Ryan Fitzpatrick: "We're a better team than we've shown"


QB Ryan Fitzpatrick**

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Q: Does it get tiring to be in this situation where you have to win or else year after year?

A: I think it is tiring coming up to the podium, having to talk after all these losses and having to figure out why we are where we are, why we have been inconsistent on offense or why we keep losing games. That part of it is tiring but that is part of it. We have to be able to figure those things out. We have to be able to get out here and continue to work. We have to be able to keep spirits high and look forward to the next game. Hopefully this next game will be our best game of the year.

Q: Is it troubling to have so many unsold tickets?

A: Yeah. I think the biggest thing there is if you are not winning I think you are going to see that. Unfortunately you look at how much excitement there was at the beginning of the year and how we have not met expectations that we have had for ourselves and people have had for us that is going to happen. The only way you bring them back is winning games.

Q: At this point in the season, shouldn't the team be more consistent?

A: Yeah, the game of football is interesting because every week is a different week and it is a different opponent. There are different things we are doing. There are different ways that people defend us. There are going to be some ups and downs during a season, I think we all know that. There are going to be some inconsistencies. For us to struggle with some of the stuff we thought we would be better at coming into the year and to have those ups and downs…it is just something we need to get better at.

Q: It seems like all the phases of the game have not been able to come together at the same time.

A: That is part of the consistency, too. Everybody, all three units, being consistent in the same game and that really…we have had our ups and downs on offense, the defense has had their ups and downs and special teams has been the same way. Chan (Gailey) at the very beginning of the year talked about the perfect storm and getting all three of those to come together and all of us to play well in the same game throughout the season and continue to improve. Hopefully the perfect storm will happen this weekend.

Q: You have been in the position QB Tarvaris Jackson is in before. How difficult is it for a guy who has had his experience to be told 'Sorry you are sitting this one out this year.'

Q: Yeah I think as a competitor that is tough. Not just as a quarterback, but in general you want to be out there playing and it is a tough situation. He is a guy that came in after all the learning, after training camp and all of that stuff. As a quarterback, that is a very difficult situation to be put in. To have anything be expected out of you, just because of the nature of the position and how much goes into it mentally. Once you get into a season 100-percent of the focus is on winning games, me and Chan talking about things and getting me ready. So that is a tough situation but that is what it is.

Q: If something were to happen that he needed to go in, do you think he could do it?

A: I have seen him play, I have seen T-Jax play before…obviously the guy has had success in this league so it certainly would not be an ideal situation for him or for anybody, but he has been successful in this league.

Q: If you do not turn this around, do you feel like your status as the franchise quarterback could be in jeopardy?

A: Yeah, I think again what I said a few weeks ago is especially as a quarterback it is all about production and it is all about wins. That is the number one important thing and that is something that each week I have to continue to go out there and help the team in any way that I can in getting these wins. That is a big part of it for me. That is something that has weighed on me, it has weighed on me all year long in terms of not being able to do it and not be able to be as successful as we wanted to be. I have no choice but to go out there and try to continue to put together successful plays, successful drives and win games.

Q: What has prevented that from happening?

A: No, I do not know if you can point to one thing. I think there are plenty of things that go into it.

Q: 4-7, do you feel like as players you have to win to take some heat of HC Chan Gailey?

A: I do not know if that is how we look at it. I think as a head coach he is obviously going to receive a lot of the heat when things are not going well and probably get a lot of the praise when things are. If you look at for me, he is a guy that put a lot and invested a lot into me. I think I want to go out there and win—and I want to win for my teammates but I want to go out there and win for Chan as well.

Q: Do you feel like the program is further down the road than it has been previously in your time here?

A: We did not expect or want to be where we are right now. I feel like unfortunately there have been some games where we have not shown where we thought we would be or where we should be. That being said, we have a great opportunity with these last five games to go out and show that there has been progress that has been made and that we are a better team than we have shown in the first 11 games of the season.

Q: Did anything come internally game planning wise as a result of WR Stevie Johnson's remarks?

A: * *No, I think our offense is what it is. I talked about it a few days ago and Stevie talked about it a few days ago so I think we can put that to rest. But nothing is going to change. We are who we are and we just have to go out there and be more effective.

Q: What are the solutions to this team succeeding in the red zone?

A: I'd say everything; do a little bit of everything better. There has not really been a lot of success down there lately. There are certain games where we have a ton of success and then there are games where we are getting shutout. So just throw the word consistency again, but we have to be able to run better down there and we have to be able to be more efficient in the pass game down there.

Q: Against Tennessee you got them really good in the red zone with a screen to RB Fred Jackson, but you cannot really scheme them that well all the time.

A: Yeah, they get paid, too. We did a good job this last game getting Donald (Jones) down to the one-yard line and then Lee (Smith) running into the ref and catching the ball. That was a great design of a play (Laughs). Run around a little bit. Sometimes you just need something like that to happen to get everybody going and get some momentum.

Q: Are you surprised they went with DT Kyle Williams on that play the way they did?

A: No, because Corey (McIntyre) went down in the game.

Q: I meant that the Colts stayed with him the way they did.

A: They must know all about his golf and swimming career. They must know he is a great athlete.

Q: Do you see any signs of discouragement in Chan?

A: I have sat down and talked with him yesterday and today, we have talked about stuff and we are focused on these last five games. I think that is the most important thing. It is very important for us these next five games to show the progress we think we have made in the last few years. There has been progress. We are much better. We have to be able to go out there, do it and show it on the field.

Q: How much input do you have during the week before Gailey is coming up with the game plan? Does he sit down with you and see what you are comfortable with? A: Yeah, they come up with different kinds of ideas and different ways they want to attack different personnel groupings and things like that. Usually we will sit down in our Wednesday morning meeting and he will go over everything that they have installed and put in. We will kind of talk about comfort level, what we like and what we do not like. Tinker with some stuff during the week if we feel like there are some changes that need to be made whether it is third down, red zone or the regular down and distance stuff.

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