Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Depth Becoming A Major Concern in Preseason
After two preseason games, along with a multitude of offseason drills and training camps, Jameis Winston is by far the leader of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, after that, the Buccaneers have a major concern. With the Buccaneers obtaining Ryan Fitzpatrick in the offseason to help add depth to the position, it seems that he’s just a flimsy band-aid attempting to cover a gashing wound for their QB depth.
After two preseason games, Fitzpatrick has completed 12/22 for 92 yards and two interceptions, along with one rushing touchdown. Not bad numbers if you’re an up and coming quarterback who’s trying to figure out his place on the roster. But after playing in the league for a plethora of years and being on so many different teams, you would think that Fitzpatrick would be able to perform more effectively and efficiently, especially against 2nd and 3rd team defenses.
While the starter position for the Bucs is set in stone; what must be addressed is what happens if Winston goes down? The Bucs would like to be ensured that they can still make a run at the playoffs with their returning and incoming weapons placed around any quarterback. Besides Fitzpatrick, the remaining quarterbacks are Ryan Griffin and Sefo Liufau. Neither has started an NFL regular season game, and both were undrafted free agents. Fitzpatrick was strictly brought in to help teach the younger guys the ins/outs of the game, along with mentoring and assisting Winston if need be. Yet, if Winston goes down, there will be a huge scare among the organization and the fans since Fitzpatrick has played poorly in his first two preseason games.
At Training Camp, I was able to speak to Fitzpatrick about the transition from starter to backup, along with mentoring the young guys, and his adjustment to the playbook. “It’s always tough coming into a new offense, just learning the procedure of it, the different verbiage, along with the different thought process. But all that stuff is coming along, it’s just going to take reps.” To be fair, Fitzpatrick has only attempted 22 passes, which is not a lot of reps. Perhaps the Bucs are uncomfortable with him and his style of play. Nevertheless, the Buccaneers must establish a dominant force at the quarterback position to ensure that if Jameis goes down, they have a reliable replacement.