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Fitz's beard is off

UPDATED: Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick shaved off his beard this morning. The scraggliest, most-talked about beard in town is history.

"It's coming off. I'm not gonna to think twice about it," Fitzpatrick said this morning as the Bills' players cleaned out their lockers. "It's time. Me and (Jon) Corto are going to his uncle's shop to get it chopped off."

Fitzpatrick on the end of the season: "The way that we ended the season the last two games, obviously there's some issues. I think one of the biggest things we learned is you're never gonna win if you turn the ball over like that. We had an emphasis on it all year and lost focus on it. It cost us the last two games. I think overall as you look at the season there were some real good things that came out of it. I think some real good players and pieces that we found that we didn't know that we had. But there's obviously a lot of work that needs to be done."

Fitzpatrick said at the moment he's not expecting the knee injury that kept him out the season finale to require any surgery. "As of right now it's just gonna be rest. Hopefully it will get better with time."

Fitzpatrick, who threw 23 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, said he considers himself the team's starter for next season. Asked if this season was satisfying from a personal standpoint, he said: "The first thing you look at is the record. We're not satisfied with that. We're not satisfied with the way the season went. I'm satisfied in the sense that I think I improved this year. I made an improvement this year over last year. ... I need to continue to get myself better, and in turn I think that makes the team better."

---Mark Gaughan

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