Conference Call: Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick



On what's been the reason for the struggle after such a good start:

It's hard to point to one area. We have not played well on any side of the ball. To really speak about the offense, we've got out flat, we've turned the ball over too much and we haven't been too good on third downs. And when you do that you're not going to win too many games. For us, we're trying to get back to where we were at the beginning of the year. I think we did a better job last week of getting into a rhythm on offense and staying on the field and controlling the ball but we didn't win the game. We still have a lot of improvement we have to make and we're working hard in practice to do that.

On how to explain the big difference between their home and away record:

To be honest, I think our last three games have been on the road and we haven't played well for the reasons I just said. Just the fact that we played crummy the last three games and they happened to be on the road I think that has something to do with the discrepancy.

On the importance of this game in terms of playoffs:

It's definitely a very important game for both us. For us right now with how we've played of late it's hard to even think of the big picture. So we're really just thinking about this one game, getting ourselves and some of that confidence back that we had at the beginning of the year.

On if he feels additional responsibility to "right the ship" after signing his contract extension:

I don't think it has anything to do with the contract. I think as a quarterback when you're not playing well and when your team's not playing well you've got to put in that much more work and effort to make sure everything's going right. We work hard whether it's in the film room or on the practice field. The most important thing is when you go through an extended period of losses like we have the last four weeks you have to make sure everybody's staying positive. That's something as the quarterback and as a leader you have to do.

On what he thinks of the play of the Titans two rookie linebackers:

I tell you what; just in general the thing that jumps out when you watch them play is the defense is fast and they fly on the football. You could tell that that's something a focus of theirs and why they're playing so well because they're flying around everywhere. That's something we'll have to deal with and make sure to match the intensity. I think they've done a good job, in terms of communication that's always something that's difficult to come in as a rookie to come in and do. They've done a good job in terms of getting everybody set, lined up and really communicating out there.

On playing without RB Fred Jackson and how it has affected the offense:

It was a tough loss for us to lose a guy that we've relied on all year. He's been our best player all year long. It was tough to lose him. I guess it's an opportunity for somebody else to step up. C.J. Spiller is a guy that there's a lot of expectation for him. He's an explosive player. He's a guy that we're expecting big things from. It just means that he's going to get more touches and more of an opportunity to make plays.

On the limitation of WR Stevie Johnson against Dallas and Miami:

I think there were a lot of factors that went into it. We don't have to get into all of them. Essentially he's a guy that he and I have a great relationship. I like throwing him the ball so I'm going to throw it to him as much as I can.

On Johnson's TD celebration against New York and the team's reaction:

I think the biggest thing is he regrets getting the penalty. I think he was wrong because he hurt our team with a penalty. That's the bottom line and he knows that. He's apologized for that. It was an unfortunate situation to then have the kickoff go bad as well. Everything kind of snowballed from that. Stevie's a fun guy. He's a guy that gives us a lot of excitement. He provides a spark on the field. He wears his emotions on his sleeve. Stevie's the guy that I'll always go to battle with and respect but he obviously knows he can't be getting a 15-yard penalty.

On his impression of QB/WR Brad Smith and how that brings WR David Nelson back in the slot:

Brad did a great job last week and it really started with the week of practice. For him to be able to have a bigger role at receiver and to be able to be out there Wed, Thurs, Fri, where we could really gain a nice little rapport with each other. David has been great all year long. His role stays the same, in the sense that we play a lot of three and four wide receiver sets. He's a guy that's a big target in the middle and a guy we like throwing to.

On losing C Eric Wood to IR:

That was a tough loss because he's the leader of those guys up front. Being the center and really just his personality and the way that he plays on the field was a real tough loss for us. Again, just like the running back situation it's next man up. We've had to shuffle some guys around up front. We think that we found a pretty good front five and a good combination to where we can still be real effective.

On being the least sacked team in the NFL:

First of all, the credit has to go to the way the guys have played up front especially with the moving parts and pieces we've had. There's been great communication up front all year long. The other thing is understanding protections and defenses and knowing when they're bringing more than you can block. That's the thing we've done a pretty good job this year.

On what he takes into consideration when going for it on fourth down:

I think wherever you are on the field is the most important thing. If you don't get it where you'd be giving them the ball. You've got to deal with the momentum of the game as well. You think your defense is going to be able to stop them or not. If your offense has been good at short yardage, if you feel like seven points is more important than three, depending on if you're down or what the situation is. There's a lot of different factors that go into it. Like you said, ultimately it's the head coaches call.

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