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Fitzpatrick swallows pride to accept backup role

Buffalo Bills' Fitzpatrick leaves the field after beating the New York Jets at their NFL football game in Orchard Park Reuters

For a Harvard man, it took Ryan Fitzpatrick a bit longer to realize it than most others.

But becoming a backup quarterback was a psychological as well as economic step back for the former Bills starter, who joined the Titans to back up Jake Locker.

You have to swallow your pride a little bit,” Fitzpatrick said, via Jim Wyatt of the Tennesseean. “I felt like Buffalo was the best place for me to start next season and it didn’t work out. So when that relationship ended, I knew I was going to be looking at a backup role. I am a competitor. I want to be out there and helping the team win on Sunday, but that’s the reality of the situation right now.

“They have a ton of confidence in Jake here and my role and what they have signed me to do is help him out and push him and make sure he gets better and be there just in case.”

While Fitzpatrick had a decent run with the Bills (which resulted in a great contract, for him), there weren’t going to be opportunities to start elsewhere this offseason. So he adjusted his sights and found a place he was comfortable.

“I had a few options. I wanted to find a nice role for me to come in and help a young guy,” he said after signing his two-year, $6.5 million deal. “This was, for me, a great opportunity to come in. I don’t know Jake at all. But I want to be there for him and be ready to play if anything happens.”

To be honest, playing behind Locker’s not a bad spot, as he hasn’t proven himself to be worth the draft pick the Titans used on him. And that could leave Fitzpatrick back in the role he’s more familiar with, if not suited to.

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26 Responses to “Fitzpatrick swallows pride to accept backup role”
  1. flipola says: Mar 25, 2013 8:01 PM

    Surely he’d have been a better option in AZ than Stanton.

  2. stevenwilliams2013 says: Mar 25, 2013 8:06 PM

    I promise you that he’ll take the job away from Jake “The Mistake” Locker

  3. west4420 says: Mar 25, 2013 8:07 PM

    Fitzy is smart. The gravy train in the NFL doesn’t last forever and not many jobs in the real world pay 3.5Million per year.

    Fitzy, make that money and investor in your T Bills and corporate bonds and dividend stocks. This is one guy that probably won’t blow it all on rims, his posse, multiple mansions and “bizness dealz”.

  4. kolbe213 says: Mar 25, 2013 8:08 PM

    He’ll be a backup in TN long enough to learn the playbook.

  5. vikescry1 says: Mar 25, 2013 8:09 PM

    one thing’s for sure, locker isn’t getting any better from learning from fitzpatrick. he might learn what not to do… lol

  6. flyerguy73 says: Mar 25, 2013 8:12 PM

    Swallow your pride? Dude, you suck as a quarterback! No arm strength, always throwing that last quarter interception ( which I am going to miss seeing). You are lucky to even gave a backup role. You are a third sting quarterback, if that. The bills suck, and they even realized that you sucked even worse! What a tool.

  7. kgun80 says: Mar 25, 2013 8:12 PM

    “I felt like Buffalo was the best place for me to start next season…..
    Yeah most guys competing with Tavaris Jackson would feel the same way

  8. ferdfteenthousand says: Mar 25, 2013 8:12 PM

    Well if he didn’t suck, he wouldn’t have to swallow any pride…

  9. wwwmattcom says: Mar 25, 2013 8:20 PM

    Get that spot Fitzmagic!

  10. dalucks says: Mar 25, 2013 8:25 PM

    As a Texans fan, I feel good knowing that Jake Locker and Ryan Fitzpatrick are the QBs of the Titans.
    Looks like the division is a two team race between the Texans and Colts.

  11. baldeagle6 says: Mar 25, 2013 8:33 PM

    What we have here is a classic contrast between brains and brawn. Fitzpatrick has the brains and Locker has the brawn.

    It is a stone cold fact that Locker “hasn’t proven himself to be worth the draft pick the Titans used on him,” and the Titans front office is still hoping that he will develop into a respectable NFL QB–and thus save their jobs, which are definitely on the line with Bud Adams in 2013.

    Sadly, hope is not a plan. Locker’s passing has not improved since his Pac-10 days: still in the mid-50s for completions, still near the bottom of the league passer rating standings, and more INTs than TDs in 2012.

    All Fitzpatrick needs is an opportunity to show what Matt Hasselbeck gave the Titans: he may not be as fast or as strong as Locker, but he is a hell of a lot smarter, and that counts for more than merely big, fast and strong at the QB position.

