Buffalo Bills

Stadium: New Era Field | Coach: Sean McDermott
Team RankingOverallRushingPassing
Offense29th126.1 (7th)176.6 (31st)
Defense25th124.6 (28th)230.5 (20th)

Bills report: Inside slant

The Sports Xchange
Inside slant · Strategy and personnel · Notes, quotes

Coach Chan Gailey is known to be a good teacher. But of foreign languages?

That's how veteran quarterbacks Trent Edwards and Ryan Fitzpatrick are describing the terminology used in the offense Gailey has begun installing in Buffalo.

"The thing that's difficult about this offense is the verbiage is a lot different," Edwards said during the start of organized team activities at Ralph Wilson Stadium. "It's almost a whole different language. I've been speaking English and for the last eight or nine years, I've been playing football and this is probably a little more like Spanish. So it's a little bit of a change."

"There are definitely some tongue-twisters in there," Fitzpatrick said. "He really does a good job of trying to limit it with the syllable count, different shifts and motions and things where you have to get it straight in your mind. It's not all second nature yet but hopefully by the end of the OTAs and the mini camp -- and not just me but everybody -- the guys up front, the receivers; it'll be second nature to everybody."

Edwards isn't complaining about feeling like a foreign exchange student. After adjusting to three coordinators and two offenses in his first three NFL seasons, he's just happy that he can report to one man and one voice. Gailey is assuming the dual role of head coach and offensive play caller.

"I'm not going to make excuses," said Edwards, who lost his starting job to Fitzpatrick last season but finds himself in a wide-open competition for the starting job this year.

"I'm still a football player. It still comes down to making plays. You'd rather be with one offense your entire career. And you'll probably look at the stats of the guys that are winning Super Bowls that are probably in systems they've been in for quite some period of time. I'm not going to sit here and say 'I wish Steve Fairchild was still here running the offense.' That's the way the business is run. That's the way I have to be. I have to play, I have to adjust to it and that's kind of where I'm at right now."

Edwards earned the first crack with the starting unit, followed by Fitzpatrick, Brian Brohm and rookie Levi Brown.

Gailey said the rotation schedule would give all four an equal number of repetitions, but maybe not all with the first unit.

On Day 2 of OTAs, for example, Fitzpatrick was the first QB during 7 vs. 7 and all team drills, followed by Edwards in the 7 on 7 and Brohm in the 11-on-11 team portion.

"We have a schedule for the entire OTAs, both mini camps. We have it worked out where there will be equal number of reps," he said. "These first two weeks, the first six practices, we're giving Fitz and Trent a few more of the reps because Brian and Levi had the whole rookie minicamp.

"Those two guys had almost 100 reps a piece in that minicamp so we're trying to catch these two guys up because they haven't had any reps yet. So the first six practices, the majority of reps will go to those two guys and then it'll start to even out more after these two weeks."

Fitzpatrick, entering his sixth NFL season, wasn't part of an open competition in his previous NFL stints in St. Louis, Cincinnati or last year with Buffalo.

"This is a pretty unique situation I think. The competition, it's absolutely necessary but what makes it hard is there are a lot of reps that are being split up," he said. "It's being back there and making sure on every play that you're going through it as if you're taking the rep because when you've got three or four guys that are splitting reps, all of sudden you see yours getting cut back and it just makes it a little more difficult. But being around it, going into six years for me, I've seen how other guys have worked and I'm kind of used to that role so it's good sitting back there and working through plays in your head."

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