The Buffalo Bills return to the practice field early this afternoon as they prepare for a Week 3 tilt in New England, and they'll do so with Ryan Fitzpatrick as their new starting quarterback.
Many Bills fans have reached a peaceful place in their minds with Fitzpatrick. His limitations have been quantified, as has his upside. We understand what we're going to get on the football field, and it's not likely to be pretty. Still, that record he produced last year - 5-4 - is offering very, very dim glimmers of interest. Chan Gailey might call them sparks of interest.
The folks at Football Outsiders, however - Bill Barnwell in particular - weren't big fans of Gailey's decision to bench Trent Edwards. That's not because they're seeing something in Edwards we're not. The timing of the move, and the man they're replacing him with, were the big factors in their befuddlement. You'll reader kinder words on Fitzpatrick than Barnwell's.
"Edwards is being replaced by Ryan Fitzpatrick, who's ranked 36th, 35th, and 36th in DVOA over his three seasons with significant playing time and has to rank as one of the worst quarterbacks in the modern era to get 23 starts," writes Barnwell.
Barnwell also argues that two arguments Gailey has used this year - "getting preseason reps with the ones builds continuity" and "we're looking for a spark" - seem to cancel each other out. Truer words have not been written recently.