Commanders

Fitzpatrick: WFT offense will be tough to defend in 2021

Commanders

Adapting to a new city, a new team and new offensive scheme is far from novel for Washington quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. He's done it eight times in his 16-season career and he's in the process of doing it again with season 17 on the horizon.

Fitzpatrick caught up with NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay and Mitch Tischler and discussed his early impressions of offensive coordinator Scott Turner's offense going into the 2021 season.

"It's a little bit different than a lot of what I've done, especially recently," Fitzpatrick said. "The terminology's different, but there's just certain ways that you can really attack defenses and he seems to really get that and understand that."

In Fitzpatrick, Turner has a healthy, experienced NFL quarterback to work with for the first time since he arrived in Washington in 2020. But the pieces that surround his new gunslinger are perhaps the key to unlocking the sort of offense he wants to run.

"The biggest thing with his offense, is we're able to spread the ball around to everybody and get everybody involved. It's going to be a tough offense to defend just because of all the pieces we have," Fitzpatrick said.

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Washington's young defense largely led the way last season as the team clawed its way to a postseason berth despite finishing the season sub-.500 for the 4th consecutive season. This offseason, in turn, was spent adding offensive weapons.

Ron Rivera was finally reunited with one of the league's most promising, young receivers in Curtis Samuel after trying to trade for the former Panther during the 2020 season. Shortly after that, Washington signed former Titan Adam Humphries to slide into the slot before taking a bet on Sammis Reyes—a former Tulane basketball player—and adding another speedy pass catcher in the third round with UNC's Dyami Brown.

Between free agency and the draft, Washington's receiving corps has a brand new look. But according to Fitzpatrick, the chemistry has already started to form with OTAs and minicamp behind them.

"I felt the rapport with the guys, not necessarily just on the field X's and O's, but just getting to know guys, starting those relationships up. It's a good team and a lot of great guys, and usually when you can build that off-the-field chemistry, it continues to trickle over onto the field, as well," Fitzpatrick said. "I really like where we're at right now, with a lot of work to go, but I really like the guys we have on the roster."

Fitzpatrick will come into training camp as the presumed starter for Turner—a status the 38-year-old journeyman has rarely held. As odd as it may be, that advantage is new for him. But it is an advantage nonetheless.

"As we get to game-planning and really understanding the guys we have on our roster, and him understanding me and my strengths and weaknesses, I think it's going to be great," Fitzpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick and the Washington Football Team are set to begin training camp on July 27th.