Football Team

One NFL analyst worries about Fitzpatrick's high-risk style

Football Team

Over his 16-year NFL career, Ryan Fitzpatrick has established a reputation of being one of the biggest risk-taking quarterbacks in the sport. His high-risk, high-reward style has led to, naturally, some streaky play over his career and prevented him from finding stability with one franchise.

Speaking on the Sports Junkies on Monday, former NFL quarterback Brady Quinn said he was unsure if Fitzpatrick, now with Washington, will be able to move away from his risk-taking style for the betterment of the team.

"For Fitzpatrick, my concern is you've got a great defense. You've got some weapons. You've got a good offensive line. He doesn't need to press or push or anything else," said Quinn, who works as an analyst for FOX on college and NFL broadcasts. "Turnovers have been an issue, so it will be interesting to see if that becomes an issue when it doesn't need to be," Quinn said.

"There could be a lot of low-scoring games because their defense is so good. Can he take care of the ball and manage it? That's going to be the biggest challenge for him in that regard."

When the Washington Football Team signed Fitzpatrick in free agency in March, part of the thinking was at the very least, he should be a significant upgrade over the four passers -- Dwayne Haskins, Alex Smith, Kyle Allen and Taylor Heinicke -- the club started last year.

Although Fitzpatrick is 38 years old, the veteran has played some of the best football of his career the past two seasons with the Dolphins. That's why many are optimistic about what the former Harvard star can bring to the Burgundy and Gold this fall. With better play at the sport's most important position, it should allow the team to build off its 2020 NFC East crown.

 

Over his last 16 starts, Fitzpatrick has thrown for nearly 4,500 yards on a 65% completion rate with 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. For comparison, Washington's quarterbacks, combined in their last 16 starts have thrown for just 16 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Those numbers alone show that Washington's offense should be marginally better with Fitzpatrick under center.

For Quinn, though, taking a bird's eye view of Fitzpatrick's whole career is the better way to evaluate what he can potentially bring to Washington. And, as it's well-documented by now, Fitzpatrick has not been able to stick with any franchise for more than a couple of seasons.

"I think the toughest thing and the reason why Ryan has bounced around -- and he's played a long, long time -- and the reason being is because he's showcased the ability to put together games, and maybe even a season, where he can be the starter, he can be the guy," Quinn said. "But unfortunately, he hasn't done that consistently well enough to have any solidarity in any situation."

Quinn wasn't finished, either, saying that almost every quarterback that makes it to the NFL has the natural ability to be a franchise QB, but "they have to play consistently at that level often enough in order to remain the guy." 

Fitzpatrick simply hasn't done that, which is part of the reason why Washington will be his ninth NFL franchise.

But while Quinn isn't as high on Fitzpatrick's outlook in Washington as others, the former NFL QB thinks Washington should compete with the Cowboys for the NFL crown.

"Dallas is probably the favorite in that division," Quinn said. "I feel better about Washington as opposed to the Giants. ... I think Washington is right there behind Dallas."