By Tim Graham
One of the more popular topics of the Buffalo Bills' early offseason has been the potential impact of new quarterbacks coach David Lee on Ryan Fitzpatrick's mechanics.
So I asked an educated observer if he notices any difference in Fitzpatrick's delivery now that voluntary workouts are over and only three minicamp practices remain until the Bills report to St. John Fisher.
"When he's throwing to the right, he has a lot of power with his ball," Bills receiver Stevie Johnson said. "But when he was throwing across his body, it wasn't as powerful. Seeing him out here, working with Coach Lee, when he's throwing across his body he still has the power.
"We'll see how it all plays out during a real game after so many snaps. But, for the most parts, it looks like he's getting better with Coach Lee."
More power to the left is a good thing. That's precisely what Lee wants to improve. Lee previously noted he was unhappy with the placement of Fitzpatrick's left foot and that the eighth-year pro struggled on long throws to the left.
"I think he possibly struggled a little bit more deep to his left than he did to his right," Lee said. "No. 1, is when he was releasing the ball. When he lets that thing go between 9 and 12 yards [downfield], he's not underthrowing anybody. It's when he holds it longer and it comes out at 15, 16 [yards], that's when the underthrow takes place."
A review of the official NFL game summaries shows Fitzpatrick threw eight of his 23 interceptions to the left side of the field (short and deep). He threw seven in the middle of the field and eight on the right side.
Fitzpatrick threw two interceptions while trying to connect with Johnson on deep throws to the left in a close loss to the New York Giants in Week 6.
Fitzpatrick also threw interceptions to the left against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 10, the Miami Dolphins in Week 11, the Dolphins again in Week 15 and the New England Patriots twice in Week 17.