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Transcript: Ryan Fitzpatrick and Stevie Johnson

Posted Jul 26, 2012

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick

AM Session – Thursday, July 26, 2012

On being back at training camp:

It is good to be back just to get everything started. I love training camp. I love getting away. Being able to kind of put normal life aside for a little bit and getting here being able to focus one-hundred percent on football. I think this team is ready. I think we are excited to get going, to improve and to progress as the season nears. There is a lot of excitement here.

On what point the offense is currently at:

It is a lot of the same install we went through in OTAs. The biggest difference for me is (WR Stevie Johnson) is going to be on the field. He was not on the field for some of that stuff. Get him going a little bit. Maybe not on the first or the second day because of the coverages they are running and what we are throwing, bust to get that chemistry back on the field.

We want to eliminate all the mistakes that we had. There were some mistakes in OTAs that now should not happen. The expectation is high mentally on these guys to go out there and do it right. That is what we will be looking for through the first four days with the basic install.  

On his mechanics:

(Mechanics) are a big thing for me and something that fell off last year as the season went on. We will be working a lot of drills while the special team stuff is going on. A lot of drill work. A lot of things that are really tailored to me for things that I need to improve at and get better at. That will be big. And always to have (Coach David Lee) in my ear on the sidelines during games and when we are breaking down practice and watching film. Just being able to have him there telling me ‘This is good’ or ‘This is not good’--even if it is a completion that did not have the proper mechanics.

On having the team fully healthy:

It is great. That is how you obviously want to start and that is how you want to finish. We know the reality of the NFL is you are going to have to deal with some injuries during the season. To see all those guys back on the field, offensively and defensively, is a great thing. That is the goal, to get out of training camp and preseason with our health. Be one-hundred percent for that first game. And then you are going to have to deal with some adversity along the way. But it is nice right now to have everybody in and everybody healthy.

On if his new mechanics are becoming second nature:

I feel like I have improved. I think now knowing there is some sort of process and procedure that I need to follow when I am throwing, that is helpful. That being said, we will see when we get into the preseason games and especially the regular season games, that is going to be the big test. To be able to, when the bullets are flying, be able to do it and be able to stick to the fundamentals that I have worked on all off-season. For me, that is what I have to stay on top of. And not just Week One or Two, but also towards the tail end of the season I have to have those mechanics sound. That is going to help me a lot with my consistency.

On getting back to where he was early on last season:

For us, we look at it as a completely different year. It is a completely different team. We have a lot of different people working in. We have guys with a lot more experience now playing together. And I think offensively with some of the similar pieces, we are really looking to take a step forward. And it is going to start from practice number one. Even though it is going to be very basic today, it is the tempo at which we are running things and the confidence that I have in my receivers in just making sure we are all on the same page.

On what QB Coach David Lee has been telling him:

All of his analogies are through golf. When you go and get lessons in golf, sometimes it screws you up a little bit. I think he might have fixed my quarterback game and screwed up my golf game. (Laughs)

On the offense’s potential of being a Top-10 ranked offense:

I think it is very realistic. As we sit and set goals a lot of them are more team goals: getting to the playoffs, making some noise in our division and doing different things. It is hard to say we want to have our yards at a certain point or we want to have our touchdowns. We want to score more points than the other team. That is the goal. I think as an offense, looking at what we have done the past few years and how we have been able to get better every year and improve, we just need to continue that climb to the top of the league in those numbers and categories. But a lot of that is going out there and executing and being more consistent. That is the goal for this year.

On how much pressure is on him as the QB:

I love it. If I did not love it I do not think I would play the position of QB. That is why we do it. I want all of the pressure to fall on me so the other guys can just go out there and play. Me being one of the older guys in the huddle, especially with our skill players, I love taking the pressure. It takes it off of them. They are able to just go out there and play. My shoulders are big enough for that and that is something that I enjoy.

I have a lot of belief in myself and I think that if I did not believe in myself I probably would have quit playing football after I was done at Harvard. I do not think many people believed in me. Where I am today, maybe at times it seemed like a dream for me. If I could look back now on where I was then, I have a ton of belief in myself. The self confidence is something that is huge at the QB position. I am ready to go out there and play. I have proved it. I have showed it. I have played well in stretches. Although, I think consistency is the big thing. 

WR Stevie Johnson

AM Session – Thursday, July 26, 2012

On being at camp and healthy:

It is just a great feeling to get back in the swing of things and to be back comfortable. I am ready to get back into that mode of ballplayer, ballplayer, ballplayer instead of the offseason stuff. It is a good feeling to be back.

On what percent is health is now:

I am still about the same (as OTAs). About 90-plus (percent). I never really say a hundred because nobody is perfect here. But I feel good about it. I do not feel anything in my groin so I am pretty good.

On if he is full-go:

Yeah, full-go.

On the feeling of getting to hit the field with this team:

I cannot say it is a different sense (of feeling), because even in past years we came in confident and real hyped about the upcoming season. Now we have additional players who have been proven in this league. From the outside looking in it seems like everybody is gung-ho and ready to go. But we have been the same for the past couple years. We just have to make something out of it this year.

On having a successful season:

It is important for all of us (to have a big year). We want to get to that championship level. It does not really matter, the whole ‘you have to live up to the contract.’ You have to live up to being a Buffalo Bill, getting to a Super Bowl and winning. That is our goal. We all need big seasons here.

On his familiarity with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick:

It is great. Just to have a guy like Fitz controlling your offense and then with (Coach Gailey) giving us that freedom to do what we do best.

On if he is excited for the fans to be at the first practice today:

Just for the simple fact that I want to get back in the swing of things. Get back used to running routes consistently. Catching and being around the guys. And having the fans out here it is going to be exciting. I am going to try to stay even-keeled. But it is tough. I have to do something.

On having a fully healthy team:

That is the thing in the beginning. Everybody looks good and everybody is healthy. We have to see how it is throughout the entire training camp.