Fitzpatrick in the 2014 NFL preseason.
|No. 14 New York Jets|
|Date of birth:||November 24, 1982|
|Place of birth:||Gilbert, Arizona|
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||215 lb (98 kg)|
|High school:||Gilbert (AZ) Highland|
|NFL draft:||2005 / Round: 7 / Pick: 250|
|Career highlights and awards|
Career NFL statistics as of 2014
|Stats at NFL.com|
Ryan Joseph Fitzpatrick (born November 24, 1982) is an American football quarterback for the New York Jets of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He played college football at Harvard.
As a Harvard economics major, Fitzpatrick had five starts during the 2001 and 2002 seasons, working as the backup for Neil Rose. In 2001, he amassed 323 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He followed that in 2002 by collecting 1,155 yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran for five scores and 523 yards that year.
Fitzpatrick took over the starting job in 2003 following Rose's graduation. Fitzpatrick finished his junior campaign with 1,770 yards, 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions in seven games. Additionally, he ran for 430 yards and six rushing touchdowns, leading his team to a 7-3 record.
In 2004, Fitzpatrick earned Ivy League MVP honors (Asa S. Bushnell Cup), as he accumulated 1,986 yards with 13 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also led Harvard to a 10–0 record, thus winning the Ivy League Championship. He ranked second on the team with 448 rushing yards and five scores.
For his career, Fitzpatrick connected on 384 of 641 passes (59.9 percent) for 5,234 yards, 39 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He collected 1,487 yards with 16 scores on 365 carries (4.1 avg.) and totaled 6,721 yards, an average of 224.0 yards per game, while seeing action in 30 contests. He ranks second on Harvard's career list for pass completions, touchdowns, yards passing and pass completion percentage, topped only by Neil Rose (5,949 yards, 41 touchdowns, 455 completions, 62.4 percent, 1998–2002). His 641 pass attempts rank fourth in school history. His 1,006 total plays for 6,721 yards in total offense broke the old school career records of 1,005 plays by Mike Giardi (1991–93) and 6,519 yards by Rose. He is the first quarterback in Harvard history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a career.
As is the case for most incoming NFL rookies, Fitzpatrick took the Wonderlic Test. Fitzpatrick supposedly recorded a 50 on the test in nine minutes, signifying a perfect score. According to a The Wall Street Journal report that appeared in the September 30, 2005, edition, Fitzpatrick scored a 48 on the exam, not a 50—still considered an exceptionally high score, but the claim that he completed the test in nine minutes is accurate. While his actual score is unknown, he has acknowledged that he left at least one question blank. As the Wonderlic score is the number of correct answers to 50 questions, the best he could have scored would be a 49. To date, Fitzpatrick has the highest Wonderlic Test score ever achieved among NFL quarterbacks.
|Ht||Wt||40-yd dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert||Broad||BP||Wonderlic|
|6 ft 2 in||232 lb||4.86 s||1.67 s||2.81 s||4.07 s||7.09 s||30½ in||8 ft 9 in||48|
|All from NFL Combine.|
Additionally, Fitzpatrick ran a 4.86 in the 40-yard dash, had a 295-pound bench press, 415-pound squat, and 325-pound power clean. He is also known as the first Harvard graduate to start an NFL game at quarterback.
St. Louis Rams
Fitzpatrick played his first NFL game on November 27, 2005. Coming into the eleventh game of the regular season in the second quarter against the Houston Texans to replace injured veteran journeyman Jamie Martin, Fitzpatrick led the Rams from a 24–3 halftime deficit to a 33–27 overtime win, throwing for 310 yards and three touchdowns, completing 63.3% of his passes and 117.4 QB rating for the game. This made Fitzpatrick one of only seven players who passed for more 300 yards in their NFL debut. The others were Otto Graham, 346 yards (1950); Ed Rubbert, 334 (a replacement player for the Washington Redskins during the 1987 strike); Mark Rypien, 303 (1988), Peyton Manning, 302 (1998), Cam Newton, 422 (2011), Robert Griffin III, 320 (2012), and Andrew Luck, 309 (2012). The win earned him the next three starts, although he was unable to come close to his debut performance. The nadir came two weeks later in a 13–27 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in which he threw for 235 yards, no touchdowns, and five interceptions for a QB rating of 32.4 for the game. He was replaced by Martin after halftime the following week, after struggling in a home game against the Philadelphia Eagles in which he completed just 41.7% of his passes for a total of 69 yards.
