The Washington Football Team is expected to have a pretty good squad this season.
The defense is set up for success, especially with its talented and deep defensive front leading the way. The offense has a plethora of weapons at its disposal, including Terry McLaurin, Antonio Gibson, Logan Thomas, Curtis Samuel and Dyami Brown.
With the way the NFC East has looked the last few years, Washington has an opportunity to compete for the division. But everyone knows you can’t do that without getting at least serviceable play at the quarterback position.
That’s why Ron Rivera wanted to bring in a veteran such as Ryan Fitzpatrick to compete with Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen for the starting job. After 16 years and eight different teams, one thing we know is that Fitzpatrick has experience.
Still, NFL Network analyst Marc Ross isn’t sold on the addition. In a recent appearance on 106.7 The Fan in D.C., Ross told Sports Junkies that Fitzpatrick has never been anything but average in his career.
“This is kind of like a common-sense think with this Ryan Fitzpatrick situation, where people say, ‘He’s playing the best football of his career.’ Well, what does that mean? He’s average,” Ross said, via NBC Sports. “Because the best he’s ever been is average. Has he had a couple of 400-yard games once or twice a season? Absolutely. But the entirety of every season and his career is mediocrity.”
His criticism of Fitzpatrick wasn’t done.
“Why has this guy been on nine teams? Why has he never been to the playoffs? Why does he have 30 less wins than losses? You just have to base it on the common sense there and the facts. It’s nothing personal, it’s just the facts when it comes to Ryan Fitzpatrick,” Ross continued.
To be fair, Fitzpatrick has been a backup for much of his career. Though when he has gotten the opportunity to start, Ross is right, the results haven’t always been great. But this isn’t about what Fitzpatrick did back in 2008 or 2009 with the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills when he combined for 17 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.
This isn’t even about what he did as recently as 2016 surrounded by a 5-11 Jets squad when he threw 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. When people say Fitzpatrick is playing the best football of his career, they mean right now. And the results speak for themselves.
Ryan Fitzpatrick's Last 16 starts:
🔹65.2 Completion %
WFT Quarterback Last 16 Starts:
🔹64.7 Completion %
Both on exactly 599 attempts.#WashingtonFootball
— Tae & Todd Washington Football Podcast (@TaeNToddPodcast) March 18, 2021
Is Fitzpatrick a world beater? No, but he did have the Miami Dolphins in position for a shot at a playoff spot last season when he was benched for rookie Tua Tagovailoa.
In his last two games before giving way to Tua, Fitzpatrick had completed 72.7 percent of his passes for 541 yards, six touchdowns and only two interceptions. The Dolphins won those two games by a combined 67-17.
In other words, he was playing pretty good football.
It’s not like Washington had a ton of options available to them during the offseason either. After the trade market dried up, there were only so many QBs available. Team decision-makers were simply looking for a guy who could be serviceable.
Will that be Fitzpatrick? We don’t know yet, but Ross is acting like Washington had the option to add Aaron Rodgers and chose Fitzpatrick instead. That scenario — or anything close to it — simply wasn’t the case.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.