Football Team

Rivera says there's no reason Fitz can't be QB1 'for a while'

Football Team

Ryan Fitzpatrick is entering his 17th season in the NFL and his first with the Washington Football Team. He also turns 39 years old in November and is easily the oldest player on the Burgundy and Gold's roster. 

So, conventional wisdom would say that his time with Washington will be relatively short. Don't tell that to head coach Ron Rivera, though.

In an interview with Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post, Rivera said that he's not ruling out the potential of Fitzpatrick being in Washington for "a while."

"There’s nothing that says Ryan Fitzpatrick can’t be the guy for a while," Rivera said.

The 59-year-old head coach cited the success of Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, 43, and professional golfer Phil Mickelson, 51, as two veterans who continue to succeed in their respective sports. Brady just led Tampa Bay to a Super Bowl in February in his first season with the team, while Mickelson became the oldest golfer to win a major with his PGA Championship victory last month.

"If this dude continues to play at the level he has and with Brady showing everybody that these veteran guys can do it — just ask Phil Mickelson, he’ll tell you — then why not? Why would we want to move on?" Rivera said.

Besides Fitzpatrick, Washington's current QB room consists of Taylor Heinicke, Kyle Allen and Steven Montez. Rivera said earlier this month that starting job is Fitzpatrick's to earn, but Heinicke will be given the chance to compete for the QB1 gig during training camp, too.

 

"At the same time, we have a guy we have confidence in Taylor, we have confidence in Kyle, and we got a very young player in Steven Montez," Rivera said. "So we’re kind of in an interesting position right now."

As for what his hope is at the sport's most important position moving forward, Rivera told Jhabvala that he's willing to see how it plays out with Fitzpatrick and Heinicke before jumping to any conclusions.

"I think we’re in a good spot," Rivera said. "Like I said, there’s nothing that says right now that, if things go well with Ryan, why wouldn’t we want to bring that guy back? Or if Taylor ends up being the guy, why wouldn’t we want that guy to be the guy for a while? Do we want a quarterback of the future? Yeah. Oh, absolutely. And ideally, it’d be a guy that could sit back and watch and you could be patient with him."