Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ryan Fitzpatrick: Five things to know about the Bucs' new backup QB

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 23: Quarterback  Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the New York Jets looks on in the first half against the Baltimore Ravens at MetLife Stadium on October 23, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) 663693229

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 23: Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the New York Jets looks on in the first half against the Baltimore Ravens at MetLife Stadium on October 23, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) 663693229

New Bucs backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is best known for being one of the smartest players in the NFL. The former Bills and Jets starter was a math major at Harvard with a wonderlic score of 48, but what else do Buccaneers fans need to know about him?

Here are five more things to know:

He could provide the experienced backup the Bucs lack behind Jameis Winston.

The Buccaneers will be Fitzpatrick's seventh team of his 13-year career and brings experience into the otherwise-young quarterback group. Jameis Winston is still only 23. The other quartebacks on the Bucs roster — Sefo Liufau and Ryan Griffin — are all 27 or younger and without a start to their names.

Fitzpatrick has 116 career starts including at least one for each of his previous six franchises.

RELATED: Three keys to a better Jameis Winston

He had the NFL's worst passer rating for a starter last year.

After an impressive 2015 in which he threw 31 touchdown passes, Fitzpatrick's numbers came back down to earth hard in 2016. His passer rating of 69.6 was the lowest of any quarterback who threw 14 or more passes per game, and his interception rate of 4.2 percent was well above the next-highest starter, Philip Rivers, who was intercepted on 3.6 percent of attempts.

He struggled in the clutch in 2016.

On his way to a 5-11 season with the Jets, Fitzpatrick often found himself behind late in games and needing to take risks. His fourth-quarter passer rating of 42.8 last year was a long way below the next-lowest player (Blaine Gabbert with 54.1). In fourth quarters he threw 10 interceptions and three touchdown passes on 109 attempts (51.4 completion percentage).

Late interceptions set Fitzpatrick back in 2015 too. In the Jets' finale his three fourth-quarter picks against the Bills knocked them out of playoffs.

Injuries have consistently made him a starter.

Fitzpatrick earned his first start for the 2005 Rams after leading St. Louis to a comeback victory following an injury to starter Jamie Martin. Since then, he has started in place of injured quarterbacks with five other teams, impressing the Bills and Jets enough to win the long-term starting job. Twice, in Houston in 2014 and last year with the Jets, Fitzpatrick began the season as the starter and found himself benched before an injury thrust him back into the starting lineup. Should Jameis Winston go down at any point this season, Fitzpatrick has experience in taking over.

RELATED: Bucs option for experience in Fitzpatrick signing

He's been very effective with two-tight end sets.

With 2017 first-round draft selection O.J. Howard joining Cameron Brate, the Buccaneers are poised to use more multiple-tight-end sets. If Fitzpatrick is needed, those sets may be where he's most capable. Last year, Fitzpatrick posted a near-perfect passer rating of 155.8 in two-tight-end sets, completing 85.3 percent of his passes for 407 yards and four touchdowns without any interceptions.

Contact Daniel O'Boyle at doboyle@tampabay.com. Follow @dan_o_boyle.

Ryan Fitzpatrick: Five things to know about the Bucs' new backup QB 05/19/17 [Last modified: Friday, May 19, 2017 6:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning impressed with improved offense from defensemen

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — At one point during Saturday's game against the Islanders, the Lightning was first in the NHL in points and second in points scored by its defensemen. That's one reason the team is off to the best start in franchise history.

    Lightning defensemen such as Victor Hedman (77) and Jake Dotchin (59), shown celebrating with Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and Alex Killorn, are playing bigger offensive roles this season.
  2. Debunking some theories about why the Bucs are keeping Jameis Winston on the shelf

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs are sticking with Ryan Two and Oh Fitzpatrick at quarterback for Sunday's game in Atlanta.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) is seen on the bench during the first half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Fennelly: Hope glimmering through the gloom of Bucs' season

    Bucs

    ST. PETERSBURG — It isn't easy avoiding The Jameis Winston mess.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) leaves the field following an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won 30-20. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times

  4. 3, 2, 1 ... wait, where did that bus come from? MARTA blocks Georgia Dome implosion video

    Nation

    The live video had been streaming for about 40 minutes. Then, just as 5,000 pounds of explosives was detonated to bring down the Georgia Dome, a MARTA bus rolled to a stop in front …

    A MARTA bus rolls to a stop in front of James Crugnale's live video camera just as the Georgia Dome is imploded on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. [Image from Weather Channel video]
  5. How did UCF go from 0-12 to unbeaten? Coaching and chemistry

    College

    ORLANDO — The marvel of Space Mountain dissipated decades ago. Doctor Doom's Fearfall at Universal, while a nifty defiance of gravity, has its ups and downs. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad? Please.

    Central Florida quarterback McKenzie Milton (10) attempts a pass against Temple during the first quarter in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in Philadelphia. UCF defeated Temple 45-19. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)