What To Do With Fitz?

August 12th, 2018

How long?

It is a conundrum Joe has boxed around with the “Custodian of Canton,” Ira Kaufman, in his internationally popular “Ira Kaufman Podcast.”

(Yo, Catholics, what’s the matter? Ira has listeners in the former Soviet republic to South Korea and beyond. Ira’s podcast is downloaded from various European countries but has yet to develop a following in Vatican City. C’mon, Ira isn’t Martin Luther.)

Anyway, Ira is of the mind if the Bucs win two (or more) games during the three-game sentence of America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, that Fitz should stay in the lineup. Joe thinks that is utter hogwash and if Bucs coach Dirk Koetter is going to pull a stunt like that the team should just release Jameis.

This subject came up often when Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller, co-hosts of “Movin’ the Chains,” broadcast their excellent show live from One Buc Palace yesterday, heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

Kirwan noted that there shouldn’t be any quarterback controversy. Jameis is the guy. But Kirwan did confess Koetter might be in a pinch if Fitz pulls off a couple of upsets.

Miller, a former NFL quarterback who had a cup of coffee with the Bucs under Chucky, said if the Bucs are 2-1 with Fitz, it’s a no-brainer: Fitz starts in Chicago.

“I will probably roll with Ryan Fitzpatrick,” Miller said. “If he plays well, it is going to be hard to pull him out of the lineup.”

However, Miller made it clear this should only be temporary. The Bucs have a bye week after traveling to Chicago. Following the bye week, if Fitz starts, the reigns of the offense should be returned to Jameis.

Kirwan agreed.

Joe understands where both Kirwan and Miller are coming from. The last thing this team needs is a quarterback controversy and to screw up the head of the best quarterback this franchise has ever seen (with all due respect to Steve Young). And stop with the Tom Brady nonsense. Fitz isn’t Brady, not in any stretch other than he puts his hands near the junk of his center just like Brady.

Joe will leave you with the words of Bucs tight end Cam Brate. When Brate was asked this summer on SiriusXM NFL Radio if Jameis was still the starting quarterback for the Bucs, Brate responded, “Jameis is a starter for a reason.”

37 Responses to “What To Do With Fitz?”

  1. tnew Says:

    Hopefully this is a problem the Bucs are forced to deal with.

  2. DB55 Says:

    You know I luv you guys but on the real none of the stuff you’ve thought about over this long stretch in the off-season seems to be too realistic.

    First curry and Allen, from what we’ve seen and heard thus far no better than what we had, if that.

    The starting RT and RG got outplayed by back-ups, Evan smith of all people.

    And the chances of Fitz taking Winston’s job is also a stretch at best.

    But I do commend you for keeping us on the edge of our seats, much appreciated.


  3. Trench War Says:

    If Fitz goes 2-1 against 3 of last years playoff teams and then Winston comes in in week 4 and goes 0-3 against the likes of Chicago, Atlanta, and Cleveland, …then what? Koetter will surely be fired?

  4. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    It depends if we go 2-1 because of Fitz or in spite of Fitz.

    If they pull that off I can guarantee the defense is playing darn good. Even if the offense is playing good Jameis is still hands down a better QB than Fitz. I think maybe Fitz gets one more game at best if they are 2-1.
    If he goes 4-0? I don’t see it happening but that would be a really tough call. Glad I wouldn’t have to make that one!
    Go BUCS!!

  5. richbucsfan Says:

    Having read your post about Curry, I’m left to wonder how many other new players are having as much trouble figuring out the Defensive scheme and even the Offensive scheme. It would be a great challenge to deal with Fitz if the Bucs win 2 of the first 3 games. But, I’m thinking that may be a pipe dream if this team doesn’t begin to figure things out. I would hate to think that mid-way through the season it dawns on the coaching staff that they need to simplify things.

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Sept 9th’s opening game against the Saints is 28 days away. Four whole weeks. A LOT can (and probably will) happen between now & Sept 9th. The last question in Dirk Koetter’s mind right now is “Which QB am I going to start against the Bears on Sept 30th?” But playing along …

    Jameis didn’t lose his starting position to injury. Or to poor play. He lost it to his own selfishness & stupidity, then proceeded to lie about it. He hurt his team … BEFORE the season ever began. And now it’s up to Fitz & the TEAM to try to clean up Jameis’ mess. IF Fitz plays well & gets us off to a decent start in our first 3 games, there’s NO WAY I’d hand the QB reins back over to Jameis to be the starter for the Chicago game. And I’ll give ya several reasons why Joe …

    First, it’s a short week. We play what will surely be a tough game against the Steelers HERE on Monday night, then take on the Bears IN CHICAGO on Sunday. So there’s minimum preparation time AND transportation time involved, PLUS we’re playing an AWAY game (Bucs haven’t exactly been stellar on the road lately).

