Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick strongly considered retirement after a disappointing 2016 season with the Jets. He told me after Sunday’s win over the Saints that he continued his playing career at the behest of his sons.
His sons knew what they were talking about.
“You know I’m better right now than I’ve been at any point in my career and lot of that is mentally and whatever else,” Fitzpatrick said Thursday, via JoeBucsFan.com. “But there’s a lot of different throws and things that are so much ingrained in you, so much muscle memory from working and doing it for a long time. Truly I feel like the older I’ve gotten the better I’ve become.”
That eyebrow-raising snippet came in response to the question of whether the Buccaneers’ offense this offense suits him, and that perhaps he’s coming into his prime and that Tampa is the right place for him.
“Every stop for me has been different,” Fitzpatrick said. “Every offense has been different, some tailored to my strengths, others I’ve just kind of had to fit in. But, you know, I think the places where I’ve done well they’re able to play at the line of scrimmage a little bit, you’ve got some veteran guys on the outside, that kind of understand the game and can take the next step in terms of what we’re trying to do. And also, I think all the different experiences I’ve had, I just continue to become a better player whether people think that or see that
or not. . . . Truly I feel like the older I’ve gotten the better I’ve become.”
The longer a quarterback plays, the more thoroughly he understands how to play well, particularly when it comes to reading defenses and adjusting to whatever they seem to be giving him. As a result, Fitzpatrick gave the Saints hell in Week One, and the Eagles now have to treat Week Two as something other than the bye they may have believed it was going to be.
Fitzpatrick won the NFC offensive player of the week award for his efforts against New Orleans, and his old teammate Carson Palmer definitely is a believer, as Palmer explained earlier this week during a visit to the #PFTPM podcast.