PITTSFORD, N.Y. — Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bills offense are ahead of schedule compared to this time last year. That's because, well, this time last year the NFL was still in the midst of a lockout.
This year, the team is benefitting from organized team activities (OTA's) and mini-camp.
"I feel like we are much more on the same page," said head coach Chan Gailey. "We have a lot more things ironed out. We have been able to add a few wrinkles that we think will help us down the line. I see us being a lot further ahead than we were last year."
That makes a world of difference to Fitzpatrick, who seems to be on the same page with many of his receivers.
"It is not one or two guys. It is everybody out there we are able to put in different spots," Fitzpatrick said. "I am throwing the ball expecting them to be somewhere and I think we have a good understanding of it right now. "
The action figures to ramp up on both side of the football on Saturday, when the Bills begin hitting with pads on for the first time in training camp.
"Tomorrow is the start of camp. When you can put pads on, that starts camp," Gailey said. "This other stuff is good and important. It helps us but you really start to find out about your football team when you put pads on."
While Fitzpatrick and the rest of the quarterbacks wear red jerseys to signal to other players to avoid contact, he's still looking forward to the hitting.
"It is something that we have been excited to see just because there is no contact in OTAs and mini-camps and the first couple days of camp here," Fitzpatrick said. "To get the pads on, we will get some more running game stuff going tomorrow just to see how everybody is doing."
The sights and sounds will be a little more intense when the Bills resume practice Saturday at 3 p.m. The session is open to the public.