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. Bucs rookies Beckwith, McNichols cleared for training camp

    Blogs

    The Bucs took a calculated risk on two injured players that were discounted in the NFL draft and it may pay off.

    LSU linebacker Kendell Beckwiith (51) fell to the third round after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in a game against Florida Nov. 19.
  2. Rays can't wave white flag

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Buck Showalter and his Baltimore Bladders were back at it against the Rays on Tuesday night at the Trop, where, the whole world knows by now, there is no bathroom in the visitors bullpen. Showalter, who mentioned it after the Orioles won Monday, agreed with us before the game: They ought to have a …

    Alex Cobb chases down a grounder by Texas Rangers right fielder Nomar Mazara in the fourth inning of Friday's game at Tropicana Field.
  3. Tim Beckham jumps into right fielder Steven Souza Jr.'s arms after his three-run home run in the second inning.
  4. Want elite college football athletes? Recruit Tampa Bay

    Blogs

    Now that college football watch list season is over (I think), here's one takeaway you probably already knew: Tampa Bay produces a lot of great athletes.

    Robinson High produuct Byron Pringle has gone from this performance in a high school all-star game to all-Big 12 at Kansas State.
  5. ESPN's Dick Vitale, shown at One Buc Place last year when he announced a Bucs draft pick, has high hopes for Tampa Bay this fall, predicting a 10-6 record for the Bucs.