Ryan Fitzpatrick built connections with the Buccaneers
The NFL world bought into the Fitzpatrick story rather quickly. This old guy leading the league in passing touchdowns and passing yards while putting together some hilarious press-conference clippings was perfect for the media, but it is important to remember that this wasn’t Fitzpatrick’s team.
Jameis Winston was the guy in Tampa and out on suspension, so getting everyone to buy into Fitzpatrick was not a given for the veteran backup.
Fitzpatrick had to earn trust and build those connections as a starter, and he did that every time he was on the field.
When guys scored touchdowns, Fitzpatrick was often the first guy there and celebrating like a madman. Before the games, Fitzpatrick was with the offensive line doing a variety of pregame rituals that showed a bond and a closeness that isn’t present on every team.
Players would touch beards before games (it was weird but it worked). Guys genuinely cared about one another and pushed for that chemistry on and off the field. It didn’t always work, nor did it work long term, but there are a lot of guys on the team right now that would probably point to Fitzpatrick as one of the foundations that the strong locker room is built on today.
It wasn’t a perfect career in Tampa, nor was it the most successful, but Bucs fans are never going to forget the Ryan Fitzpatrick era.
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