For a guy who had bounced around, last season defied all expectations for Ryan Fitzpatrick.
After being thrown into the starting job shortly before the opener, Fitzpatrick went on to have a career season, setting Jets franchise and personal records and leading them to 10 wins. But they fell short of the playoffs, which provides all the motivation he needs.
“People keep asking me that, but I hope I don’t duplicate what I did last year,” Fitzpatrick said, via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “I hope I play a lot better than that. I know it was a career year in terms of some of the numbers, but there’s so many things that I can be better at as a player. . . .There’s a lot for me to improve on from last year. I feel like I’m a better player now than I was last year than I was the year before. So I expect better things out of me this year.”
“There’s a lot for me to improve on from last year. I feel like I’m a better player now than I was last year than I was the year before. So I expect better things out of me this year.”
The expectation is also built on a sense of urgency, as Fitzpatrick had to bet on himself, taking a one-year contract after a prolonged impasse with the Jets this summer. But despite the contract unpleasantness, there’s so much that fits for Fitzpatrick there, from his relationship to offensive coordinator Chan Gailey to the playmakers around him that gives him confidence.
“The timing, . . . what led me here with these players . . . is perfect,” Fitzpatrick said. “The timing is perfect. I wouldn’t change it.”
Now all he has to change is the ultimate result, and get the Jets to the playoffs for the first time in six years for it to all be worthwhile.