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Why Ryan Fitzpatrick presents different test for Saints than Jameis Winston

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Old 09-06-2018, 06:19 PM   #1
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Why Ryan Fitzpatrick presents different test for Saints than Jameis Winston

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Old 09-06-2018, 06:20 PM   #2
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Re: Why Ryan Fitzpatrick presents different test for Saints than Jameis Winston

BY JOEL A. ERICKSON | JERICKSON@THEADVOCATE.COM SEP 5, 2018 - 5:08 PM

Ryan Fitzpatrick's stint as Tampa Bay's interim starting quarterback will be a whole lot easier at the start of the season than it would be for a backup who's trying to catch up in the middle of the year.

For starters, Jameis Winston's three-game suspension was announced in June, giving Fitzpatrick and the Buccaneers plenty of time to get ready for this (Winston was suspended for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy).

More importantly, Fitzpatrick's playing style is similar enough to Winston's that the Buccaneers don't have to alter their offense much.

"We thought about going to the wishbone, but then we decided not to," said Bucs coach Dirk Koetter, whose team opens the regular season at noon Sunday against the New Orleans Saints in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

All jokes aside, Fitzpatrick is no stranger to this. A well-traveled quarterback, Fitzpatrick has started 103 games in the NFL, including three in Koetter's offense last season when Winston was injured.

If the playbook changes, it's only a slight alteration.

"They’ll cater certain things to me, or there are certain things I feel more comfortable with — maybe some things that Jameis likes better than I do," Fitzpatrick said. "We’ll work around that a little bit."

For the Saints defense, that means little difference in preparation. Fitzpatrick's presence, however, does mean a slight difference after the snap.

"Jameis is a bit more elusive. He'll run around and make things happen when plays break down," defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins said. "He's able to elude the rush and kind of play backyard football."

Although the listed difference between the weights of the two quarterbacks is only eight pounds, Winston has a larger frame, making him tougher to bring down in the pocket.

"Fitzpatrick's more of a scramble-to-pick-up-the-first-down guy," defensive end Alex Okafor said. "Don't let Fitz fool you, though: He can get out of the pocket and pick up those firsts."

Saints defenders should know that better than most teams.

Fitzpatrick saw extended action in five games for the Bucs last season — but of those five games, he did the most damage with his legs against the Saints, picking up 30 yards on three carries in a relief appearance in New Orleans.

Not that his legs are the primary problem. When Fitzpatrick has time and is at his best, he's capable of putting together big plays and big performances.

Fitzpatrick, like Winston, does have a reputation for turnovers, but the two players make mistakes in different situations. Winston's ability to make backyard plays often produces backyard mistakes as a byproduct; Fitzpatrick's miscues come under heavy fire.

"With Fitz, he does a great job of anticipating routes, seeing coverage, understanding what he's seeing at the snap and as the play's progressing, so he gets the ball out of his hands quickly," safety Kurt Coleman said. "Sometimes when he gets in trouble, it's when the pocket's collapsing or there's rushers in his face. ... That's where the mistakes happen."

The Saints will do their best to force those mistakes Sunday.

“Your best?!? Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home (with) the prom queen.” - Sean Connery in The Rock
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Old 09-08-2018, 12:01 PM   #3
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Re: Why Ryan Fitzpatrick presents different test for Saints than Jameis Winston

I worry about Fitz more than I do Winston.

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Old 09-08-2018, 05:12 PM   #4
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Re: Why Ryan Fitzpatrick presents different test for Saints than Jameis Winston

Someone should tell him what happened to Lattimore in the last meeting between these teams so he knows what is about to happen to him... lol.
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Old 09-09-2018, 12:32 PM   #5
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Re: Why Ryan Fitzpatrick presents different test for Saints than Jameis Winston

Welcome to the Dome! Meet Davenport!
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Old 09-09-2018, 04:19 PM   #6
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Re: Why Ryan Fitzpatrick presents different test for Saints than Jameis Winston

Wow on the bearded dude from Harvard. Just wow.

He embarrassed us in the dome.
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Old 09-09-2018, 04:35 PM   #7
 
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Re: Why Ryan Fitzpatrick presents different test for Saints than Jameis Winston

Originally Posted by K Major View Post
Wow on the bearded dude from Harvard. Just wow.

He embarrassed us in the dome.
I was secretly afraid of this.
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