TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers enjoyed a little “Fitzmagic” during the 2018 season. So quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, now with the Miami Dolphins, was a welcome sight on the first day of joint workouts with the Bucs at the AdventHealth Training Center.
“This one, having played here the last two years,” Fitzpatrick said. “Just the irony of being here and being able to practice this year with them. I got to see a lot of the guys.”
One by one, Bucs players said hello to the quarterback that helped the Bucs get off to a record start in 2018 with back to back wins against the New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles. Fitzpatrick threw for more than 400 yards in both wins as well as a 411-yard performance in a week three loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
He ventured south this offseason, landing with the Dolphins, his best chance at winning the starting role. The Dolphins then acquired quarterback Josh Rosen from the Arizona Cardinals, creating a position battle that will take its next step Friday night at Raymond James Stadium.
Fitzpatrick was the stand-in turned to the stand-up leader while Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston served a four-game suspension to begin last year. The two players were shuffled in and out of the starting lineup, with Winston eventually putting together better performances toward the end of the season.
At practice, there was no competition to start. Just two good friends catching up. Fitzpatrick even got to share his latest member of the family with Winston, who is also enjoying playing football while playing the bigger role of father.
“I got to introduce him the little Jake,” Fitzpatrick said. “Now it’s a lot of conversation about kids and how everything’s going with him.”