Bills tight end Scott Chandler was only a member of the team for one month. Buffalo signed Chandler back in December and he played in the Bills final four games.
With Buffalo's limited depth at the tight end position Chandler could finally have a chance to start in the NFL. That's why he was willing to drive more than 10 hours each way from his home in Iowa to join a group of his Bills teammates for workouts in back in Western New York. "I wasn't here for very long last year and I want these guys to know I'm all in here and I just want to be part of the team and get to know these guys and build good relationships with them."
Chandler's flight was canceled so he choose to take the long way back to Buffalo for just two days of workouts. He had to leave early to return home for his daughter's second birthday.
Chandler was just one of more than 30 Bills players who made the trip to Western New York for four days workouts. The sessions were organized and run by the players since they can't have any contact with their coaches during the lockout.
"You know this week has just been a true testament to what being a pro means, guys making the necessary sacrifices to be here," said Bills safety George Wilson.
While the players have been working out out on their own this offseason they all felt it was important to spend time working together. "We said we've been fooling ourselves," said linebacker Reggie Torbor. "It's one thing to go into the gym and workout by yourself and if you need a little break you take a little break. But when you have guys pushing you they don't let you take breaks."
Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is preparing to start the season as a starting QB for the first time in his NFL career. "People always say I'm always going to train and practice like I'm the starter but I promise there is a difference," said Fitzpatrick. "It gives you that much more incentive to work hard, you got a lot of guys counting on you."
Fitzpatrick got his first chance to lead his teammates this offseason and many of them already notice a change. "This year it's his show," said receiver David Nelson. "He knows we have all the confidence in the world in him. I think there is a different feeling from him because he knows the team has his back, the coaches have his back and also the city has his back."
Fitzpatrick said if the lockout continues the Bills will return to Western New York for another workout session later this summer.