FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Ryan Fitzpatrick says he’s not surprised he’s ranked as one of the NFL’s worst starting quarterbacks in a new ESPN poll, adding that he’s been underrated as long as he’s been playing football.
According to a survey of 42 coaches and front office executives, Fitzpatrick is the league’s 25th-best quarterback. ESPN placed him in Tier 3 — “legit starter but needs heavy run game/defense to win.”
“The pattern is clear for Fitzpatrick wherever he goes,” the article read. “He plays well enough to factor into the starting equation, but his miscues stand out enough for teams to think hard before re-signing him. The Jets did bring back Fitzpatrick, but first they dared him to sign elsewhere.”
The article quoted an anonymous head coach who said Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, who also coached Fitzpatrick when he was with the Buffalo Bills, has been “a football lifesaver” for the quarterback and without him Fitzpatrick should return to Harvard to “redo that degree.”
The 33-year-old signal caller, who signed a one-year, $12 million deal following a monthslong contract standoff with the team, told the New York Daily News’ Manish Mehta that he believes his ranking in the poll is “pretty typical.”
“It’s amazing that I’ve been the worst quarterback in the league for the last 11 years and somehow I’m still in the league,” he said. “It’s amazing how that happens, but it happens every year.
“I’m not a Combine guy,” he added. “I’m not a guy that got recruited out of high school. I’m not a guy that was a first-round pick. I’m not a coveted free agent. I’m just a guy that comes in and works my tail off and tries to do my job.”
Last season, Fitzpatrick’s first with the Jets, he passed for 3,905 yards and a team-record 31 touchdowns and led New York to a 10-6 record. He, however, has yet to guide a team to the postseason and threw three interceptions with a trip to the playoffs on the line in last season’s finale at Buffalo.
Fitzpatrick will start in the Jets’ preseason opener Thursday against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning was ranked ninth in the ESPN poll.