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Bills' Nix assured Fitzpatrick he will start at QB

When the Buffalo Bills signed Vince Young, it was easy to dream up scenarios where Ryan Fitzpatrick's grasp on the starting quarterback role might be in danger.

Bills general manager Buddy Nix made it clear to Fitzpatrick his role was safe from the start.

"Buddy Nix has been a guy that has been very fair to all his player, he's been a guy who's been trying to create a competitive atmosphere," Fitzpatrick told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Wednesday. "Buddy caught me in the hallway one day and said, 'We're looking to create some competition for the number two spot at quarterback, we are bringing in Vince Young. We made him an offer. We'll see if he comes. But just to let you know, obviously, you are our guy and we are just trying to get better at every position.'

"And when people are upfront and honest with you and telling you what is going on, then it makes everything go much smoother. And for me, I'm a guy that's got to go out there and perform, and I know that, just like every quarterback in the league knows that."

Young is the type of mobile passer Chan Gailey enjoys coaching, but the Bills aren't about to end Fitzpatrick's run as starter unless he falters out of the gate. Fitzpatrick struggled mightily at the end of last season. After throwing nine interceptions through eight games, he tossed 14 in the second half, including four in the final week against the Patriots. The slump was reportedly caused by rib injuries, which Fitzpatrick played through in pain. 

Fitzpatrick knows his hold on the starting job requires him to bounce back. If he can't, Buffalo's statement here is that Tyler Thigpen is not widely viewed as a capable backup. Injuries derailed Buffalo in 2011, so it's no surprise the team's offseason push to improve the roster would touch the quarterback position before long.

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