Early in training camp there were concerns by observers outside the organization about the depth the Bills truly had behind starting quarterback Trent Edwards. Both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Gibran Hamdan did not get off to the best of starts in training camp in late July.
Fast forward to mid-August and Fitzpatrick has settled into his new offensive system with its up tempo approach and had a sharp night of execution against Chicago in Buffalo's second preseason game.
"Ryan's doing a great job right now," said Trent Edwards. "He's communicating very well with me when I'm on the sideline and then when he's going in there he's doing a great job of running the offense and that's a credit to the type of player that he is. He's picking up this offense very fast, and that's just- he's a smart football player, that's why we brought him in here."
Fitzpatrick doesn't deny that his play wasn't as consistent in the beginning as he wanted it to be, but things are rounding into form for him.
"I feel better now than I did at the beginning. I'm sure that will continue as the season progresses," said Fitzpatrick. "There will always be some bumps in the road, but I'll adjust."
Fitzpatrick was extremely efficient against the Bears going 13-16 for 143 yards and a 103.9 passer rating. On the three possessions he orchestrated the Bills put 10 points on the board, and likely would have had more had Roscoe Parrish not fumbled a reception at the Bears 16-yard line and Felton Huggins been able to come up with a fade pass in the end zone.
Still Fitzpatrick was happy they put one of those possessions into the end zone when he handed off to Dominic Rhodes who rumbled in for a three-yard touchdown run.
"It's definitely important," he said. "Usually in the preseason you'll see more field goals. You don't have many special packages in. We had a couple (Saturday) and the guys up front did a good job and that lead to our success."
The Bills backup made use of the whole field in the passing game, throwing outs to the sideline, like his 19-yarder to Huggins at midfield, while working the middle of the field with tight end Jonathan Stupar and the flanks with Justin Jenkins and Parrish.
"He can put the ball wherever he wants," said Edwards. "He can make all the throws."
Where Fitzpatrick figures to be most valuable however, is in assisting Edwards in diagnosing opponents and adjusting to the changeups opposing defenses will throw at Buffalo's offense on Sundays.
"The good part about him is that I can bounce ideas off of him, we can have that sort of relationship where we're talking and there's a lot of dialogue and that's kind of what you need with a quarterback relationship like that," said Edwards.
"He's been terrific in the sessions," said head coach Dick Jauron. "I'm talking about the meetings. He's really thrown himself into it. He's contributed and he'll continue to contribute in the meetings, on the practice field, in games. I'm really happy that we went out and got that player."