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Fitzpatrick Knows Limiting Turnovers Will Be Key

We're just hours away from the NFL kick-off and days away from the Jets starting their season at home to Cleveland. A lot of the Jets success this year will rest with the QB.

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I really didn't think that Ryan Fitzpatrick would be starting week one for the New York Jets, but that's the unpredictability in the NFL. I could see Geno starting, struggling and then getting replaced, but I never could have imagined Geno getting floored by one of his own team mates, things happen and you move on. Todd Bowles moved on quickly, cutting off questions quickly and talking about the present day, like a good head coach should do. Yesterday all the attention turned to Sunday and the season opener against Cleveland.

A lot of the Jets 2015 success will rest with the Quarterback, we know that, Fitzpatrick knows that, the defensive players know that and I'm pretty sure Bowles knows that as well. Ryan has been in the league for 10 years now, he knows what he's good at and he knows where he needs to make an improvement. Yesterday he was asked about the need to limit negative plays, whether that be an interception up a sack. We need to remember that although Fitzpatrick has enjoyed success in the NFL, his decision making has been questioned consistently for the best part of a decade., he had 15, 23 and 16 interceptions in back to back to back seasons in Buffalo, and despite complimenting them with 23,24 and 24 touchdowns, the season ended far too soon for many Buffalo fans. After what we've experienced here in New York recently, having a +9 turnover ratio for your QB may sound promising, but Ryan knows that he needs to limit those negative plays:

I think that's a huge thing for us every week is going to be eliminating turnovers, eliminating sacks, the good stuff on third down and in the red zone, that's the stuff that's going to happen. Turnovers, sacks they're going to happen, you want to keep them to a minimum. We're going to focus on that, but then also how you respond when it happens and making sure that people aren't hanging their heads and are moving on and we're staying confident. So there's a lot that goes into it.

The truth is Ryan probably won't have to win that many games for us. He'll have to win a few as there are going to be times where we are down late in the game and we need to throw the ball. it's at this point where the basic stats don't mean anything. You need to see how he reacts with the clock ticking down and the passing windows getting tighter, when the defense knows you're going to pass it. That's the difference in game managers and game winners, and despite having a few good seasons, I'm yet to be convinced that Fitzpatrick is a game winner, but as always I'm willing to be proven wrong.

However despite all this, Ryan is a matured quarterback. He's also a self aware quarterback, and sometimes self awareness is the key to limiting the poor decisions. If you sit back there in the pocket and you process information at such a speed that you can determine if you as an individual can make that play or not and then react accordingly, you're in for a very good season. We know that Ryan is one of the smartest guys on the field, that's a well established opinion of him, but if he can play within himself, I feel as though we'll have a lot of success this season with him under center

I'm going to go out there and I want to be great for who I am and what type of quarterback I am. I want to put the team in the right play. I want to make the right decisions. I want to make all the throws. But, great for me is going to be different than great for somebody else. I want to be as good as I know I can be and just continue to improve each week. I think I've continued to improve each year as my career has gone on, so continue on that up trend.

One thing I have noticed is the level of comfort Todd Bowles seems to have in Ryan Fitzpatrick, and that may be down to the existing relationship between Ryan and offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, with both of them having spent considerable time in Buffalo together. I'm not saying there is friction with Geno Smith, but just basing this off the quotes that are given, the press conferences that Bowles gives, he seems very content to have Ryan as his starting Quarterback, and that was reiterated yesterday when he was asked about Ryan as his starting QB:

Personally, I think he is in a good place as a quarterback at this stage in his career. I think he's comfortable with who he is and he understands offense and what's around him. He's going to take what you give to him. Maybe early on in his career, he was trying to force some balls in, but he's in a good place. He understands the offense pretty well and he's jelling with everybody.