    Second, Jameis will have sat down AWAY FROM THE TEAM for 3 full weeks at that point, and have only a couple days of preparation to get ready. Meanwhile, the QB who (hopefully) led us to a decent start would be sitting on the bench if Jameis started.

    Third, IF Jameis craps the bed or screws the pooch against the Bears and the Bucs LOSE, what does THAT do to his precious psyche? More importantly, what does it do to the TEAM’s psyche going forward? Chicago had a very good defense last year (ranked #9 in allowing only 320 points). And oh ya, they ranked #1 in fumbles recovered.

    Jameis MIGHT be our future QB (that’s the Glazers’ decision), but with a BYE that next week there’s no sense in jeopardizing a good start (IF in fact we do win 2 or 3 of those first games). Besides that, Jameis could always come in off of the bench in Chicago IF things turn south. Chance to come to the rescue and be the hero. Jameis could use that right about now.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’m good with Fitz starting in Chi if he wins 2 or more of the first 3…..that would make good sense…..Jameis will likely need more prep time than a couple of days.

    I don’t think there is a QB controversy, but why would that be a bad thing….it would be because Fitz is doing very well….

    Jameis made this bed…now he has to lay in it a while….

  8. OneBuc55 Says:

    Honestly, in the case of the 1st 3 games I’m taking the “hope for the best/expect the worst” approach…

    These first 3 games were gonna be tough no matter who the starting QB was…Each team runs the football well, has solid QB play, and play-calling…As I stated in the past Fitzpatrick isn’t going to show us anything we haven’t seen from him…the good thing for us is only 1 team is dominant defensively…

    Fitz is a journeyman QB for a reason; Jameis has more talent in his right pinky finger than Fitzpatrick has in his right arm…I’m hoping for 3-0, but expecting 0-3; 1-2 at best…Not because we don’t have the talent offensively, but because I still don’t know what to expect from our defense…the pass-rush and the secondary to be particular…Last thing we need to do is fall behind to either of these teams…if that happens the odds of us winning with Fitzpatrick decrease dramatically…

  9. Mcruzer Says:

    Anyone who has had the NFL package for years and has seen Fitz as the starting QB on other teams knows Fitz should not start.

  10. Bucnut2 Says:

    The only thing Winston doesn’t do is WIN! Fitz gives us at least a good as if not a better chance of winning than Winston does. Clearly Winston is more talented than Fitz but makes too many bone-headed plays which lead to losses. Our chances of winning are about the same with both.

  11. The Buc Realist Says:

    It would be very difficult for Jw3 to only have 1 practice with the team after about 4 weeks on non-practice to come and take over!!!!

    On the show they made another great point as well, that in training camp that has been shorten so much, that team are still installing packages and plays well after the start of the season!!!!! That they are using Sept games to evolve their offense!!!!!

    But this is a bridge to cross a long time from now, and much will have changed from now!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!

  12. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    The only game Fitz can realistically win is game one. We’ve beaten the saints many times before, and this time they will have no clue about our defense. If Fitz can move the ball and maintain ball security, we will win. Even if he has a turnover early in the game, the defense should handle it.

    After that, the amount of tape on our team will increase, but so will team chemistry. Winning 1 of 3 is fine with me.

    But I side with Joe on this one. We all want Winston to take that next step. He won’t do that without playing. Let him earn a contract. You do not bail on a franchise QB. You ride with him.

    Choosing Fitz, who will retire after this year or next, over Winston, would be enough to make me turn on Koetter. And I have been 100 percent behind him

    Fitz would win maybe…maybe…six games.

  13. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Bonzai, our own defense doesn’t have a clue about our defense…lol!

  14. Bucnut2 Says:

    BB- what makes you think Winston wold win more than Fitz? With same lousy defense, same lack of running game and bad O-line, Fitz 2-1 last year Winston, 3-10. The facts don’t support your argument.

  15. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I’m as far from being an expert as any true fan can get. I’m no football junkie…I am a Bucs junkie. I have opinions, and when the facts and statistics support them, I say so.

    So take this however you want, but it seems to me that the only reason Brett Favre improved early on is because the Packers had a defense that could recover from his reckless mistakes.

    When I think of gunslinging QBs, the successful ones always seem to have that in common.

    Because of that, I assume that’s what Winston will need to be successful. A defense which can recover the ball after turnovers, or which can reduce the scores of our opponents by a touchdown (since we have so many one score games).

    We haven’t really seen a wild gunslinger in the NFL since Brett Favre. Manning and Rogers and Brees have been more like sharp shooters. More accurate, more disciplined.been

    I think we have seen QBs who have been better than Favre, but he was still great because he had the right supporting cast, and not just on offense.

