Ryan Fitzpatrick’s bizarre, wild and wacky 13-year NFL story will add one other enjoyable chapter when he faces a well-recognized foe on Sunday.
Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston’s shoulder harm that may shelve him for just a few weeks units up an intriguing matchup: Fitzmagic vs. the Jets.
“It’s very ironic,” Fitzpatrick informed the Daily News Monday after getting the nod to make his first begin together with his new workforce in opposition to his previous workforce. “It encapsulates my career, basically. My first start as a Buccaneer, of course, comes versus the Jets with everything that happened there the last few years. My career has been a never-ending rollercoaster and one that I’ve loved every minute of along the way. So, I’ll definitely enjoy the challenge on Sunday.”
Fitzpatrick was the engine of the Jets’ feel-good 2015 marketing campaign, a veteran journeyman who galvanized a wayward workforce stung by the lack of its presumed beginning quarterback (Geno Smith) after a locker room combat with a teammate. Fitzpatrick’s career-high three,905 pbading yards and 31 touchdowns put the Jets inside a whisker of a playoff berth in Todd Bowles’ first season.
Ryan Fitzpatrick to start out for Buccaneers in opposition to Jets
“That was really a special year,” Fitzpatrick mentioned. “I hate that it didn’t end up in the playoffs with a chance to make a run, but that’s the way that it ended up. But that year for me — reuniting with Chan (Gailey) and doing what we did on the field and the relationships that I formed with Brandon (Marshall), Eric (Decker), Nick (Mangold) and all the other guys on that team — was special. The thrills of that season with the stretch we went on (in December) was a lot of fun for me.”
Fitzpatrick’s protracted contract stalemate within the offseason set in movement a forgettable 2016 season. The veteran sign caller was benched late within the 12 months earlier than returning after Bryce Petty suffered a shoulder harm.
“I have really good memories,” Fitzpatrick mentioned of his two seasons with the Jets. “Obviously it was a story of two years. My first 12 months there we shocked lots of people… In phrases of the experiences I had and the experiences my household had residing there and the folks we met in that group, I’ve bought nothing however nice issues to say about them.”
The 34-year-old Fitzpatrick, who’s enjoying for his seventh workforce, will get one other alternative with Winston out. He relieved an injured Winston in Sunday’s loss to the Saints.
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“It’s a tough thing because I don’t ever want to see anybody get hurt,” Fitzpatrick mentioned. “Coming to Tampa and getting to know Jameis, he works so hard. I’ve really appreciated him and everything he does on a day-to-day basis and the way he goes about his business. I really have a lot of respect for him. I think sitting at 2-6, everybody is disappointed right now in the way the season has gone. That’s just an unfortunate thing that he’s hurt enough to where he can’t keep playing.”
Fitzpatrick’s prime weapon, Mike Evans, was suspended by the NFL on Monday for one recreation for a blindside hit in New Orleans, however plans to attraction, based on NFL Media. So, it’s unclear whether or not Fitzpatrick may have the game-changing broad receiver at his disposal in opposition to the Jets, who snapped a three-game dropping streak with a rout over the Bills final Thursday evening.
Todd Bowles predictably downplayed the reunion.
“Fitz was good when he was here,” Bowles mentioned Monday. “We’re going down to play the Buccaneers, not Fitzpatrick. So we’re going to prepare like a normal week and try to go down and get a win.”
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The Jets coach additionally didn’t put an excessive amount of inventory in having a pulse on his former quarterback’s tendencies.
“It’s a different scheme,” Bowles mentioned. “You’re more playing the scheme than you are the player. He’s familiar with us, as well as we’re familiar with him. But he’s got 52 guys behind him, and we’re a different time and have tweaked some things since he’s been gone. So, it’s a little different for both parties.”
Fitzpatrick, in the meantime, has a brand new look: He’s hairless. The caveman vibe that grew to become all the fashion throughout the Jets’ 2015 season is gone. He — gasp! — not sports activities a beard.
“Man, I didn’t think it was going to be a big deal,” Fitzpatrick mentioned. “Now, all of a sudden, I’m on the field, so it’s a deal… Usually once a year or so I decide to cut it off. It had been a little while. I don’t even know if my two-year-old had ever seen me without one. So, I decided to just take it down.”
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Will he proceed to shave within the run-up to this weekend’s recreation?
“There’s not much hair to shave,” Fitzpatrick mentioned with amusing. “So, I don’t think so.”
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