Ryan Fitzpatrick = Mike Tomczak

September 21st, 2018

Fitz clone.

Many, many, many NFL writers are cautioning Bucs fans drunk on victories to beware.

While Bucs backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is turning the NFL on its ear, be very careful because he is Ryan Fitzpatrick, they write. The carriage will soon turn into a pumpkin. It’s only a matter of time.

One such writer is Bob Labriola. Formerly a Steelers beat writer and columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Labriola now types for Steelers.com. He writes he has seen Fitzpatrick’s act before. And the previous actor was also a backup quarterback for the Steelers who once conned Bill Cowher and Steelers fans into believing he was The Answer.

His name was Mike Tomczak.

But sometime before Sept. 9, Fitzpatrick morphed into FitzMagic. In leading Tampa Bay to a 2-0 start, he has completed 78.7 percent of his passes for 819 yards, with eight touchdowns, one interception, and a rating of 151.5. He has been sacked twice on the way to his 61 pass attempts so far this season.

Fitzpatrick has been successful through the first two weeks of 2018 by being decisive in his reads and then getting the ball out quickly to a trio of talented receivers in Michael Evans, DeSean Jackson, and tight end O.J. Howard. He ranks first in the NFL in passing yards, first in average gain-per-attempt, second in touchdowns, and first in passer rating.

His past tells us that this pace is unsustainable, that Fitzpatrick will end up with statistics more reflective of a journeyman than a franchise quarterback, that he will likely end up following the path – to some degree, at least – Mike Tomczak took for the Steelers back in 1996. The question is: will that statistical correction start on Monday night?

When Joe interned in Chicago for seven years (it’s not Joe’s kinda town), Tomczak was once a Bears backup who played and toyed with the emotions of Bears fans. Just mentioning Tomczak’s name, Bears fans would go from smiling to looking like they wanted to throw up on the floor in the snap of a finger.

Regardless of what happens Monday night, the Bucs will have the best relief pitcher in the NFL read to rock and roll beginning Tuesday.

Very few sober and reasoned people believed the Bucs would have a winning record during the rugged three-game stretch without America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston. They have already survived that and might just be undefeated.

46 Responses to “Ryan Fitzpatrick = Mike Tomczak”

  1. PSLBob Says:

    I still think Jameis will start Week 6 (after the bye) against Atlanta. That gives him two weeks preparation. Everyone keeps saying Fitz can’t keep this up forever, so why not put the franchise QB into the mix now. Are we going to wait 1 game, 2 games, or 3 games to determine that Fitzmagic has left the building? That could be 3 losses. I think we need to get Jameis in there to get him some reps so he’s good to go when we hit the playoffs (yep, I said it).

  2. Says:


  3. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    More like Jim Harbaugh (1995) Colts

  4. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Ryan Fitzpatrick (2018) = Jim Harbaugh (1995)

  5. Fartman Says:

    That article sounds like some good ole wishful thinking.

  6. AlteredEgo Says:

    Good thing the Black and Gold fans in the RayJay MNF will bring their own crying towels…if this type of logic was worth a tissue….Gaines Adams and Eric Curry would share the Bucs all time sack record

  7. Gene Simmons Says:

    [You were off to a great start with your first two sentences then proceeded to ban yourself permanently. — Joe]

  8. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Fitz has never been in an offense this talented. The fact that this guy keyed on us just having 3 weapons is more evidence of how clueless a lot of people are about this team. He’s a hopeful Steeler homer basically wishing for a collapse because we’re the Bucs and they’re the Steelers.

    Well go F*ck yourself Bob! Fitzmagic bout to hit you with a big 4ss magic stick!

    GO BUCS!

  9. Ga. Buc fan 42years Says:

    Blah , Blah,BLAH, AND we’re supposed to be 0-2 right now!

  10. ben Says:

    Fitz is so much more accurate then Winston !!..Fitz hits receivers in stride..

  11. Cobraboy Says:

    A better comparison would be Tommy Maddox, not Mike Tomczak.

  12. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Right now I’ll go with Kurt Warner until someone stops us.

  13. FreeTheSecretWeapon Says:

    This situation can turn ugly if we wait for Fitz to struggle then bring back JW who might also struggle to reaclimate to the game.

    Why not keep the Ace in the hole. Throw JW to the wolves… I mean the Bears… If he survives that we made the right choice. If not you still got Fitzy to turn too.

    You play the best players!!! No one is dumb enough to believe Fitz is the better of the 2.

