Ryan Fitzpatrick: "This is a pride game"


QB Ryan Fitzpatrick**

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Q: How do you go about this last game?

A: Yeah. I think there is two ways to go about it. I think with all of the disappointment that has happened this year, with all the injuries, the criticism and all the different things—I think towards the end of the year when there are no playoffs, when there is not a whole lot to play for in terms of this win, meaning something to us and catapulting us to somewhere else it is tough. At the end of the season you always try to evaluate what went wrong and try to recharge your batteries. This is a game that they are not playing for a whole lot and we are not really playing for a whole lot in terms of playoff implications, but it is a pride game. It is a game just to go out there and as Chan put it today 'Who hates to lose?' You go out there and we hate losing. I am sure they do, too. We have to go out and prove that we are the team that hates to lose more.

Q: Isn't it hard to make those speeches that the game means a lot?

A: Yeah, it is and this really tests who you are as a professional. How serious you take this profession because it is hard when you are not playing for a whole lot to be able to maintain your same focus throughout the week. During the game give your 100-percent effort—it is a difficult thing, but it is something that we are asked to do as professionals.

Q: Is it hard for you to block out all the outside noise and speculation?

A:  Yeah, it is and you try to. You try to make sure that your main focus, certainly on game day, but throughout the week is on preparing and getting ready. It is hard just with all of the uncertainty in the air right now in terms of what is to come. I think it is very hard at this point to block out for it not be at the forefront of your mind. You just have to make sure that it does not affect (you). I have to make sure that it is does not affect the way that I play.

Q: Do you look at this as maybe your last chance to start a NFL game at quarterback?

A: No.

Q: What has OG Andy Levitre meant to this team over the last four years?

A: It is amazing the things that he has done in terms of staying healthy and in terms of playing through some stuff. He is a really tough guy and he is a guy that has not had anything serious, which is great. Every offseason he is scheduled for a couple of surgeries here or there, it just seems to be a routine but he plays through it. He is a guy that we have asked to do a lot in years past in terms of playing tackle, guard and center. He is a guy that we lean on a lot. We lean on his leadership. I think he is growing into that role. Andy is a guy that we depend on every Sunday and a guy that has been extremely reliable throughout his career.

Q: How does Andy translate his leadership to the players in the locker room?

A:  I think you see a lot of it on the field as a guy that is steady. A guy that knows what he is doing out there. There is a certain calm about him. He helps some of the guys around him, especially David (Snow) when he had to step in at center. That is just what Andy brings to the table. I think it is a quiet confidence that he is going to get the job done. It is knowing whoever lines up to his right, they are going to have a very solid guy. He goes out there and plays football the way it is meant to be played.

Q: Do you look back at the first Jets' game in Week One as a microcosm of the season and the problems you had there have persisted?

A: Yeah some of those problems we were not ever able to overcome. I think all year the inconsistencies on offense with the turnovers. The big plays that happened in that game and that kind of stuff, that was one of those things that happened in Week One and we were hoping it was going to be an anomaly and we would put it behind us and move on. We won some games after that. Kind of got on a little roll after that I guess and things have kind of gone downhill since. A lot of that has to do with the turnovers and the things that happened in that first game.

Q: Was this team's confidence undermined in the way that game played out?

A: I do not think so just because of the way we bounced back after that game. I think it has certainly been hurt lately. I think that is obvious. It is hard to play with confidence when you stack up as many losses as we have. I do not think the first game…I thought we rebounded well from that one.

Q: What do you think about how the interceptions against Tennessee and New England in the final minutes and how they in a way changed the atmosphere around here.

A: That is the game off football though. The good teams find a way to make those plays on offense, defense or whatever it is. The good teams are the one that constantly find themselves making those plays and those have not been the plays that we have made this year. That is why we sit where we are.

Q: Can wanting to get one against the Jets be part of the motivation this week?

A: Yeah. I just think in general, they are familiar with us and we are familiar with them. We do not really like each other. There is a lot of that which goes into a game like this that helps out in terms of getting up for the game and wanting to beat these guys.

Q: What do you not like about the Jets?

A: There is plenty. I do not want to point out to individual names or anything, but I think that tends to happen when you play a team twice a year.

Q: Is it going to be a little bit flying by the seat of your pants this week with the receivers?

A: We will see as we get into it during the course of the week who is out there, what is happening and how we are going to deal with the loss of Scott (Chandler). The loss of Scott was pretty big just in terms of a guy that was a security blanket; a guy that really played well all season long that I could rely on. Did a lot of things for us and it was not just in the pass game that he did a lot. Better job throughout the year in the run game and doing some of that stuff. That is a huge loss for us and something that cannot be overlooked just because of what he meant for us this year. We will see during the week who we have and how other guys are going to be able to step up.

Q: How much did the loss of WR David Nelson hurt this season?

A: Obviously David (Nelson) is a great player and a guy that I love having on third down, a big target in the red zone. All of that stuff. Losing him was a big deal. It is funny watching the first Jets game, seeing him out there and making some plays. Throughout a season you kind of forget the guys you started with and who have been lost because you get so consumed in what is going on week to week. David is a terrific player and obviously somebody we have missed.

Q: You have taken some big hits lately and you are still standing.

A: As a quarterback that is what I am asked to do: stand back there. I try to stand in and throw the ball the best I can. There are going to be a lot of hits that happen whether it is guys up front getting beat, which has not happened a lot or guys coming free off blitzes. That is something I take pride in. There are times when you just cannot do anything about it with injuries and those types of things. I feel like I have been a fairly reliable, dependable and healthy guy.

Q: Touchdown pass total you are pretty high in the league. Interceptions you are higher than you wanted to be and every interception has its own story. Looking back on the interceptions, do you think it is a handful here or there?

A: I think that is a great way to put it that every interception has its own little story. You remember them all vividly and I think last year they were way too high. Cut down a little bit this year, but still there has been some stuff and circumstances and things that I have not made good decisions or good throws. Whatever it is you always try to limit those as much as possible.

Q: Which ones stand out the most?

A: Probably the last two or three probably. The ones that are most fresh I guess. The Miami one for sure. I thought that guy made a great play and I think that is always the ones that are kind of most fresh on your mind.

Q: Is it frustrating with the defense on pace to be historically bad, the casual fan still blames the coach and quarterback when realistically the offense has kind of kept you guys in games?

A: Statistics lie I think a lot of the time. I am not going to sit up here and say we performed the way we wanted to on offense this year because we have not. So I think as a quarterback I have to point the finger at myself. As an offense we point the finger at ourselves in terms of the lack of success we have had this year as a team. You hope the defensive guys do that as well, but for me there is not a whole lot of blame to be passed around. You have to look at yourself first.

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