    Which brings us to Winston, who I think is more like Favre than anyone has been since Favre’s early days. Favre’s head coach came close to benching him multiple times because of reckless mistakes, but his anger cooled and his assistants convinced him to stay with Brett.

    This is why I think it is important to stay with Winston. We’ve seen the formula to find success with the type of QB he is. The Bucs lacked the defensive talent before. They have it now.

    Winston will never be like a Brady, Manning, Rogers or Brees. It’s just not in his dna. In his later years, he might become more wise, or his risk taking might pay off more like it did with Favre, but expecting him to be like those other guys will only lead to disappointment.

    But that doesn’t mean he can’t win. For once, there was a concerted effort to improve the defense Licht went all in.

    What guys like DB55 are missing, and I don’t mean this as an insult, is that guys like Allen and Curry are not here to solve needs for the next five years. They are here to increase our chances of winning for 1-2 years until Licht can properly fill those needs with young talent. They are there as veterans until the young guys become leaders.

    We have in Winston what we have. He will improve each year. He will grow wiser. But he will always be a gambler. The defense will balance it.

  16. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Scotty, stop dwelling in the past. ThIs defense will be top ten this year. Do I have to list the reasons? (After church)

  17. Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    I have to agree with DB55, debating what to do if we go 2-1 is like Joe worrying about how he is going to bed Rachael Watson ‘if’ he gets her on a date, when in reality, Ms Watson never answers Joe’s phone calls.

    Lets get the first win of that brutal first 3 games, then we can debate this issue. This is nothing but mental masterbution.

  18. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    The facts do support it, Bucnut2. You are just skimming the surface and not looking deep enough.

    Who did Fitz beat last year? Two teams who were as bad or worse than us. When he faced stronger competition, he lost.

    Tell you what. I’ll write a good long post about why I think the defense is better after I get back from church, and my name will like to it so if you want to read it, you can. If not, ignore it.

    It will be supported with facts.

  19. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    See Curry story.

    Similar to the previous 7 preseason years, when has the starting defense (though it was preseason) really blow your socks off?

    For the Bucs, playing mediocre in preseason, will find it’s was to the regular season.

  20. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:


  21. Bucsfanman Says:

    There’s validity to the argument that Fitzy should start against the Bears. It makes no sense to rush Jameis back when he will surely be rusty. After the bye, this is Jameis Winston’s team. It has to be. The bucs have to know if he’s the guy moving forward. Imo.

  22. BringBucsBack Says:

    This is easy! It depends on how well Fitz is playing!

    If they are winning 10-7 or 9-3 and the D is bawling out (which is HIGHLY unlikely) then #3 should probably return. However, if they are putting up 30 to 35 points per game then you roll with the winning QB. Heck, if they are putting up a lot of points and they lose, because the D sucks (which is much more likely), that means Fitz is doing his job. Don’t you stay with Fitz anyway?

    When & why would a team remove a QB who is playing well, because of some old tired cliche like, “a starter doesn’t lose his job to an injury”? If you are ballin’ on my team, you are not coming off of the field!

  23. BrianBucs Says:

    The big word here is “if”.
    We have no idea at this point what is going to happen those first 3 weeks so we just have to wait and see what developes.
    It’s really good to have a mature backup like Fitx though that can come in and win games for you when your starter is someone who goes around doing stupid, disgusting and embarrassing things and could be suspended again at any time

  24. ben Says:

    It’s not to late for the bucs to trade Winston for another qb , is it? :>)

  25. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I’m pretty open minded and so I echo D.R.’s sentiment. Perhaps we’re both old school but first and foremost….which QB in game four gives us our best chance of winning. Jameis has more talent we’re not arguing that…the guy with the most talent is not always the guy who gives you the best shot at winning.

    That should be all this is about…winning! We owe Jameis Winston nothing. He’s responsible for his own head I cannot believe at this point that people are still worried about fragile Fameis!

    Sadly we all know the truth. It’s not just about results or performance. Fameis is the #1 pick…they simply WILL NOT SIT him. I agree with D.R. perhaps that game four because of the short prep time and the fact that Fameis has missed the first three weeks might delay his start for a week…but that’s it. In addition to the short week between games 3 and 4 we hit the bye after week 4. That would give Fameis two weeks to get ready and focus on the Falcons.

    There is an outside chance that Fitz fools us all and plays lights out. I do not expect this to happen so I do not believe the Bucs will be faced with the horribly unfair choice of sitting a successful player for another player who is the “franchise” QB. Ultimately most of us cannot imagine Fitz outplaying Fameis…so it shouldn’t really be a problem.

    Just start the QB who gives us the best chance of winning…as the man once said…”It’s as simple as that”.

  26. Jim Says:

    Just let me know when the Glazers put Winston’s face back on the stadium. Until then, we don’t know what they’re thinking…

  27. Joel Says:

    Won’t matter. This team will be 0-3 after 3 games when its defense is thrashed on the ground and through the air.