    Give JW his baby back and be grateful a father of 7 was willing to baby sit… Stop trying to abort JW…

  14. miken Says:

    @cobra.. good call. Surprised article didn’t go there. Maddux lookedi ncredible in some stretches

  15. Hawk Says:

    Are we supposed to swallow the ‘take’ from “Steelers.com”?
    And people keep talking about all these teams that Fitz has been on, like it’s a ‘bad’ thing. What do you call all the QBs that can’t get picked up by a second team… much less a 3rd/4th/5th/6th? Fitz must have something that convinced *7* head coaches that he was better than all the color analysts/talking heads/hack writers that are out there aplenty.
    *I* have no doubt that Winston will be back under center again this year. Two things must take place to stop it
    #1. The offense keeps clicking behind Fitz
    #2. The organization makes (has made) the decision to move in another direction (new QB). And even with both of those things, I still see Winston playing, if only to gain trade interest.
    And anyone who thinks Winston will return calm, cool, and collected, doesn’t know him. He’s a competitor. He now has to outplay Fitzpatrick. I don’t mean QB rating, yards, 1st downs. I mean wins, and against good teams. The more wins Fitz pulls off, the heavier Winston’s burden will be. I hope he can do it. It will mean that as good as Fitz has played (lights out), Winston is better. How do you stop an offense that’s better than what we’ve seen the last two weeks? Fingers crossed, but not holding my breath.

  16. GhostofSchiano Says:

    It is not just Fitzpatrick. It is an improved offensive line, it is Monken calling plays, it is the timing and immense talent of this teams receiving core. Fitzpatrick looks confident and loose, like is he is actually having FUN.

    Will he have a bad game? Don’t they all at some time or another. Will he throw an INT? Don’t they all at some time or another.

    When the time comes, Winston will be ready, until then go with the hot hand.




  17. GhostofSchiano Says:

    Agree with HAWK

    To add to that should we all believe the pundits in their assessment that the Steelers defense is terrible?

    So far three separate shows declared the Steelers D-line is covering up for a bad secondary. We shall see Monday night.

    GO BUCS!!!!

  18. horse liver Says:

    Tomczak never did what Fitz had just done. So, no. Fitz > Tomczak.

    That said, some reversion to the mean should be expected.

  19. GhostofSchiano Says:

    ONe more thing –

    Since Minkah Fitzpatrick trade marked FITZMAGIC maybe we should go with



  20. miken Says:

    Wonder why Pitt is making th ecomparison with Tomzack and Fitz and then 2 days later go get blown out by Fitz?

  21. Another J Says:

    He reminds me more of Tommy Maddox…
    From backup to magic when needed!

  22. richbucsfan Says:

    Snarky hit piece

  23. Jim Says:

    Thing about past records, they’re so many of them, you can always pick one you like. I’m hoping Fitz continues to ball…

  24. Sierra048 Says:

    Joe, nor anyone else, knows how Fitz will play going forward. To think otherwise is a fools errand. To say he’s going to be like any past quarterback is BS. I think Joe just wants FHITP to start. Results be damned.

  25. D1 Says:

    Earl Morrell..is the guy who I hope we can compare him to.

  26. Mike Johnson Says:

    Nationally, everybody is sayin the same thing..That Fitz is a..flash in the Pan. Most are not even considering his experience and longevity as an attribute. I got this feelin Fitz will continue to prove them wrong. And its gonna be hard to get Jameis back into the lineup with Fitz geting hurt. Throughout NDl history we have example of a Journeyman whose time has come. So I’m hopin FitzMagic continues so the so called sportscasters cane keep scratching their heads.

  27. aceinthehole Says:

    Maybe your right , Hawk. Maybe it just takes 6 or 7 teams and 14 years to figure out that a QB has HOF ability. By that logic, we should make a trade offer to the Jets pronto to get back Josh McCowan. Dude has been playing 16 years and been on 10 teams, he is primed to blow up!

  28. SRQ Buc Fan Says:

    Joe – why is Chicago not your kind of town?

  29. IsrBuc Says:

    @sierra yup.

  30. Pittmans Biceps Says:

    Completely agree with Sierra048. We have a QB who’s off to the hottest start of anyone in franchise (and league history), yet we have people calling for him to be benched, in favor of a guy who’s been unable to prove himself on or off the field, time and time again. To you naysayers out there — what would it take for you to support keeping him on the field?

    Maybe Fitz isn’t the long term fix at QB, given his age and tenure in the league. That said, #3 ain’t the guy either. I don’t see the organization making a long term investment in Mr. FHITP in the form of a new contract after his fickle performance on the field and his frankly embarrassing behavior off of it.

  31. Dis Magic Fitz Says:

    Since Fitz is so good at fast starts and then seems to cool off in the 4th quarter, if we are up by 3 scores in the 4th again, let Jameis come in and do cleanup work. Who says Jameis has to totally sit out when he comes back. I know it sounds untraditional but it should keep them both healthy for our playoff run. They believe in a heavy DL rotation. maybe we can try a light QB rotation. How would teams be able to adjust to that???

  32. BucsFanAgain? Says:

    For those out there wanting to yank Fitz or wish that he fall from grace, you are proving that you are a Winston fan, not a Bucs fan. One of the Joes might be in this category.

    Is it possible that Fitz is the measured leader that a team loaded with playmakers needed to get going? IMHO I think so.

    For too many who post on this site, the term Gunslinger means “free pass to do stupid things on (and off) the field because you MAY be able to dig out of the hole you make while being reckless”.

    All hail the Harvard grad with the accurate arm, support of his troops, and the maturity to take advantage of the situation put in front of him: Fitzpatrick.

