Two of the newer Bills free agent acquisitions not named Terrell Owens have been busy the past couple of weeks digesting Buffalo's offensive playbook. Backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and center Geoff Hangartner are both eager to get a handle on how things will work in the Bills' attack.
"There's some new stuff they're putting in," said Fitzpatrick in reference to the offensive staff. "Looking at some of the old stuff last year already, we've begun looking at a lot of the new stuff they're putting in. We're still going to go in and look at some film and just identify defenses and get the terminology straightened out so we're on the same page."
Dropped into a new offensive scheme, Fitzpatrick and Hangartner have already begun the arduous task of translating the terminology from their old schemes in Cincinnati and Carolina to their new scheme here in Buffalo.
"I've got some of the stuff down," said Hangartner. "What I've been doing is going through all of their terms and equating it to what I know that it was. It's kind of like learning a new language, but just trying to learn the language of this offense and equating it with what I know."
For a quarterback it goes beyond just knowing the playbook. Fitzpatrick also has to familiarize himself with Buffalo's division opponents and what their history is defensively.
"I'm just getting comfortable with the division and what everybody runs and probably more just the defense until the coaches get in and then we'll hit the offensive stuff a lot harder," Fitzpatrick said.
Meanwhile Hangartner is getting the protections and line calls straight in his head
"The first thing is the line calls so you can communicate with the guys on the line," he said. "Snap count has to come pretty quick and learning the schemes will come after that. I'll spend a couple of hours every day, trying to learn and trying to apply the scheme to what is on film."
Hangartner and Fitzpatrick both plan to spend time in the film room with Trent Edwards as well.
"I would say at some point we'll watch some film together and see how he sees a defense and how I see a defense," said Hangartner. "That'll happen pretty quick in the next week where we'll start watching film together."
"He's started a lot of games in his young career, but there's a lot to learn just from seeing things, seeing different defenses and how to react to different situations," Fitzpatrick said. "So I'm really looking forward to getting the chance to work with him."
The bottom line is both Fitzpatrick and Hangartner will be part of the battery that gets the offense started. So both have had and will continue to have their noses in their playbooks and their bodies in the film room leading up to OTAs in May, knowing that executing the offensive scheme effectively will often begin with them in the practice setting.
"I've got to learn the offense pretty quickly," said Hangartner. "I've got about a month before OTAs start so I've got to get in the playbook pretty quick. But I'm looking forward to it."