A restricted free agent in the 2008 offseason, Fitzpatrick signed his one-year tender offer from the Bengals on April 17. Due to an injury to starting quarterback Carson Palmer, Fitzpatrick made his first Bengals start on September 28, 2008 against the Cleveland Browns. Fitzpatrick was not only the leading passer, but also the leading rusher in the Bengals' 20–12 loss. With Carson Palmer sitting out the game on October 12, 2008, Fitzpatrick got the start against the New York Jets, and every other game that season.
Fitzpatrick signed with the Buffalo Bills on February 27, 2009. He made his first appearance on October 18, 2009 against the New York Jets when starter Trent Edwards went down with an injury, leading the Bills to a 16–13 overtime win, while throwing for 116 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Fitzpatrick started the following two games, resulting in a win over the Panthers and loss to the Texans.
On November 18, 2009 he was named the starting quarterback of the Buffalo Bills by interim head coach Perry Fewell who took over the coaching duties after former coach Dick Jauron was fired. He went 3–3 as a starter under Fewell, throwing seven touchdowns, six interceptions and 1060 yards. Overall, Fitzpatrick went 5–4 in games in which he had a majority of the playing time for a team that finished with a 6–10 record. In week eleven of the 2009 season in a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Fitzpatrick threw a 98 yard touchdown pass to Terrell Owens, the longest touchdown reception and pass for both Owens and Fitzpatrick, also setting the team record for longest touchdown pass. The Bills went on to lose to the Jaguars 15-18.
Despite the strong showing, new head coach Chan Gailey decided to go with Trent Edwards as the starter for the 2010 season, relegating Fitzpatrick to the backup role. On September 20, 2010, Fitzpatrick was named the new starting quarterback following the Bills 0–2 start.
In a 49–31 comeback win over the Cincinnati Bengals, Fitzpatrick threw for 316 yards and 4 touchdowns, including 3 to Steve Johnson. This performance marked the first time in NFL history that a team had come back from 17 points down to win by 18 or more.
During the second week of the 2011 season, Fitzpatrick led the Bills to touchdown drives on five straight possessions in the second half to rally past the Raiders. It was the first time in league history a team had scored offensive touchdowns on five straight possessions in the second half. In the 2011 season, Fitzpatrick was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for September. On October 28, 2011, Fitzpatrick signed a six year, $59 million contract extension including a $10 million signing bonus with the Bills. He had three 300-yard performances in the 2011 season, with a season high 369 yards vs. the Patriots. After the 2011 season, it was revealed that Fitzpatrick had broken his ribs in a game against the Washington Redskins, which was presumably a factor in his decline in play over the rest of the season. Fitzpatrick finished the 2011 season with 3,832 yards and 24 touchdowns, but threw a league-leading 23 interceptions.
Fitzpatrick returned as the Bills' starter at the beginning of the 2012 season, and was released on March 12, 2013.
Fitzpatrick replaced Jake Locker for the Titans in Week 4 due to an injury in the third quarter. Fitzpatrick completed 3 of his 8 passes for 108 yards, which included a 77 yard TD pass to Nate Washington, in a 38-13 win against the Jets.
Fitzpatrick played in 11 games and started 9 of them. He finished the season with a 3–6 record as the starting quarterback where he respectively beat division rivals, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans, in the final two games of the season. He completed the season throwing for 2,454 yards with 14 TDs and 12 INTs.
On November 23, 2014 Ryan Mallett tore his pectoral muscle and Fitzpatrick was re-named the starter. On November 30, 2014 in a 45-21 win against the Tennessee Titans, Fitzpatrick threw for a franchise-record six touchdowns and 358 yards with no interceptions and a 147.5 passer rating.
On December 14, 2014 against the Indianapolis Colts during the second quarter, Fitzpatrick scrambled for a two yard gain, was tripped up, and ended up with a fractured tibia, ending his season. He was replaced by rookie Tom Savage, who also received a minor injury, and the Texans lost 10-17. Despite his season-ending injury, Fitzpatrick had his best season as a pro, throwing for 2,483 yards with 17 TDs and 8 INTs for a career-high 95.3 passer rating. He finished the season with a 6–6 record as the starting quarterback for the Texans.
New York Jets
On March 11, 2015, Fitzpatrick was traded by the Texans to the New York Jets for a late-round conditional draft pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. This reunites Fitzpatrick with his former coach at Buffalo, Chan Gailey.
Fitzpatrick is married to Liza Barber. They have three children, eldest born in June 2006, and the youngest born in March 2011. In 2010, Fitzpatrick was tabbed as the fifth-smartest athlete in sports by Sporting News.
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