Backup Quarterback Battle: Ryan Fitzpatrick vs Ryan Griffin
Jameis Winston, no matter how poorly he has played at times, is clearly the leader of the offense. Will he be after this season? That’s a question for another day, but now we have to look at who will be his backup and who will start the daunting first three games of the regular season.
Last season the Buccaneers needed Ryan Fitzpatrick to play in six games and start three of them when Winston suffered a shoulder injury. However, as many people witnessed in the HBO series Hard Knocks, the Buccaneers coaching staff really liked the other backup quarterback Ryan Griffin.
Griffin was injured in a preseason game and Fitzpatrick was the clear-cut backup from then on. Griffin returned last season with Winston injured but remained on the sidelines as Fitzpatrick’s backup. The Buccaneers claimed Griffin off of waivers from the New Orleans Saints in 2015 and have been grooming him as their backup ever since.
With injuries out of the way, this training camp Griffin has a legitimate opportunity to become the starter for the Buccaneers.
Fitzpatrick does have the advantage right now though. He has experience in the NFL as a 14-year veteran and has experience with these Buccaneers starters in real game action.
Fitzpatrick was by no means bad last season winning two of his three starts with 1103 yards and seven touchdowns. There does seem to be a curse that follows Fitzpatrick that gives him playing time almost every season when he is the backup.