Buccaneers: Five backups who are key to 2017 success

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 11: Charles Sims
TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 11: Charles Sims /
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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – DECEMBER 17: Ryan Fitzpatrick /

Ryan Fitzpatrick – Quarterback

If all goes right, Ryan Fitzpatrick won’t actually have much of a role to play this season, but the fact that he’s backing up the most important player on the entire roster warrants a spot on this list. After losing Mike Glennon to the Bears, the Bucs couldn’t risk entering the season without a viable backup so they added the journeyman Fitzpatrick in May.

At age 34, Fitzpatrick has been in the NFL for 13 seasons with seven different teams. He’s had some solid years and some bad years, but for the Bucs he represents a discounted security blanket. The Bucs season is more than likely over with if Jameis Winston goes down with injury, but with Fitzpatrick they can maintain some offensive dignity and at least keep them from bottoming out entirely.

A lot has been made of Fitzpatrick’s experience and how he may impart some of that wisdom on Jameis Winston. Fitzpatrick has a similar, aggressive mindset to Winston, and there are surely aspects of the game that he’s more familiar with than the 23-year-old Winston. We’ll never be sure how much knowledge Fitzpatrick is capable of giving Winston, but it’s an important quality that he brings to the table all the same.