New York Jets: Can Ryan be the perfect Fit(zpatrick)?
The date is September 13, 1970. The New York Jets opened the season on the road against the Cleveland Browns and their all-timer at quarterback, Joe Namath was ready for a battle. We were on top of the world! This was the season opener one year removed from winning a Super Bowl championship. Fast forward 45 years, another September 13 opener, Browns again, yet the Jets don’t have a quarterback like they did so many years ago.
Though this time around on our turf, we are returning from one of our worst seasons and knock out training camp (sorry for the reference, Geno Smith) with a big question mark at quarterback in the form of Ryan Fitzpatrick.
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Fitzpatrick ended last season probably just as depressed as us Jets fans, though maybe even more so, nursing a broken leg that ended a decent run with the Houston Texans.
The Jets and Fitzpatrick seem to have a lot in common. While the Jets roll through a lot of quarterbacks, Fitzy has gone through a lot of teams. Match made in heaven right?
Jokes aside, the reason Jets decided to bring on Fitzpatrick was because of his leadership, maturity, growth and occasional flashes of brilliance. Oh, did I mention Chan Gailey, the Jets’ offensive coordinator is a big fan of the Harvard grad. The duo had some good years together while with the Buffalo Bills. He understands and is familiar with the Gailey system. It was a good backup in case Smith were to get injured.
Well, as you know, that happened. So, enter Fitzpatrick as Jets starter. In the preseason, he may not have shown the power arm but had zero turnovers and made some really impressive completed passes. His health, confidence and execution seemed to improve, and remember, he DID bring home the Snoopy trophy.
Aug 29, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) throws a pass while being defended by New York Giants linebacker Devin Unga (47) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
So far during preseason football, head coach Todd Bowles thought that Fitzpatrick played well for the Jets. He showed his veteran leadership in both passing situations and making sure to not make any costly mistakes.
This coming Sunday, Fitzpatrick will enter MetLife Stadium hoping to prove to himself and the rest of us that he is indeed the right man for the job. Social media has been buzzing that his stepping in just might be a “blessing in disguise.” Taking it one game at a time, I do believe he has what it takes for a Jets’ victory on Sunday. And let’s hope the latest 13 (as in the day) is a lucky one for the Green and White.
Next: New York Jets: Can Bryce Petty be a starter in the future?