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Ryan Fitzpatrick Conference Call Transcript - 9/21/2011
On what he thinks of the Patriots defense through two weeks:
I think that in general they always present a tough challenge for us. Obviously the streak and the number of games we've played without beating them. They're tough. They're very physical up front. Obviously they've got two of the bigger bodies, more effective guys in the league playing in the middle. Fast in the linebacking core and play a lot of man coverage. They really think that their corners do a good job and I do, too. I think they get a lot of yards and I think the main reason why is they've been ahead in games and teams have been forced on every team. We really respect them here and I think they have a good defense.
On if the Patriots are playing more man coverage than they did last year:
The first two games, they've played more man than last year. Obviously that can change. From the film right now I think they've liked what they've seen in terms of matching up against the first two teams and playing man coverage. It's just something we'll have to be ready for us to do our job.
On if Buffalo told him before the lockout that he'd be the starting QB:
They didn't tell me that they weren't going to draft when they said there's one there we think can be a franchise guy for 10 or 12 years. But they did tell me that regardless of what was going to happen in the draft I was going to be their starter for the start of this year and hopefully into the future. It was a vote of confidence with that conversation. It was a vote of confidence when they didn't draft a quarterback with that first pick. I'm hoping to be around here for a long time.
On if he's close to a contract extension:
It's one of those things where it's so hard to worry about that only because you put all our focus on the opponent and the upcoming game. For me it's not something I can even think about during the season. I'm just focused on beating the Patriots.
On what has made his offense click so well the first two weeks:
There have been a lot of the same guys as last year. The experience factor and we were so young last year and we're still very young, but everybody being able to play with each other for a year, being able to gain that experience, even when things weren't going right last year. To be on the field and learn from some of the mistakes that made and to learn from those experiences and some of the tough losses that we had. I think that that has really helped us. To be able to keep that core group of guys together going into this season puts us that much further ahead than last year.
On having a “no-name” team going up against such a star powered offense in the Patriots:
We're a team full of guys looking to make a name for themselves. We're looking to make a name for our team. Although most of us are unheralded, nobody really knows us. We think that we're pretty good and we think that we've got a lot of talent on our roster. When I made the comment last week it was basically that a lot of our guys are so young that they don't realize that they're not supposed to go out and score 39.5 points a game we're at and feel like that's normal. For us it's keeping that confidence and just keeping the swagger we have right now and getting the job done.
On if this game is a true test to see where this team is:
We've got to be able to beat the teams in our division to get to where we need to be. I think that for us this being our first division game it takes on that much more importance to us just because it takes on extra significance being that a win here gives you a win and a team in your division a loss, so it's extra significant for that reason.
On him playing with WR Chad Ochocinco and if he's surprised that he hasn't had a bigger role with the Patriots:
I really like Chad. He's a fun guy to have around. He's obviously a real talented receiver. I haven't really paid too much attention to the Patriots offense or his role or what they've been doing. I know that he's a talented guy. He's also a dedicated guy. He's a guy that's going to commit himself 100-percent to what he's doing. I'm looking forward to seeing him and saying hi on Sunday.
On his career coming out of college and staying patient to find the right fit in a team:
I definitely have had to stay patient. I don't think the day that I was drafted that I expected to be the starting quarterback for the Rams as a seventh-round pick. I was a third string guy for a couple of years. Really the way that I've made my way through the NFL has been a benefit to me because I've been able to sit behind some pretty good quarterbacks; MarC Bulger, Carson Palmer, and learn from them and learn how they approach the game and really gain valuable experience with games here and there and that's all led to the position that I'm in now to be able to take over the team as a starter. I feel like I wouldn't have been able to do it without the experience that I've had and the years to sit back and watch and learn
On being known as the Harvard guy:
I'm the Harvard guy everywhere, every day. There are worse things to be called, worse things to be known by I guess. To me I take a tremendous amount of pride going to school there and graduating from Harvard. I know that sometimes people use it as some kind of a joke or a sarcastic comment over there. I take a tremendous amount of pride that I went to school there and I think it's a good thing.
On if the Bills will have WR Stevie Johnson this week:
You can look at the injury report but I think he'll be fine.
On if he comes back to the Boston area during the off season at all:
My wife is also from Harvard and we do have some family in the Cambridge area so we try to make it back at least once a year. We really enjoyed our time out there. We like bringing our kids back there to kind of see where we went to school and where we met and all that.
On the one thing that he has to do when he's back in the Boston area:
I've got to go to Pinocchio's, the pizzeria on Harvard's campus and order two slices of pizza and a cheeseburger sub. That is one meal and I think I put on about 25 pounds from that one meal in college.