The New York Jets were at the center of one of the biggest and unheard-of injury situations in the NFL this offseason. Starting quarterback Geno Smith was sidelined for six to 10 weeks with a broken jaw after he was punched by IK Enemkpali, leaving the Jets with several questions.
In Smith's place, veteran journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick has stepped up and taken the reins of the team. Fitzpatrick is entering his first season with the Jets, his sixth team in 11 years, but he still thinks he's improving -- not regressing. He also believes he's poised for a breakout season.
"Yeah, I don't think there's any doubt about that," Fitzpatrick said to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. "So much of the game for the quarterback is the mental side of it. Everybody always talks about my arm and how horrible it is. I promise ... you can put on some tape [and see] that I can make all the throws that you want me to make or that I need to make. I see myself continuing to get better rather than declining."
Fitzpatrick hasn't had the most success in the NFL with regards to winning, but he's sustained a lengthy career nonetheless. And coming out of Harvard, it's somewhat unprecedented what he's been able to do.
"Somehow I keep sticking around and finding new jobs," Fitzpatrick said. "So I don't really listen to the perception. I hear it, for sure. I just kind of shrug my shoulders and make sure that I focus on what I can control and focus on getting myself better."
Fitzpatrick's latest gig comes at the hands of an unfortunate injury to his fellow quarterback, but it's an opportunity that he has to take advantage of. If he's able to play well and win games for the Jets while Smith recovers, it's not impossible that the coaching staff sticks with Fitzpatrick for the remainder of the season.
It's an interesting situation to say the least, and one that Fitzpatrick is ready for.
(h/t New York Daily News)