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.