out there with it’s rolling snares and sparse instrumentation. To read this review and watch the video for Johnson's single that features The Game, please click the link below.

Buffalo Bills center Eric Wood: I'm in great shape

Bill center Eric Wood seems to be coming along well as he rehabs the town ACL on his right knee. He told Buffalonews.com, “I feel great. I’m in great shape,”... “Obviously I haven’t tested it in any practice or anything, but a lot of that is just being cautious. We don’t want to do anything now that’ll set me back. The goal is to be back for the first game. I trust...

Buffalo Bills Urged to Lower Blackout Threshold as NFL Revises Blackout Rule

With the NFL finalizing its altered blackout rule, pressure is now on the Buffalo Bills to make the sellout threshold as close to the minimum 85 percent as possible.   NFL spokesman Brian MCCarthy said Monday the league ratified the altered blackout threshold at its league meetings in May. The new rule allows clubs to air a home game locally without selling out. Clubs...

Former Packers defensive tackle Jay Ross selling Superbowl ring

In case anyone is thinking about an early Christmas present for the Packers fans on their list, Jay Ross may have the ultimate present for you. According to Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, former practice-squad defensive tackle Jay Ross is selling the jewelry he receivedafter the Packers beat the Steelers last year in Cowboys Stadium. The bidding via Heritage Auctions...

Music video: Buffalo Bills Stevie Johnson, aka "Stevie Barbarian"?

Add another profesional athlete to take a crack at a professional music career. Steve "why so serious" Johnson he has taken on a new moniker - "Stevie Barbarian".

Erie County won’t “give away the store” to keep Bills

(Credit: AP Photo/David Duprey) The Buffalo Bills only have one more year left on their stadium lease agreement. The team does however seem to be headed towards extending the contract for the future. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz tells WGRZ that major portions of the lease will be done by training camp and the entire deal should be completed by the end of 2012. With the inevitable...

Ten Things I “Bill-ieve” Heading Into the 2012 NFL Season

Ten Things I “Bill-ieve” is something I hope to do weekly after every Bills game as a way to spotlight and sometimes critique a player’s performance.  With that, I give you Ten Things I “Bill-ieve” Heading into the 2012 Buffalo Bills Season. I “Bill-ieve”: 1. The Bills will End Up 2nd in the AFC East I’d like to sit here and say with the utmost confidence that the...

Bills’ Stevie Johnson making horrible music with The Game

I'm all for people chasing their dreams, but I am 100% against this abortion of a song that The Game helped Buffalo Bills' receiver Stevie Johnson record in a studio that obviously is not on a tight budget for time slots that may produce music worth listening to.
Bills News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.