If Ryan Fitzpatrick's NFL career was jotted down on a résumé, it would certainly require two pages. The quarterback's newest gig, though, is standing out compared to his eight previous stops — in a very positive way, fortunately.
"This is the best situation I’ve ever been in or the best situation that I’ve ever gone into as the guy,” Fitzpatrick said on a recent edition of the ESPN Daily podcast.
As Fitzpatrick explained, his signing with Washington marks the third time as a pro that he joined a team as the presumed starter (Ron Rivera, meanwhile, insists there'll be a competition between the veteran and Taylor Heinicke at training camp).
So, between that, the on-paper talent that surrounds him on both offense and defense and the unusual amount of energy he possesses for someone at this stage of their NFL life, Fitzpatrick is truly loving how 2021 is setting up.
"I just feel like the way that I’m playing the last four years, kind of the progression of my career, it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense that 17 years in, physically, I feel great, mentally, emotionally," Fitzpatrick said. "I’m in the right spot. I just think I am set up for success this year and I'm really looking forward to it."
There's been a healthy amount of debate — including a back-and-forth on the newest episode of the Washington Football Talk podcast — about whether the Burgundy and Gold actually is the most advantageous position Fitzpatrick's ever been in as a signal-caller.
The 2015 Jets, for example, went 10-6 and featured two 1,000-yard receivers as well as a 1,000-yard running back. The 2020 Dolphins, a squad that Fitz started seven contests for, posted the same record as New York and appear to be a franchise on the rise.
All the hype about Washington, on the other hand, will remain just that until September, when Week One arrives.
What those on the outside say, however, is irrelevant — but still, listen to that Washington Football Talk pod, because it's a damn good installment — as long as Fitzpatrick is confident in his standing, and clearly, he is.
And he's not just comfortable because of his path to starting or who he'll be relying on, either. After experiencing a really difficult campaign with the Jets in 2016, Fitzpatrick has taken on a new attitude, one that lets him cherish every down and every throw he gets on Sundays.
"It’s almost like I’ve been playing on borrowed time," he said about getting past 2016. "The last four, I’ve really been able to enjoy. Hopefully everybody has been able to see that for me on the field, from some of the goofy stuff and the interviews. My personality has really come out the last four."
Some of his top performances have, too, which is a promising trend that Washington badly needs to continue.