The Buccaneers are learning that Ryan Fitzpatrick is exactly who everyone thought he was.
Remember this, Buccaneers fans?
This was a famous meltdown by then-Cardinals head coach Dennis Green. Green was talking about his team’s latest opponent, So far this preseason, Bucs fans are learning that the same could be said for one of their own. That someone is one of the newest members of the team.
Ryan Fitzpatrick was brought to Tampa Bay to compete for the job of backup quarterback. Now that Ryan Griffin went down with injury, it would appear that he has locked down the position. He is the career definition of a “journeyman”, set to play with his seventh team over his going on 13 year career. He will be looked at as a mentor and a sounding board for Jameis Winston. If Fitzpatrick needs to do any more than that, it means disaster for the Bucs.
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Fitzpatrick can make all of the throws, but he also tries to do too much. Look at his two years in New York. In 2015 he threw 31 touchdown passes, while in 2016 he led the league in interceptions. Fitzpatrick is your classic gunslinger.
In Jacksonville, Fitzpatrick completed six out of nine passes for a completion percentage of 66.67%. He made strong, accurate throws in the short to intermediate passing game.
But when it came time to push the ball down the field, Fitzpatrick becomes of the mentality that he has to get the job done all by himself. That leads to throws that he doesn’t have the ability to make. Often the defense does first and they get an interception. Heres an example:
Notice how small the window is? This guy isn’t even open. Fitzpatrick believes that he can throw through those small windows whenever he wants. He thinks his arm is that good. It got him in trouble in New York a lot. Most recent example (regular season) that comes to mind is the game against the Chiefs when the threw six interceptions.
Now, he won’t necessarily have games like that if he has to play for Tampa at some point. The weapons are better here and Fitz is more effective if there are talents on either side. 2015 and his 31 touchdowns are a perfect example of that. If Fitzpatrick inherits this team, he will have inherited a stacked team that he should play up to the level of a good backup.
Hopefully it will be a moot point and Winston plays all 16 games. That is no guarantee as we all know. So having a competent backup is important. How good can he be? Let me know what you think.