  12. thegonz13 says: Mar 25, 2013 8:41 PM

    Dude, I guess pride isn’t the only thing you had to $wallow!

  13. george1859 says: Mar 25, 2013 8:57 PM

    While flyerguy may be correct, Fitz did suck, he is wrong about the man. Fitz is class all the way. Although we wish Fitz would be the guy here in Buffalo, things just didn’t work out. Best of luck Ryan. He’ll make Locker a better QB.

  14. rajbais says: Mar 25, 2013 9:06 PM

    Or is doing so because he was told “you’re out of options, pal!”

  15. flipola says: Mar 25, 2013 9:23 PM

    People give Locker a lot of crap, but it’s been known he’d be a project since he was drafted. He’s been hurt, and his o-line has been hurt/sucked. Signing Levitre was good. Drafting Warmack or Cooper is the thing to do. Give him a year behind an improved line and healthy/out-of-trouble Kenny Britt. If he still doesn’t do well, toss him out with Munchak next year, and start over. At least then, whatever QB comes in will have a pretty nice little offense set up for him.

  16. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Mar 25, 2013 9:44 PM

    We saw this guy twice a year where his normal performance was inconsistently average. Lots of inaccurate throws. I never considered him much of a threat. He would have a flash of brilliance on a play or two or even a series, but they were too long & far between and I could always count on him to choke.

    He overachieved for a season & got the big contract, but couldn’t live up to it. He’s where he belongs now… as a backup.

  17. mazblast says: Mar 25, 2013 9:53 PM

    That I-went-to-Harvard-therefore-you-must-worship-me attitude, as exemplified by our current President, seems to have infected Fitzpatrick, too. Be content with being a backup, because that’s all you were ever really suited to be.

  18. mackcarrington says: Mar 25, 2013 10:50 PM

    Maybe if he had “swallowed his pride” a little sooner, he might still be in Buffalo. I’ll bet the pay cut he turned down was more than he is making now.

  19. granadafan says: Mar 25, 2013 11:23 PM

    Unlike Urlacher, Fitz is smart enough to “swallow his pride” and accept a backup role. A few extra million never hurts.

  20. bobzilla1001 says: Mar 25, 2013 11:26 PM

    For the life of me, I can’t understand how Fitzpatrick is responsible for a Buffalo defense that allowed 435 points last season. What a sad and pathetic quarterback-obsessed society we’ve become…

  21. jprcox says: Mar 25, 2013 11:40 PM

    Wilson and Kap come to Superbowl caliber teams (already) and do well. Locker is not playing with the same team. In fact, Wilson started the season poorly until the coaches got things together in a way that he was able to flourish.

    Locker is good. Tenn. needs to place a team around him and then judge.

  22. whodat11985 says: Mar 25, 2013 11:40 PM

    I need to say this regarding Fitz: he has the brains to be an excellent quarterback but a noodle for an arm. He also lacks the clutch gene come 4th quarter. However, not all the blame should be pointed at him for his lack of success in buffalo. Remember, Ralph Wilson brought in buddy nix, a washed up gm and chan gailey, a real life look alike to mr magoo and hoped for the best. The track record was proven prior to getting gailey that there would be little success in buffalo. So Fitz, good luck, the coach you have w the titans is still suspect, so use your Harvard brain and you hit the gym and maybe you will get that starting role again .

  23. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Mar 26, 2013 12:11 AM

    It’s a good gig Fitz. Get a nice check to carry the clip board around and you will remember your kids names when you get old.

  24. sirthorazine says: Mar 26, 2013 12:13 AM

    As a Bills fan Fitz frustrated the hell out of me. It was hard not to like the guy’s attitude, toughness, and smarts. his accuracy seemed to suffer after QB coach guru David Lee tried to “tweak” his mechanics. Seemed to have caused him to second guess himself more last season. Perhaps those mechanics will sink in. But one thing he will add to the TiTs is his intelligence. No doubt he will be a good mentor for Locker and a solid backup when needed. good luck Ryan and TiTs

  25. billskayp says: Mar 26, 2013 10:19 AM

    Fitz is the best! Wish he could have stayed in Buffalo under a new system. Always felt like he got a bad deal under Chan’s offense and a terrible defense. Great guy, great leader, incredibly tough player. Titans are lucky to have him and I will certainly be routing for him.

  26. steelerben says: Mar 26, 2013 10:23 AM

    If you’re looking to move back into the starter role then Tennessee isn’t just a good spot because Locker “hasn’t proven himself worth the draft pick”. He also hasn’t managed to play an entire season without getting injured.

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