Ryan Fitzpatrick on Starting Against the Dolphins

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick spoke to the media during Training Camp about starting in the first preseason game.

(On the plays from todays practice in the red zone)

“Red zone especially against your own team, they’ve seen your plays, you’ve seen their defenses, so sometimes it gets a little bit tough, in terms of people being able to read some routes. It makes us have to be very efficient and good at what we do, precise down there. That’s important. If you look at the guys we have, the size we have, we should be a pretty good red zone team in that regard. My favorite play today was probably O.J. [Howard] going up and getting one in the corner of the end zone. That was a ball that yesterday, or a few days ago, he had one like that and didn’t come down with it. He was upset with himself and worked on it, and worked on it, and brought that one down so that was nice to see.”

(On the new concepts the team is trying this year)

“There’s plenty of new stuff. I think the biggest thing down there though is just knowing exactly where your guys are going to be, them knowing exactly where you expect them to be, and when you get one-on-one matchups, winning the matchups, and making good throws.”

(On what’s been different for him this training camp and what would make it a success)

“I think a success in the preseason game is coming out healthy, everyday coming out healthy. It’s good in that we’ve been banging heads with the same guys day-in and day-out. So, we get to go against a different scheme, some guys that we don’t know so well, and they don’t know us so well; just to go out there and run our base stuff and execute a little bit just to get that game feel back. Even going through warm-ups, and pre-game and reestablishing that routine.”

(On how he’s feeling physically due to the increased reps)

“I feel good. The biggest thing with the reps with me is how does your arm feel? [Are] you throwing too much? And definitely not. The reps have stepped up a little bit, but not a ton. I’d say now that the reps that I do take are a little more meaningful than the ones that I had all of last year just in terms of working with twos and threes. I feel really good physically. My arm feels great. Going into year 14 I couldn’t ask for my body to feel any better, probably.”

(On Fitzpatrick’s instincts and ability to run)

“It’ definitely instinctive. It’s something I’ve always been able to do a little bit and have some success with. I think at times it will keep defenses honest with what they do. It’s not what I’m trying to do. I do it when necessary. The new rule they made this year matters a little bit. Giving yourself up feet first was always the deal, and now as a quarterback dives head first, he’s also considered giving himself up. My awkward sliding ability, that rule probably helps me a little bit to avoid a few more hits.”

(On if he’s is inclined to dive rather than slide this year due to the addition of the new rule)

“I don’t know how to slide. Usually I go head first, and the defense is so confused at me looking so awkward and flopping around like a fish that they don’t know what to do. Now they’re not allowed to hit me.”

(On what is expected of running back Peyton Barber)

“I think Peyton [Barber] is to be determined. He really came on at the end of last year and did a great job for us. He’s worked hard this offseason so we’ve got high hopes for Peyton and I would definitely say that one is to be determined. He’s got a lot of talent.”

(On advice he would give to a rookie going into their first preseason)

“I would say enjoy it. You never know how long it’s going to last. So, take everything in and enjoy the fact that you’re there. It’s such a neat experience. Whether it’s a preseason game, or that opening week, as an NFL player, it’s a pretty unique experience. Going through it and putting on the uniform and going out with your teammates, that would be my biggest thing.”

(On giving knowledge to the guys trying to make the team)

“I love helping younger guys. Whether it’s a receiver, quarterback, tight end, or running back, just trying to get a feel for them and help them out as much as possible. There are definitely patterns and certain things that happen every preseason that you either try to exploit, or avoid, especially that fourth game with some of the younger guys. I’ve got plenty of sayings and wisdoms for [quarterback] Austin Allen and things for him to do.”

(On how Jameis Winston has handled training camp)

“Jameis has been great. There hasn’t been a change with him in terms of the way he’s attacking the game, the way he’s been in the meeting rooms, the amount of time that he’s putting in, the amount of work that he is putting in right now, he’s been awesome. When we first started practicing, the one thing that we stressed to each other was open lines of communication. If there was something that was either bothering me, or something that I felt needed to change, and have open lines of communication with Dirk [Koetter] and Jameis. I think those two are the same way with me, and with each other. It’s been fluid, and we’re continuing to work through it, but I think Jameis has been great.”

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