Ryan Fitzpatrick is no stranger to starting over. After going in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL Draft to the St. Louis Rams, he spent two years with the team, followed by two years with the Cincinnati Bengals, four with the Buffalo Bills, a season with the Tennessee Titans, two with the New York Jets, two with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and two with the Miami Dolphins. This offseason, he signed with the Washington Football Team, and is in line to start.
At 38 years old, Fitzpatrick is one of the more unlikely elder statesmen in the NFL’s quarterback ranks. Few players have bounced around the way he has, and with at least three starts in all but two of his NFL seasons (2006, 2007), he manages to find his way into serious playing time just about every fall.
If he’s honest, I’m sure Fitzpatrick would liked to have stuck with one team and been the long-time face of the franchise. However, his ability to adjust and step in for teams on the fly does give him a leg up in these situations, he admits.
“There are certain things that maybe it is easier for me to switch teams than other guys because I’ve done it so many times,” Fitzpatrick told ESPN. “I’ve been through the process.”
Instead of having new teammates adjust to Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback, the Harvard grad says that he takes it upon himself to fit in with his new teams. He puts a huge onus on communication, and getting on the same page with his teammates, especially his offensive linemen.
“Communication is a huge thing,” Fitzpatrick said. “When that communication gets crisp, you can play faster and that puts a lot of pressure on the defense. I have a lot of discussion with the guys up front. I’m the one having to catch up right now with what they’re doing.”
“Those are things I try to fast forward as you get to new teams,” Fitzpatrick said. “Those are things that are really important for me in those sessions.”
Washington Football Team may not have a star franchise quarterback, but they have a very interesting room. Fitzpatrick is the veteran in the room, and is joined by Kyle Allen, a favorite of head coach Ron Rivera from their time with the Carolina Panthers, last year’s playoff hero Taylor Heinicke, and former Colorado standout Steven Montez.