Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs the latest team hit by the curse of Ryan Fitzpatrick

TAMPA ó Itís too late to reverse the curse of Ryan Fitzpatrick, which has officially befallen the Bucs.

Wherever Fitzpatrick shows up, the starting quarterback will go down. Fitzpatrick will get to experience the joy of hex again Sunday against his former Jets team when he plays in place of injured starter Jameis Winston, who has been shut down for at least two weeks with a right shoulder sprain.

"Itís crazy that itís happened pretty much wherever I have been, but you know, last year (with the Jets) was a crazy year as well," Fitzpatrick said Thursday. "I got benched a few times but had to go back in the lineup because of injury. It seems to happen over and over again, but obviously, just some crazy coincidence."

Fitzpatrick has played for seven teams during an outstanding 13-year career. But 13 isnít the only season that has been unlucky for his teammates.

Remarkably, Fitzpatrick has played at least half of his teamís games for nine straight seasons. By comparison, consider the only other quarterbacks who have done that: Eli Manning, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers, Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan.

RELATED: Report: Jameis Winston fined $12,154 for actions vs. Saints.

It began during his rookie year with the St. Louis Rams when he entered the lineup after Marc Bulger sustained a shoulder injury. The jinx has followed Fitzpatrick to every team he has played for. In 2005, the Bengalsí Carson Palmer (elbow) missed 12 games. In í09, the Billsí Trent Edwards (concussion) missed half the season. Jake Locker had a foot injury with the Titans in í13. The next year, Ryan Mallett had a pectoral muscle injury with the Texans.

It really got weird his past two seasons with the Jets. Geno Smith got punched in the face by a teammate and Fitzpatrick led them to a 10-6 record, narrowly missing the playoffs. After being benched last season, he was forced to return as the starter when Smith (knee) and Bryce Petty (shoulder) went down.

Fitzpatrick said he thought seriously about retirement after last season before signing with the Bucs, saying he wasnít sure he did the right thing until five weeks into the season.

"I was pretty close (to retiring), which was a really hard thing for me just because I enjoy playing so much, I enjoy being around it so much," he said. "So I got a call from (Bucs coach) Dirk (Koetter), and we talked, and I ended up signing here.

RELATED: Austin Seferian-Jenkins vs. team that Ďgave upí on him.

"And really, I donít think it was until I was in that Arizona game (Oct. 15) in the second half playing (after Winston got hurt) that I maybe realized how much I wouldíve missed it if I didnít play. That was probably the moment, if youíre looking for one, of me being reassured I made the right decision."

Fitzpatrick entered in the second quarter with the Bucs trailing 24-0. With his family and friends at the game, he passed for 290 yards and three touchdowns, with two interceptions, in a 38-33 loss.

Fitzpatrick took over Sunday in the second half of a 30-10 loss to the Saints after Winston was forced to leave following another hit on his shoulder.

Fitzpatrick will make his first start with the Bucs ó and his 117th overall ó against the Jets. Whatís more, it will come against Josh McCown, a quarterback who shares with him nomadic traits, having played for seven teams, including the Bucs.

RELATED: NFL Power Rankings, Week 10: Steelers hold the top spot.

"Thereís a reason (Fitzpatrick and McCown have) been kept around so long. Because one, theyíre fantastic football players," Bucs offensive coordinator Todd Monken said. "I mean, you play that long in the NFL at the highest level and get paid what you get paid, those guys are great football players. And itís fun to see when those guys get opportunities and play well, like Ryan has, and so has Josh."

"Fitzmagic," as he was known in New York, still has some tricks left. And maybe a little black magic as well.

Comments
Buccaneers AfterMath: In Tampa Bay, time is a flat circle

Buccaneers AfterMath: In Tampa Bay, time is a flat circle

Everything the Bucs have ever done or will ever do, they will do over and over and over again.
Updated: 3 hours ago
Bucs sign placekicker Cairo Santos

Bucs sign placekicker Cairo Santos

TAMPA — The Bucs signed placekicker Cairo Santos to replace Chandler Catanzaro, the team announced Monday night.Santos will become the Bucs' seventh placekicker since the beginning of the 2015 season.He owns a 84.1 field-goal conversion percent...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Bucs cut Chandler Catanzaro, continuing the trend of in-season kicking changes

Bucs cut Chandler Catanzaro, continuing the trend of in-season kicking changes

TAMPA — The latest chapter in the Bucs' dubious kicking history ended on Monday as the club cut struggling Chandler Catanzaro a day after missing two field goals in a 16-3 home loss to Washington.Catanzaro was 11-for-15 on field-goal attempts i...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Dirk Koetter took over Bucs play-calling duties in an attempt to protect the defense

Dirk Koetter took over Bucs play-calling duties in an attempt to protect the defense

TAMPA — Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter explained his reasoning for taking over offensive play-calling duties for the team's 16-3 loss to Washington, saying that he wanted to gear the offense toward plays that could create a time of possession adv...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Bucs coach Dirk Koetter explains his decision to stick with Ryan Fitzpatrick over Jameis Winston

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter explains his decision to stick with Ryan Fitzpatrick over Jameis Winston

TAMPA — Questions about who will start at quarterback Sunday against the Giants dominated Bucs coach Dirk Koetter's Monday press conference. Here's a several of the questions and Koetter's answers:On who will start at quarterback against t...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Searching for logic in the Bucsí decision to stick with Ryan Fitzpatrick

Searching for logic in the Bucsí decision to stick with Ryan Fitzpatrick

TAMPA — Move along. Nothing to see here.Here at the booby hatch, the Bucs are so far gone that they're going back to Ryan Fitzpatrick this Sunday in New York.Who can blame them?That fourth win is so close they can taste it.For a moment Sunday, ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Bucs release kicker Chandler Catanzaro, according to a report. Dirk Koetter says it hasnít happened

Bucs release kicker Chandler Catanzaro, according to a report. Dirk Koetter says it hasnít happened

After watching Catanzaro missed two field goals in a 16-3 loss to Washington, the Bucs dumped another place-kicker
Updated: 8 hours ago
Despite turnovers, Bucs will stick with Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB Sunday at Giants

Despite turnovers, Bucs will stick with Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB Sunday at Giants

Fitzpatrick has five turnovers in the past two games, including four interceptions. He had two INTs and lost a fumble in a 16-3 loss to Washington Sunday
Updated: 9 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Red-zone breakdowns cost Bucs in loss to Washington

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Red-zone breakdowns cost Bucs in loss to Washington

The Bucs defense plays well, but the offense continually breaks down in the red zone as the team racks up 500 yards of offense but manages just 3 points in a 16-3 loss to Washington.Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter takes over the play-calling for th...
Published: 11/12/18
Bucs receivers frustrated by red-zone ineffectiveness

Bucs receivers frustrated by red-zone ineffectiveness

TAMPA  — Moving the ball was easy for the Bucs’ passing offense Sunday, until it reached the red zone.That’s where the NFL’s best passing offense stalled. Four drives were halted by turnovers — two fumbles and ...
Updated: 9 hours ago