    Then we can all come here and say McCoy needs more talent around him. Hahahahaha!!!

  28. OneBuc55 Says:

    People love to rag on Jameis’ winning percentage but the Bucs defense since he arrived in Tampa has been atrocious…Yeah he has a tendency to turn the ball over at times, but alot of it happens when he’s trying to make a play….I think it has alot to do with the fact the he simply may not trust his defense to stop anybody…

    Wether it’s Fitz or Jameis starting we need this defense to step it up…I’ve been a Bucs fan over 30 years and some of the worst defensive play I’ve ever seen us play has been under Lovie and Dirk…Until we fix this problem the playoffs is just a pipe dream…

  29. Tony LA Says:

    The whole world has just gone mad.

    Do people even know who Ryan Fitzpatrick is?
    Are they confusing him with someone else?

    Let me help:
    1. f all the QBs that have started 75 games in the NFL – Fitz has the worst career winning percentage by a large margin.

    2. Despite playing for well over a decade, none of Fitz’ teams have ever made the playoffs.

    3. The last season Fitz was starting for the Jets, he led the league in turnovers before being benched. This was not uncommon. Fitz led the entire league in interceptions and turnovers back in 2011.

    4. In one of the few meaningless games of Fitz’ career, he had one of the worst QB implosions in NFL history – turning the ball over 4 times in the final 15 minutes to literally give the game away.

    5. He is on his 7th team and 3 head coaches have been fired in seasons after he started the season as the starter.

    6. Two years ago when players were questioning how Kaepernick didn’t have a job while much worse QBs still do – the number one example NFL players used as someone who didn’t even deserve to the NFL was… Ryan Fitzpatrick.

    Add up all of that…
    And we’re supposed to sit here and take seriously that Fitz should stay in as the Bucs QB?

    Let me be clear – any sports writer/analyst who would spew something like that just simply isn’t paying attention or doing their jobs properly – maybe they should be out of work as well.

  30. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Ryan Griffin better have his sh!t together.

    He’s one concussion or ankle sprain, or broken thumb from being our starting QB.

    Quite frankly, the QB issue is largely irrelevant . We could have Joe Montana and still suck with this Defense.

  31. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Well Jmark you opened another kettle of fish.

    The most popular QB on any team is the backup…he has not record of failure yet and so he offers at least a ray of hope to the perpetually optimistic fans.

    Griffin looked good the other night…of course so did the other two. But what if Griffin..perhaps due to injury…get’s his break and cashes in? He doesn’t have all the baggage of Fitz that Tony just listed…he hasn’t yet crushed our hope.

    One game isn’t going to do it but what if he plays well the rest of the pre season and then comes in when Fitz goes down and plays well? Wouldn’t that be a great problem to have.

  32. Jmarkbuc Says:


    I’m just hoping he’s adequate to play a few games…anything else would be bonus.

    For me it has always been, and will always be about DEFENSE. I know you love offense, but to me Buc Ball was awesome. Tense and nerve wracking, but awesome.

  33. stpetebucsfan Says:


    I used to be an offensive nut but you and D.R. have won me over to the dark side. I find offensive football entertaining but more than anything winning is entertaining and I think the surest way for the Bucs to get there is through defense.

    It’s not just #3…would we rather win consistently with a decent QB…or perhaps take off like a rocket with a true “franchise” QB. I’m no longer wishing to place so many chips on one position…rather build the entire defense and see how well we can do on offense.

  34. SOEbuc Says:

    DO NOT PULL A DOUG MARTIN CONSTANTLY RUNNING INTO A BRICK WALL AGAIN!!! IF FITZ IS LOOKING SHARP, YOU KEEP HIS ASS IN TILL HE NO LONGER DOES! He’s been the number one QB practicing with the team so it’s not like he doesn’t know what’s going on with starters. If he plays really well and looks like he can get us to the playoffs, sit Jameis and pay him less next year or draft a new QB.

  35. Reach87 Says:

    Bucs, please just follow the process. Let’s continue our instal, look for 1-2 good roster moves, stay healthy and play the next game (pre season game 2). Spend very little time thinking about if Fitz this and if Fitz that in the regular season week 4. Lots (plenty) of things to take care of before then. PS: why not Fitz? Team game. Go Bucs!

  36. joestang Says:

    Fitz looked good Thursday night. He brings a level of stability to QB. He’s not running around with his hair on fire, throwing balls up for grabs. Winston is a better qb but for every splash play comes a where did that come from play.

  37. KyBucsFan Says:


    ‘the guy with the most talent is not always the guy who gives you the best shot at winning’

    Uh that’s not how that works, that’s not how any of this works. If that’s the case then why does every team draft to get better players!?!