  33. BucsBandit Says:

    I am always baffled by this “Fitzpatrick will return to his former self” stuff…

    The guy has had spurts of great play in the past for other teams because his line pass protected well, great plays were called, and his receivers ran nice routes and made catches. Many of those crappy teams he played for had such inconsistent O-Line play.

    He’s thriving for the Bucs because we now have a solid O-Line, arguably the best receiving corp in the NFL, and some calling smart plays. As long as all of those things continue, there’s no reason to expect he’ll “crap the bed.”

  34. Hawk Says:

    Sorry, aceinthehole, but if you think I was projecting Fitz to be a HOFer, then you have no logic… or reading comprehension… or both.

  35. Big Stinky Says:

    @ Hawk

    Come on man! You really drank the Kool Aid and I can tell. You think that Winston would play better than Fitzpatrick has. No way! In fact, I think we would have lost at least one of those games. You seem to forget that JW can only hit a deep pass every once in awhile. We will get to see by the end of the year just how good he’s become. Just enjoy the winning streak while it lasts, it’s been a long time. #FearTheBeard #GoBucs

  36. El_Buc941 Says:

    Yea but how many of these guys that Fitzpatrick is being compared to actually played with the talent surrounding Fitzpatrick?!NONE!HOW MANY OF THEM WENT BACK TO BACK GAMES WITH 4+TDS AND 400+YDS?!NONE AGAIN!look I’m not saying Fitzpatrick isn’t going to lose a few but why fix something that isn’t broke?

  37. Big Stinky Says:

    I don’t care who is playing QB as long as we are winning. It’s been too long since we were winning consistently. BTW, didn’t Winston have an 8 game losing streak last year? He lets us get behind too often and we have trouble taking the lead and holding it. Hope Fitzy gets POTW for the 3rd week in a row. He’s probably going to have to win another shootout on MNF for us to win. #TakeYourTimeJameis

  38. Hawk Says:

    You too, missed it Big Stinky (love the moniker). Nowhere did I say that *I* think Winston will do better (or even equal). I think that Winston will play as if *he* believes he will have to do better than Fitz. That will probably spell trouble, but it could also be the beginning of great things. I am rooting for whoever is on the field. I am not a fan of Winston, or a “hater”. He’s a member of my favorite team, and I want him to be better than the opposing defense whenever he is playing. The organization needs to know *if* he can be the long-term solution to the QB position. Winston has not helped himself with this process. If Winston (or Fitz, Alexander, McCoy, etc) is not on the roster tomorrow, my only thought will be about the player taking his place. Next man up.

  39. Big Stinky Says:


    Would love to see Fitzmagic throw for 400 & 4 TD’s one more time. Set the bar high I say. Can you believe what he’s done? NFL record for the first two games of the season. POTW 2 in a row. Hit DJax all 9 times he has thrown to him. Jameis only hit DJax 50 out of 90 last year, so Fitz can miss a few I guess. Only missed ME13 twice I think and at least one of them hit him in a bad spot. THE HANDS! #NICE

  40. Big Stinky Says:


    Ditto! Couldn’t have said it better myself. People probably would call me a hater because of how I talk about JW but it’s not true. I am just telling it like it is. I expect more out of the first player taken in the Draft. Don’t even know who the best player was from the 2015 Draft. So far I have wished that we would have traded back from that pick and got an extra 1st round pick in 2016. I do hope JW lives up to the hype, we have invested 4 years on developing him. He has to play good now because this team cannot pay for all the skill positions. We may have 2 more years but probably without DJax. #BombsAway

  41. tickrdr Says:

    Fitz has completed 17 of 19 passes so far to Mike Evans!

    Big Stinky says:
    At least one of them hit him in a bad spot. The hands.

    LMAO, “verah” nice.


  42. cmurda Says:

    Gotta love the geniuses saying Fitz can’t keep up this pace forever. Umm, no fricking kidding. If he kept this pace the whole season, he would shatter every single season record in the history books for a Quarterback by a mile. Maybe, just maybe, they should listen to Fitz though. Although this pace is unsustainable for the long term, Fitz says that he has simply become a better quarterback over the years. Also, please tell me the last time Fitz had an offense filled with the talent that this team has. Never.

  43. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Yawn! Story comes from a P’burgh beat writer so nothing but propganda to read here people keep it moving!

  44. lambchop Says:

    I love how every writer has a crystal ball. Let’s just witness the dismantling of the Steeler defense and laugh. How does anyone compare QBs from different teams, coaches, schemes, eras, etc – I don’t even know.

    Fitz is a Harvard guy. He’s methodical and calculative and exacting in his punishment. I can’t wait for him to prove all these “one-hit wonder” beat writers wrong. I expect the offense to slow down a bit as teams start to scheme better. But, it’s not going to be the Steelers. We just have to control their offense and score 1 more point than them.

  45. T REX Says:

    JW would at least 500 yds per game and 14 TDs. Fitz is a clipboard holder.

    JW is the future.

  46. Buccfan37 Says:

    JW the future and Fitz the now in our faces. Continue the run Bucs!