With Geno Smith recovering from surgery to repair a broken jaw, Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the starting quarterback for the New York Jets. While teams typically don’t want to rely on their backup to be the starter, Bills running back Fred Jackson believes it could be a blessing in disguise for the Jets.
Jackson, who enters his tenth season with the Bills, spent four of those seasons with Fitzpatrick – from 2009 to 2012. He was asked if the Jets are more dangerous with Fitzpatrick under center than Smith.
“Without a doubt,” Jackson said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “Fitz was one of my favorite quarterbacks to play with. I would much rather have faced Geno than face Fitz. I’m a little biased on that just because he’s a great friend of mine, but I know what he brings to the table. He’s probably the smartest, if not one of the smartest, quarterbacks in the league. It will be a lot of fun to compete agains them, but I know we have to bring our A-game when we do.”
Fitzpatrick, 32, played college ball at Harvard. He has thrown for 123 touchdowns and 101 interceptions in his career, with 39 of those picks coming in 2011 and 2012. In his last two years – one in Tennessee and one in Houston – Fitzpatrick has 31 touchdowns and 20 interceptions in 23 games.
Is that great? No. But is it horrible? No.
Smith, however, might be the worst starter in the league. The 24-year-old has 25 touchdowns and 34 interceptions in 30 career games. He broke his jaw during an altercation with former teammate IK Enemkpali, who last week was cut by the Jets and signed by the Bills.
Enemkpali’s new teammates have welcomed him with open arms.
“(Whatever happened) was between those guys,” Jackson said. “For me to stand here and rack my brain to try to figure out what it was (about) and what happened and all that, I think, just wastes my time. IK, I know, has come in here and he’s ready to play football. He’s looking at this as a chance that he doesn’t want to squander. You’ve got to respect him for that. I heard (him) apologize and do things like that. So for me, I’ve moved on just like he’s moving on. We want him to come in here and help us win football games, and we feel like he can do that. So we’re looking forward to having him here.”
The Bills probably feel the same way about Jackson, who is still going strong at 34. He had 525 rushing yards, 501 receiving yards and three touchdowns (two rush, one receiving) last season.
How long is Jackson going to keep this up?
“As long as I feel like I can keep getting out there and contributing,” he said. “We always got these young guys that are out here running around, so that definitely makes it tougher to keep up with them. But I still feel like I can compete and make some plays, so I want to keep running.”