Even with last year’s brief rumblings of a quarterback controversy, there really wasn’t one at all. The Beard came in and played outstanding, setting an NFL record by throwing for 400+ yards in three consecutive games. It was without a doubt the fastest, most exciting offensive start to a Buccaneer season ever. But we knew Jameis was our guy. By the time Winston came into week four the disarray that became 2018 was in full swing. You don’t fire the coach who is putting up legendary Buccaneer offensive numbers if he is in full control of the locker room and inspiring players to be their best.
Enter Bruce Arians. “Coach ‘em hard and hug ‘em later” Coach Arians. The “Don of Quan” when it comes to offensive excellence. Coach Arians has expressed interest in wanting to keep DJax, meeting with him and stating they had a great conversation. One must assume Coach would love to keep a “stud in the slot” like Humphries. In fact, Coach has wanted to keep about everybody who’s currently a Buccaneer, and this is not surprising. If not for the cap implications, Jason Licht has actually put together a team that one would love to take a run at the Lombardi with. The question today is the quarterback.
Does a 36-year-old journeyman quarterback who had his best offensive numbers in 2018 (2,366 yards, 17 TD’s, 12 INT’s and 100.4 QB rating) tell his agent to show him the money in 2019, or would he possibly be interested in backing up the “Bama Slamma,” take a nice check to hold a clipboard and run for a ring? Would Coach Arians be interested in retaining a backup quarterback who could come in on a moment’s notice and be quite serviceable in the event of an injury to Jameis? Does the Fitzpatrick family enjoy living in Tampa Bay enough that spending another year or two in paradise would be palatable? Ryan is Harvard-educated, and one of the things we love most about him, besides his beard, is that he will make the most intelligent decision that he can, and we respect that. Could Fitzpatrick be back in Tampa Bay in 2019—who knows? But does every NFL team learn at some point the importance of having an experienced quarterback ready to go on a moment’s notice? Yes.