Monday, November 20, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Ryan Fitzpatrick: Five things to know about the Bucs' new backup QB

RECOMMENDED READING


New Bucs backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is best known for being one of the smartest players in the NFL. The former Bills and Jets starter was a math major at Harvard with a wonderlic score of 48, but what else do Buccaneers fans need to know about him?

Here are five more things to know:

He could provide the experienced backup the Bucs lack behind Jameis Winston.

The Buccaneers will be Fitzpatrick's seventh team of his 13-year career and brings experience into the otherwise-young quarterback group. Jameis Winston is still only 23. The other quartebacks on the Bucs roster — Sefo Liufau and Ryan Griffin — are all 27 or younger and without a start to their names.

Fitzpatrick has 116 career starts including at least one for each of his previous six franchises.

RELATED: Three keys to a better Jameis Winston

He had the NFL's worst passer rating for a starter last year.

After an impressive 2015 in which he threw 31 touchdown passes, Fitzpatrick's numbers came back down to earth hard in 2016. His passer rating of 69.6 was the lowest of any quarterback who threw 14 or more passes per game, and his interception rate of 4.2 percent was well above the next-highest starter, Philip Rivers, who was intercepted on 3.6 percent of attempts.

He struggled in the clutch in 2016.

On his way to a 5-11 season with the Jets, Fitzpatrick often found himself behind late in games and needing to take risks. His fourth-quarter passer rating of 42.8 last year was a long way below the next-lowest player (Blaine Gabbert with 54.1). In fourth quarters he threw 10 interceptions and three touchdown passes on 109 attempts (51.4 completion percentage).

Late interceptions set Fitzpatrick back in 2015 too. In the Jets' finale his three fourth-quarter picks against the Bills knocked them out of playoffs.

Injuries have consistently made him a starter.

Fitzpatrick earned his first start for the 2005 Rams after leading St. Louis to a comeback victory following an injury to starter Jamie Martin. Since then, he has started in place of injured quarterbacks with five other teams, impressing the Bills and Jets enough to win the long-term starting job. Twice, in Houston in 2014 and last year with the Jets, Fitzpatrick began the season as the starter and found himself benched before an injury thrust him back into the starting lineup. Should Jameis Winston go down at any point this season, Fitzpatrick has experience in taking over.

RELATED: Bucs option for experience in Fitzpatrick signing

He's been very effective with two-tight end sets.

With 2017 first-round draft selection O.J. Howard joining Cameron Brate, the Buccaneers are poised to use more multiple-tight-end sets. If Fitzpatrick is needed, those sets may be where he's most capable. Last year, Fitzpatrick posted a near-perfect passer rating of 155.8 in two-tight-end sets, completing 85.3 percent of his passes for 407 yards and four touchdowns without any interceptions.

Contact Daniel O'Boyle at doboyle@tampabay.com. Follow @dan_o_boyle.

Comments
WR Bernard Reedy, cut by Bucs, signing to Patriots’ practice squad

WR Bernard Reedy, cut by Bucs, signing to Patriots’ practice squad

Former Lakewood star Bernard Reedy, waived by the Bucs on Friday, cleared waivers on Monday and will be signing on Tuesday to join the New England Patriots' practice squad.Reedy, 25, handled all the Bucs' punt and kickoff returns in the first nine ga...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Debunking some theories about why the Bucs are keeping Jameis Winston on the shelf

Debunking some theories about why the Bucs are keeping Jameis Winston on the shelf

TAMPA — The Bucs are sticking with Ryan Two and Oh Fitzpatrick at quarterback for Sunday’s game in Atlanta.But this isn’t a case of just riding the guy who has the cool head and hot hand.Doctors would not clear starter Jameis Winston to begin throwin...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
Fennelly: Hope glimmering through the gloom of Bucs’ season

Fennelly: Hope glimmering through the gloom of Bucs’ season

ST. PETERSBURG — It isn’t easy avoiding The Jameis Winston mess.But it’s worth a try. If only to see some thin shafts of light.It’s worth considering that the 2017 Bucs, their death certificate already signed, have shown signs of life. Okay, near lif...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bucs QB Jameis Winston not medically cleared to throw; Ryan Fitzpatrick to start again

Bucs QB Jameis Winston not medically cleared to throw; Ryan Fitzpatrick to start again

Doctors would not clear Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston to begin throwing after an evaluation of his shoulder injury Monday and he could miss one or two more weeks.The Bucs have gone 2-0 under backup Ryan Fitzpatrick since Winston was shut down to gi...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Buccaneers-Dolphins Turning Point, Week 11: Cool, calm Fitzmagic

Buccaneers-Dolphins Turning Point, Week 11: Cool, calm Fitzmagic

On Sunday, the Buccaneers and Dolphins played one of those football games that gets only an obligatory mention at the end of highlight shows. In that spirit, this week’s Turning Point will focus mostly on the final three minutes of Tampa Bay’s 30-20 ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Cannon Fodder podcast: One last look at Bucs-Dolphins

Cannon Fodder podcast: One last look at Bucs-Dolphins

Times Bucs writer Greg Auman looks back on Tampa Bay’s wild 30-20 win over the Dolphins, their second straight win and first on the road this season, the good and bad of that, plus a major off-field story now surrounding QB Jameis Winston. List...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Gerald McCoy, Ndamukong Suh and why this man is smiling

Gerald McCoy, Ndamukong Suh and why this man is smiling

The topic for the Times' set-up package  for Bucs-Dolphins in Sunday's editions was Gerald McCoy vs. Ndamukong Suh.Admittedly, it's not James Winston vs. Marcus Mariota, but the two defensive linemen were taken back to back in the 2010 NFL Draft...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Trump calls out Marshawn Lynch, who sat for the U.S. national anthem but stood for Mexico’s

Trump calls out Marshawn Lynch, who sat for the U.S. national anthem but stood for Mexico’s

President Donald Trump on Monday added Marshawn Lynch to the list of sports figures he has criticized on Twitter.Lynch has been regularly sitting during the national anthem this season and did so again when his Oakland Raiders played the New England ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Rick and Tom podcast: As Jameis Winston faces another accusation, Bucs win with Ryan Fitzpatrick

Rick and Tom podcast: As Jameis Winston faces another accusation, Bucs win with Ryan Fitzpatrick

The Bucs win again behind backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and a defense that creates five turnovers against the Dolphins. In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones break down the game, including the calm that Fitzpatrick has brought and ...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Bucs-Dolphins report card: Grading Tampa Bay’s 30-20 victory

Bucs-Dolphins report card: Grading Tampa Bay’s 30-20 victory

MIAMI GARDENS — That was one ugly football game.The Bucs had a bad game. The Dolphins had a really bad game. And who had the worst game of all? The officials.In fact, the best part of Sunday’s game was before the game even started, thanks to a stirri...
Published: 11/19/17
Updated: 11/20/17