Fitzpatrick: "I've not started the way I wanted to"


QB Ryan Fitzpatrick**

On some of the issues the passing game is facing:

It has just been very inconsistent all year. A lot of that falls on me and my play. I did not and have not started the year the way I wanted to. I think starting out with the three interception game, having another four interception game—there has to be a happy medium there in terms of not going out there and trying to throw touchdowns on every play, but not being too conservative. I think right now we are still trying to find ourselves in the passing game. A lot of that is me just playing more consistent. That is where we are at right now. We are 3-3, we have shown that we can run the ball, we can run the ball with more guys in the box than we have blockers just because of how talented we are in the backfield and I think as an offense we are still trying to figure ourselves out in terms of being able to balance the run and the pass.

On teams daring him to throw deep:

The last two weeks, especially I think, we have not been real effective. I think in weeks before that I think consistency was an issue. The turnovers were an issue and I think the passing game, but we were able to effectively throw the ball, get yards and do all of that. The last few games we have not been able to. It is just something that we have to evaluate. It is something that we have to get better at. Chan (Gailey) is a guy that is able to adjust and adapt depending on what the defense is doing and what our strengths and weaknesses are. It is just something we have to get better at.

On stopping safeties from creeping up by making some throws down the field:

I think the last few weeks that has been the thing. We are a team that we like that matchup of a safety trying to tackle our backs. That is something we do not try to shy away from because of how effective they have shown that they can be with that. That being said, we have to be more effective in the passing game and we really have not the last few weeks.

On the mood around the team:

This is a big game for us. To get to 4-3 before the bye, I think that is huge. I think it has been a weird season so fair in terms of we are 3-3 and that is not where we wanted to be, but the three games that we lost have felt like we are a much worse team than 3-3. To be here and also to have the other teams be 3-3 in the AFC East, everybody kind of knotted up—all of a sudden you start looking at it and we have ten games left to go. We have a real shot at this thing. We have to come out and play.

On if he has been falling back into bad habits and it has resulted in poor accuracy:

I do not know if that is a ton of it. There was a ton that was made of the mechanics and all the different things. It is true in terms of I am not always the prettiest thrower in terms of the way I look, in terms of throwing off balance and all of that. I have tried to correct some of that stuff and maybe limit some of that. It happens in the NFL because there are guys rushing around you. A lot of being a quarterback is about decision making and timing. Those are the biggest things in being effective as a quarterback. In terms of the flaws, my mechanics and those types of things, those are something that is always going to be there especially with my throwing motion. The footwork was something we really focused on, but I have not started the way that I wanted to start and unfortunately it has been multiple games. Not just one bad game here or there. It is something that I have to evaluate. The only way I know how to correct it is to continue to work in practice. Continue to get comfortable with my guys and make those throws.

On if the problems have been a result of timing and decision making:

I am just saying that there are a lot of different things that go into it. When I am ineffective throwing the ball, you cannot always say 'It is his mechanics, it is this or it is that.' I have made that pass (to Fred Jackson in overtime) 100 times with bad mechanics. So that one unfortunately was just a missed pass. I think there are a lot of things that go into it. I just have to continue to work at them and get better.

On how important it is to hit a deep pass:

It is really important. (T.J. Graham) is a guy that has a tremendous amount of speed and can really take the top off of a defense. It is important for us. It is important to get a couple of those balls down the field. It is something that has not happened a lot, but we have to go into a game where we have a certain amount of shots that we go into every game with. Sometimes you get them, sometimes you do not in terms of the coverages and being able to throw them. When I do make those throws I have to be able to hit them.

On what he sees from the Titans defense:

The biggest thing that jumps out is their front four. They do not do a lot of blitzing. Those guys create a lot of pressure though. Very fast, aggressive and great edge rushers just in terms of making you move in the pocket a little bit and getting pressure on a quarterback. That is stuff they have been really effective with this year. They have given up some big plays. Really it is a defense that is the Tampa-two style stuff, the bend but do not break and make you earn your yards down the field. That is what they want to be and when they play effectively that is what they do. They make you sustain drives seven, eight, 12 or whatever plays it is. For us, it is about going out there and being consistent on a drive. Converting on third downs.

On the differences between this year's matchup and last year's game versus the Titans:

I think Cortland Finnegan was a great player. There are some different people in there now than maybe were in there last year. A lot of the same people, same scheme and the one thing you know when you play them is they are going to be able to create pressure with their front four by the way that they fly around and play up there. That is something that we will have to manage.

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