TampaBay Buccaneers Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, September 5,2018
What do you remember from the Saints when you came in against them last year?
“I think the biggest thing was just the noise and the energy in that building. They got up on us a little bit there in the second half and the place was on fire. It’s one of the best home field advantages in all the NFL and I got to feel and experience that first-hand last year, I think that was my biggest take from it, it’s a tough place to be.”
How much does that play into your team’s preparation since it’s a season opener and people are excited?
“Yeah it's always, playing on the road in general in the NFL you have to have a great plan, stress great communication, make sure everybody's on the same page and you can't give the crowd a reason to get extra fired up. So, there are some things we'll focus on, communication being one of them, where we have to be on the same page with that noise level as loud as it'll be.”
Are there any special challenges preparing for a team because it's the season opener and they haven’t shown much?
“There's always an element of the unknown in terms of any changes they made in the offseason. There will be some new guys out there, personnelwise for them and for us so, there will always be some stuff. Being a division rival team that we've gone against each other a bunch the last few years, I think that adds to it more than it being an opener, just the fact that it's a division rival.”
What do you think changes when you're running the offense on Sunday instead of Jameis [Winston]?
“I don't know, I mean I try to do the best I can. They’ll cater certain things to me or there are certain things I feel more comfortable with, maybe some things that Jameis likes better than I do. We’ll work around that a little bit but, just open lines of communication and going out there and trying to execute the best I can.”
Does it help that you've kind of known about this for a while? Did that help your preparation knowing that you're going to be the guy going into week one? I guess you were also competing with [Ryan] Griffin.
“Yes. In a typical year going into it I wouldn't really have taken many reps with the ones. When we knew that this was going to be the plan going forward, I got to take a lot of reps with the ones and that’s communication for the guys up front. That's being on the same page with receivers and tight ends and running backs, so I got a lot of those reps that I normally wouldn't get which hopefully will be helpful here in the first few games.”
How do you look at Marshon Lattimore?
“He's a really good player. Extremely impressive last year, he obviously had some accolades at the end of the year that were well deserved. So, I think his talent is definitely recognized but for a guy to come in and play as well as he did in his first year is really impressive. You don't see that a ton. I’ll expect him to get better and better but he's certainly a guy you have to know where he is at all times.”
Is there anything about Cam Jordan that's kind of unique in your eyes, the way he does things?
“Not playing in this division, I didn't know about him, just being an AFC guy for as long as I was, but man he is one of the most impressive guys I've seen on tape just with speed, power, awareness, all those different things. He's one of the best players in general that we’ll face all year and he's fun to watch on tape with how many plays he makes, but not fun to play against.”
When a guy deflects a lot of passes like he does, how does that affect you as a quarterback going into one of those games?
“It doesn’t. That's something that I don't really pay much attention to. If something like that happens, it happens but there's too many other things and I'm thinking about.”
Is there any value for the quarterback speaking to the receiver who is going to be going against the number one corner in one-on-one coverage a little bit extra about how you guys want to handle that?
“No, I think when you have the talent at receiver we have and especially when you have a guy like Mike Evans, he’s going to get his balls. There is nobody that I am really going to shy away from, no disrespect to anybody, just because the talent level Mike has.”
You haven't been in this division long, so you haven’t played a lot against them, but when you have a secondary with a veteran safety like Kurt Coleman back there what does that add to a team?
“Well I think there is a ton of respect for Coleman in this building just from when he was with Carolina, the way that he played when he was there. So, I think that everybody in this building has seen him a bunch, but we’ve got a ton of respect for him. It'll be good to see him out there and it'll be a fun day just in terms of going against a defense as talented and as fast as this one.”
Do you see any value kind in of embracing the outside expectations in terms of using them as motivation?
“To me I just focus on my job, the things that I can control and as a quarterback obviously that's a lot of things. Throwing to the right guy, getting us into the right check or whatever it is there's a lot of things throughout the week I'll be attacking and studying the best I can to then go and try to execute it on Sunday.”
Do you think it's counterproductive to talk about [the Buccaneers] have been struggling a long time, people aren't expecting much for us, we're going to prove them wrong, stuff like that?
“I think 2018 it's a new season, everybody is 0-0 at this point.”