Bucs quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick spoke to the media on Thursday from One Buc Place and talked about a number of topics including facing the Saints in the season opener on Sunday.

Below is the full transcript from Thursday.

(On knowing that he’ll be starting from the beginning)
“I think the reps I was able to get with some of the guys during training camp, I think that was helpful. Having a year under my belt of being comfortable in the offense and having some time to throw some balls to those guys, to interact and talk with the linemen and get on the same page and with Ryan Jenson being a new guy in our system, the more time the better. Because of the situation I was able to get more one reps than I normally would.”

Bucs QB Ryan Fitzpatrick – Photo by: Getty Images
Bucs QB Ryan Fitzpatrick – Photo by: Getty Images

(On the added pressure to win the first three games)
“Every time I go out there I try to win so I don’t know that that changes anything at all. It’s a cool thing, as a quarterback, to be the opening day starter. It’s a neat feeling, being out there. Everybody with the excitement and the butterflies and the crowd being into it. That’s a cool thing for me that I’ll be looking forward to.”

(On mentality of returning to Tampa and ending up the starter)
“I came back because I like playing football and I enjoyed being here, so that was the main reason I came back. So for me, going into this game, I’m just excited to be out there and have an opportunity to go out and play.”

(On Drew Brees)
“The first thing, as a quarterback, that I look at and I have a ton of respect for is his consistency every year. Week in, week out, year in, year out, his ability to perform at a high level consistently, it’s not easy to do. I admire that from afar, for sure. Even just Drew in general. Not your prototypical, size-wise and all those things, QB but a guy who came in, and again, from afar, not knowing him, just seems like he has the ultimate confidence in who he is and his ability and that’s turned into a Hall of Fame career for him.”

Saints QB Drew Brees – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

(On Mike Evans)
“Mike has a ton of range, obviously. His combination of the speed and size are special. He’s a really confident player, as well. He’s a guy that we feed off of. His energy and his playmaking ability and it’s just something… I was watching some high school film the other day, it’s something he’s always been able to do. He’s a fun guy to have in the huddle and even look at the line of scrimmage and know he’s on my team. That’s a fun feeling for me.”

“He was showing me some highlights, nothing to do with preparation, but he was showing me how good he was in high school like I couldn’t figure that out.”

(On the offense)
“I think it’s yet to be determined. The group that we have this year, we have to go out and do it, but the potential is there. The talent is there at all position groups, but potential only goes so far. We’ve got to go out there and prove it. So far, the way those guys, especially in the receiver room, the way that they’ve worked this offseason and the attitudes they bring to practice every day, the skill sets, the different varying skill sets we have in that room is very impressive. Does that mean a whole lot? No, if we don’t produce. I’ve got to be able to spread it out to those guys and let them do what they do and hopefully that production comes.”

(On preseason)
“The way that I look at preseason now is getting out there, getting some reps, maybe getting hit once or twice and getting out healthy. Feeling comfortable being in a setting where you are going to get hit because as a quarterback you might go a whole offseason, or as a backup you might go a whole year or two, without getting hit. I think that’s the biggest thing, but I think I felt comfortable by the end of it, being out there, just the communication and different things. Now we’ll step that up to a whole different level, being on the road in New Orleans that will be a different deal with communication but it’s something we’ll work on until we get there.”

(On difference in preseason and season on game planning)
“It’s hard to even compare them because the preseason is so vanilla and you don’t really spend a ton of time on your opponents and film study and all that where you really kick it up a bunch of notches when you get to the regular season and you’re entire focus, every minute of every day is on your opponent. So there’s a huge difference in what we do and how we approach it when the regular season comes.”

(On learning to dissect a defense)
“I try to study as best I can, I try to get as many advantages as I can, and sometimes we know what they’re going to do and sometimes they know what we’re going to do but in the end it comes down to making sure that I’m on the same page with my guys while we’re out there. They’re in the spots I want them to be at the times that I want them to be there, so communication with my guys is one of the biggest keys.”

Bucs WR Chris Godwin - Photo by: Cliff Welch.PR
Bucs WR Chris Godwin – Photo by: Cliff Welch.PR

(On Chris Godwin)
“Chris did a great job all of last year, as a guy who was really dependable from day one, whether it was a blocking assignment, or a jump ball, or running the proper routes, or taking the proper splits, he was a real professional from day one last year. Most of the time as a quarterback you’re throwing to the open guy, you’re not necessarily locking in on one guy, so especially with our offense and how multiple we are with all of the things we do I’ve got to have trust in all of those guys and they’re there for a reason. We’re going to put them in those situations and trust that they’re going to make those plays.”

(On New Orleans)
“So I hadn’t been to the Super Dome for a while until last year, and they obviously jumped out on us and it was rocking, and I’m sure on opening day it’s going to intensify even more. It’s a tough venue, it’s a tough place to play, all that kind of stuff. So it’ll be a nice challenge for us.”

(On growth from O.J. Howard)
“I think just overall confidence and A) knowing what he’s doing, but B) his ability as a pass-catcher. I thought he had a great offseason. We’re expecting huge things from him this year and I know he’s expecting huge things from himself. I’m excited to see him continue to grow as a player and he’s going to be a big time player for us this year.

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]

9 COMMENTS

  1. From “Siege the day” to “Yet to be determined”

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  2. Over & over the Offense is anaylized and discussed when the Elephant is still in the room; DEFENSE!

    When is Pewter Report going to ask the tough question. Even though focused in Free Agency and the draft on defense is it better enough to make a difference?

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    • So what is the question you want asked exactly? And what do you expect the answer to be? We will know when they play games. Unless you are a fortuneteller, the truth will only come from results.

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      • Mark, there’s some disappointment and concern that this defense in terms of its performance in the preseason doesn’t look any better than last year. Feels like there’s all this hype about the additions of talent, of JPP, et. al. and we frankly have not seen the production. And then there’s Mike Smith’s scheme, CB’s playing 10, 15 yards off the line and not great production so far. Doesn’t feel like PR is digging into the D this offseason.

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      • That’s so funny! PR spends most of the time on the offense and that’s your answer?

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        • It was an interview with the quarterback not the middle linebacker. of course the topic was Offense. Good grief!

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    • I am with you Horse. The NOLA should tell us something. I can’t believe Vita V. still can’t even practice??

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  3. Mark, I apologize on pushing the Defense so much. I’m hoping the Bucs Defense plays great! I love it when we beat any team. Go Bucs!

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  4. We are going to score a bunch of points this year. If our pass rush is significantly improved we will have an excellent year.

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