Day three of Buccaneers training camp has come to a close and it seemed like the team had a better day on the practice field than precious practices. That is expected, being that they have been away from football for quite a few weeks now. The goal everyday is to get better and prepare for the regular season.
Friday, the media got a chance to speak to Ryan Fitzpatrick, Gerald McCoy and Head Coach Dirk Koetter. Fitzpatrick is sort of the hot commodity around Tampa Bay these days, as he prepares to be the team’s starting quarterback to begin 2018.
Obviously, training camp this year is much different for Fitzpatrick then last year. He didn’t see any first team reps a year ago, but that is not the case this season. Throughout the first two practices, Fitzpatrick has handled nearly all the first team reps and is relishing the opportunity to improve the chemistry with his receivers.
“Getting the reps in practice and in some of those pre-season games will be good live reps to get with some of the receivers just to get the timing down,” Fitzpatrick said.
There is no doubt that Fitzpatrick has been a journeyman type quarterback ever since entering the league in 2005. As he heads into his 14th NFL season, he faces yet another unique situation. You would think that a quarterback who has been around for 13 years has experienced everything there is to in the NFL, but that is not the case.
“I thought I had seen and been through it all, but another year, another different situation,” Fitzpatrick said. “I think the biggest thing in all of this is just we’re all professionals and we’re just communicating as well.”
One takeaway in which I took from Fitzpatrick’s interview today is how calm he is and the confidence he portrays. You always want to see your quarterback show confidence because that trickles down to the rest of the team as well.
The deep ball conversation has been well documented as an issue the Buccaneers must fix this off season. It got off to a good start as Fitzpatrick and DeSean Jackson connected on a 60 yard bomb towards the end of practice. It was a welcomed site for many Buccaneer fans and the team can only hope a few of those connections can be made in the first three games. Fitzpatrick, who is a charismatic guy, had a great response to a question about that play.
“It’s early in camp. We’ve been two practices in. Probably going to go ice my arm after I threw that one. I think it went over 30 yards without a flutter, so that was a record for me,” Fitzpatrick said. “He’s obviously a home run hitter and a guy that defenses have to account for and that are afraid of, so we’re going to try to give him as many opportunities as possible.”
I know it has only been two days, but I am really liking what I see from Fitzpatrick. Hopefully it translates to game situations, but he is definitely off to a great start.