Since we are starting the offseason for the Bills, I've decided to do a new series where I catch up with Ex-Bills and see how they are doing with their new teams. So, here's Tom Gower from Total Titans and Football Outsiders to talk shop about Ryan Fitzpatrick, Andy Levitre, and George Wilson. He pretty much just gives about a paragraph profile for each guy.
Ryan Fitzpatrick ended up playing more than the Titans anticipated, what with Jake Locker only finishing six games. He played twice, struggling against the Chiefs and Seahawks as the Titans had him run the offense they wanted Jake Locker to run, one that featured a lot of work under center, not much up-tempo stuff, and some downfield throwing. When Locker went out for the year, the Titans implemented more of what Fitzpatrick was able to do reasonably successfully under Chan Gailey-shotgun, some up-tempo and no huddle at times, a lot of quick passes.
They had some success with it at times, less so at others. It's like the old quote Bill Walsh supposedly said about Steve DeBerg, "He plays just well enough to get you beat." From watching Fitzpatrick in Buffalo, he played just like I thought he would.
Andy Levitre had what I think even he characterized as a disappointing season, with a knee injury that kept him out of a lot of the offseason work and his adjustment to playing with new teammates (including a rotating crop of centers during the season).
He had surgery this offseason on a hip injury that seemed to really bother him a couple weeks, especially on his already not-a-strength ability to anchor and move people in the run game. For the money the Titans gave him ($46 million over six years), some people were expecting more of a healthy Carl Nicks-type player. He performed closer in line to my expectations but needs to get healthy to have the kind of season the Titans were probably looking for.
George Wilson was a big signing in February, but the Titans signed Bernard Pollard in March after the Ravens cut him and that was a bigger deal. Pollard ended up starting at strong safety. Wilson played in three safety packages and when Griffin missed games with injury and suspension (Wilson ended up playing 383 snaps) and performed reasonably.
Both in terms of on-the-field play and impact on the locker room, Pollard ended up sucking a lot of the oxygen and playing the roles on and off the field everyone thought Wilson would play when the Titans signed him. He was still a nice veteran signing for a team desperately lacking in leadership in 2012, but he played a supplementary role while Pollard played the primary one.