Ryan Fitzpatrick Expects Big Things from Buffalo in 2012, says C.J. Spiller is a “Completely Changed Man”June 18, 2012 – 6:00 am by Brad Gagnon
The Buffalo Bills are mired in a 12-year-old playoff drought, but the expectation is that a young Bills team could be on the verge of finally competing again. Where the Bills end up in 2012 will of course be tied to how well quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick performs. The good news is that Fitzpatrick seems to feel strongly about his supporting cast.
Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick joined The Howard Simon Show on WGR in Buffalo to talk about the state of the Bills, progress he’s making as a passer, the No. 2 receiver battle (with an emphasis on Donald Jones), the maturation of C.J. Spiller and his expectations for 2012.
On the progress he’s made this offseason:
“There’s been a big difference for me, in my confidence level. Actually charting the throws and percentage of throws that are on the money, and percentage of throws that are being completed, there’s been a nice increase over the offseason.”
On Donald Jones and the No. 2 wide receiver spot:
“I’ve always been a huge fan of Donald’s and he had a few setbacks last year in terms of problems with his ankle and a couple different injuries that kept him off the field and slowed him down a little bit, but we’ve got some real talent here at receiver. I think we’re a team that it’s not like we’ve got two receivers on the field a lot — usually we’ve got three or four receivers on the field. And so you wanna always be able to name a No. 2 guy, but really it’s gonna be by-committee for us, only because we’re rarely in the two-receiver sets.”
On Jones being a potential breakout player:
“I think Donald’s a guy that’ll probably come out and surprise some people. He’s done it before if you look at what he did last year in the first New England game. I think we’ll see more games like that out of him this year.”
On other players he’s excited about
“David Nelson’s had a really, really strong offseason. He’s been great in OTAs and he’s really worked on some stuff he needed to work at. He’s got great hands and is such a reliable guy. Got a lot of work with Derek Hagan, who really did some good things at the end of the year for us. So that’s why we’re so excited.”
On C.J. Spiller’s maturation as an individual and a player:
“C.J. is a completely changed man. It’s been apparent from Day 1 of this offseason. I think the biggest thing with what he did at the end of the year last year was he got his confidence, and you just see how comfortable he is in this system now. He’s telling guys — receivers — that they’re lined up wrong and letting them know. There’s just so many things — he’s directing people around on the field and out of the huddle. And I think he’s ready to make a big jump. I think mentally he’s made a big jump in the last year and with his confidence level where it is right now we expect big things out of him this year.”
On his expectations for 2012:
“I think you expect big things out of us this year. Our defense and just going up against them in OTAs — they have really improved and they’re pushing to make us better, and so that’ll help us out a lot as well. But we’ll sit down. We haven’t really set any team goals or offensive goals yet, but feeling in the building right now is we gotta get back to the playoffs. We gotta get in the dance and see what happens.”