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Ryan Fitzpatrick to Retain Starting Role when Geno Smith Returns


After all these years, a spot still remains in the NFL for the man they call “Fitzmagic” and his majestic beard.

The journeyman quarterback – most recently of the New York Jets – has helmed his team to an unlikely 2-0 start in spite of another media circus offseason, and is now primed to hold onto the starting role even with the return of Geno Smith.

Jets’ head coach Todd Bowles confirmed the speculation, simply stating “Ryan will get all the first-team reps.” A man of few words, Bowles’ confidence in his veteran signal caller retains at least one aspect of coaching left behind by Rex Ryan. That is: the defense wins the game, and the offense just manages it.

It would be easy to say that Fitzpatrick has only IK Enemkpali and his short temper to thank for the starting role (the unemployed rookie broke Smith’s jaw over a financial dispute in the offseason) but the truth is, Fitzpatrick is more than capable of managing this offense.

The veteran has thrown 4 touchdowns and 2 picks in two games, relying heavily on reliable targets Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker to move the chains. He may not be able to rely on his defense to force five turnovers every week, but the unit’s renewed vigour under Bowles means he rarely has to be Superman, and that’s exactly how the Jets like it.

At 32, Ryan may not have as high a ceiling as Geno, but he is less prone to backbreaking mistakes as well. With a stout supporting cast and phenomenal defense around him, the Jets will take that compromise every time.

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