Ryan Fitzpatrick and Billy Joel live life with similar mantras: “And if I stand or I fall, it’s all or nothing at all.” While Joel was hardly singing about the 27-year-old Harvard man in his 1989 hit, both men certainly go to extremes. Fitzy’s play has been up and down his whole tenure in Buffalo. He has the ability to laser passes into triple coverage, only to skip it to an open man the following drive. He by far gives us the best chance to get a W, even if it means the defense has to cover for him the 5-6 mistakes he gives us a game.
He’s by no means a long-term option at QB, but he is the perfect man for what the Bills are trying to accomplish right now. I feel that the way to build a football team is to strengthen the supporting cast while having a journeyman run the show. Then, when the team (including the future signal caller) is ready to compete, he assumes a clipboard role to mentor the youngster. He’s a great mentor to younger players. I was hoping he would take Levi Brown under his wing, considering Ryan was once in a similar situation. Back in training camp, Levi actually made a point of acknowledging how invaluable Fitz was to him.
Besides having a great attitude and knowing how to get the offense to rally around him, Fitz has the physical tools of a solid NFL QB. While he is an intelligent guy, I’m so sick of commentators saying how smart he is because he came from Harvard. Every throw he makes is attributed to his mental capacity rather than the fact he’s gutsy and trusts his arm to make plays. Through 6 games, he’s thrown 13 TDs, 7 INTs, and 1,499 yards. Even though he will at most start 14 games this season, his projected totals this year are 30 TDs, 16 INTs, and 3,497 yards. That’s very respectable for a guy that has never really established himself since being a 7th round pick in 2004.
Fitz is the classic polarizing figure in Buffalo. Some will love him and some will hate him. He is both the catalyst and the cause. Bottom line is, Ryan is great for the team and great for the long-term future of the Bills. Here’s hoping that Fitzpatrick spends the rest of his career sporting a buffalo on the side of his helmet.