Who is the starting quarterback for the Washington Football Team?
If you asked 10 people who watch the team closely, they'll probably all tell you it's Ryan Fitzpatrick. He's the best and most established option Washington has and the one-year, $10 million deal he signed in the offseason would indicate where he stands on the depth chart.
But Ron Rivera has yet to make an official announcement on who his starter is. With just over two weeks before Week 1, Rivera won't name the starter until he's ready, even though there isn't an open competition for the job.
"If you've got a hard-fought, true knockdown, drag-out battle, you gotta make that decision early," Rivera said on BMitch and Finlay Thursday. "You don't want it to divide [the team]. I think the players know [who the starter is] and when the moment's appropriate I'll let everybody know. I'll let everybody know what I think, but let's do it on our schedule."
This isn't exactly a new tactic by Rivera. When he was with the Panthers and Cam Newton was incoming No. 1 pick and presumed starter as a rookie, Rivera held back on announcing him the starter until he chose to. The head coach simply prefers to have that moment with his team rather than announce it in a media session first.
"There'll be a proper moment when I sit down and talk about the guys that are going to start for this team, but that'll be a moment for us, for the team," Rivera told reporters Thursday. "I like to do that. I like to let the guys know who is our starters. I think that's important. I've been in some situations and it was Cam Newton's first year and when it was time I got in front of the team and told him he was going to be our guy. I think that's something that I need to tell everybody as opposed to it leaking out.”
When that moment will take place is anybody's guess, though it'll presumably happen before Washington's regular-season opener against the Chargers.
Fitzpatrick has gotten the first-team reps in practice, he's started every preseason game, and as stated before, he's getting paid like a starting quarterback. As currently constructed, Washington will likely go as far as Fitzpatrick can take them, regardless of when he's officially made the starting quarterback.
Washington fans will get one more chance to see Fitzpatrick and the rest of the team prepare for the regular season on Saturday night in a preseason finale against the Ravens. Tune into NBC Sports Washington at 5 PM on Saturday for Washington Football Kickoff Live starts as the WFT takes on the Baltimore Ravens in their final preseason game.