Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall isn’t seeing eye-to-eye with former Jets quarterback Boomer Esiason when it comes to Colin Kaepernick, but he’s on the same page with the current leader of the team’s offense.
Marshall said recently that he believes Ryan Fitzpatrick is “better this year” than he was while throwing 31 touchdown passes on the way to a 10-6 record. Fitzpatrick has the same opinion.
“I’m a better player than I was last year,” Fitzpatrick said to Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. “I feel like I keep progressing. I don’t know what the stats are going to be, but I’m going to be a better player this year than I was last year. I know that.”
That confidence would explain why Fitzpatrick says that he’s fine “betting on myself” with the one-year, $12 million contract he signed with the Jets after a protracted wait to get a deal done. A repeat of last year’s performance would set him up well for another deal, especially if it coincides with a trip to the playoffs.
That 10-6 record wasn’t enough to get Fitzpatrick and the Jets there last season, leaving him behind only Archie Manning when it comes to the most regular season starts without advancing to the postseason. Fitzpatrick believes the Jets are “a more confident football team” this year than they were in 2015 and that there’s “no doubt” that the roster is good enough for a maiden voyage into the playoffs.
The first six weeks of the season should give us a good hint about how those feelings translate to reality. Sunday’s game against the Bengals is one of five against 2015 playoff teams in the first six weeks. They go to Buffalo a week from Thursday and then have trips to Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Arizona sandwiched around a Week Four visit from the Seahawks.