New Bucs Starting QB Ryan Fitzpatrick Says It’s ‘Ironic’ First Start Is Against Former Team in the Jets

Ryan Fitzpatrick’s weird, wild and wacky 13-year NFL story will add another fun chapter when he faces a familiar foe on Sunday, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports.

Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston’s shoulder injury that will shelve him for a few weeks sets up an intriguing matchup: Fitzmagic vs. the Jets.

“It’s very ironic,” Fitzpatrick told the Daily News Monday after getting the nod to make his first start with his new team against his old team. “It encapsulates my career, basically. My first start as a Buccaneer, of course, comes versus the Jets with everything that happened there the last few years. My career has been a never-ending rollercoaster and one that I’ve loved every minute of along the way. So, I’ll definitely enjoy the challenge on Sunday.”

Fitzpatrick was the engine of the Jets’ feel-good 2015 campaign, a veteran journeyman who galvanized a wayward team stung by the loss of its presumed starting quarterback (Geno Smith) after a locker room fight with a teammate. Fitzpatrick’s career-high 3,905 passing yards and 31 touchdowns put the Jets within a whisker of a playoff berth in Todd Bowles’ first season.

“That was really a special year,” Fitzpatrick said. “I hate that it didn’t end up in the playoffs with a chance to make a run, but that’s the way that it ended up. But that year for me — reuniting with Chan (Gailey) and doing what we did on the field and the relationships that I formed with Brandon (Marshall), Eric (Decker), Nick (Mangold) and all the other guys on that team — was special. The thrills of that season with the stretch we went on (in December) was a lot of fun for me.”

“I have really good memories,” Fitzpatrick said of his two seasons with the Jets. “Obviously it was a tale of two years. My first year there we surprised a lot of people… In terms of the experiences I had and the experiences my family had living there and the people we met in that organization, I’ve got nothing but great things to say about them.”

Tampa, Who’s Ready To Get Their Tailgate On??

Football season is an important time for sports fans in Tampa, and it’s in its prime! The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are one of the most popular sports teams in the area, with tons of passionate locals who love following their games. Not just because of the exciting games, but also for the social element that’s included with it!

Tailgating is simple fun that you can experience when you’re planning on heading down to Raymond James Stadium! When you’re tailgating here, it seems as though you absorb all of the infectious positive energy from all of the other fans enjoying themselves before the game, and it makes a difference in how you experience the day. Whether you plan on grilling some of your favorite food or simply enjoying drinks while enjoying socializing with some of your friends, organizing your tailgating is a fool proof way to enhance any sports game in Tampa.

If you’ve never planned this type of get together before, there are some things you’ll want to know before organizing your tailgating party in Tampa. First, the parking lots open around three hours before the game actually starts, and parking is around $25 per car at the various lots surrounding the general are of the stadium. Some lots are more family friendly than others, and certain options have extra accommodation for tailgaters such as grill set ups. Loud music and kegs are prohibited in all lots, so keep this in mind!

One way to organize a tailgating experience that you’ll never forget is the addition of professional transportation. Adding an extra layer of safety as far as designated drivers are concerned is a great idea whenever you’re drinking with friends! Beyond this advantage, you’ll also have fantastic features to enjoy such as interior stereo systems with auxiliary options for custom playlists and comfortable seating. After utilizing a rental with a company such as Party Bus Tampa, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to consider it in the first place!

Panthers vs Buccaneers Wednesday Injury Report

CAROLINA PANTHERS at TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
CAROLINA PANTHERS
Practice Report
  DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE
Wednesday DE Bryan Cox (hip), TE Ed Dickson (ankle), C Ryan Kalil (neck), DE Julius Peppers (not injury related), T John Theus (concussion), RB Fozzy Whittaker (ankle)
  LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
Wednesday RB Alex Armah (hamstring), WR Devin Funchess (hamstring), QB Cam Newton (right shoulder), RB Jonathan Stewart (toe)
  FULL PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
Wednesday WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee), S Kurt Coleman (knee), K Graham Gano (right knee), T Matt Kalil (ankle), LB Luke Kuechly (concussion), RB Christian McCaffrey (wrist), WR Curtis Samuel (ankle), G Trai Turner (knee)
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Practice Report
  DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE
Wednesday CB Brent Grimes (shoulder), CB Robert McClain (concussion), S Josh Robinson (concussion)
  LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
Wednesday DT Chris Baker (ankle), DE Ryan Russell (shoulder), QB Jameis Winston (right shoulder)

If the Buccaneers Are Going To Get 2017 Back on Track; It Has to Start This Week

(photo by Mike Carlson/Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are at a crossroads as we approach week seven of the 2017 NFL season, as this week the team has a big NFC South matchup with the Carolina Panthers, a team they are still looking up at (right now they are looking up at all three of the teams in the division) in the NFC South.

The Bucs don’t get a break due to the nutty week one bye they got due to the fact a hurricane stopped them from a game in Miami against the Dolphins, so the grind is not going to get any easier as this season moves along.

At 2-4, there’s been moments of being a very good team thus far, but way too many moments of being not so good, like last Sunday in Buffalo against the Bills where on the final play of the game they fell to the surprising Bills 30-27.

Looking at this week, the Bucs are at Raymond James Stadium, and they have to use that home field advantage to make it a tough place to play.

The Bucs are a 2.5 point favorite to win over the Panthers, and there’s plenty of sites that seem to have them between that and three-point favorites, like William Hill.

Jameis Winston’s injury didn’t seem to stop the Bucs offense too much last week as they still put up 27 points, but this week against the Panthers they will need a similar effort against a team they know all too well.

After the Panthers, there’s another tough test on the horizon for the Bucs, as they will head to the SuperDome to take on the Saints before another home game against another upstart in the New York Jets in two weeks.

If the Bucs are going to get to the postseason, a place many had them making this preseason, they have to find a way to win the next three and get over .500, as with two of these next three against the division, these are games the Bucs simply have to win.

The game next week on the road against the Saints can be a season maker, as the Saints have come out of the box playing the best football in the division, sitting currently at 4-2, they have outscored the opposition 171-133, meaning that the Bucs defense will have to step their game up big time.

Playing against Cam Newton and Drew Brees the next two weeks could define just how good this team is – or worst how bad on defense they have already shown at points this season.

If the Bucs are going to turn around the fact they have dropped four of the first six games, it has to start this week against the 4-3 Panthers, a team they should all too ready for.

Another loss could be crippling as they get set to head to New Orleans next week, as at 2-5 and a loss in the division could be too much to overcome.

Here’s hoping they can learn from their mistakes of the first quarter plus of the season, and get back on track to save their season.

Nick Folk’s Days in Tampa Numbered as Buccaneers to Bring in Kickers Following His Disaster Thursday

The Buccaneers are arranging kicker workouts, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports citing sources.

It does not bode well for Nick Folk who missed three field goals in the Bucs 19-14 loss to the Patriots on Thursday night.

Doug Martin to Take a Backseat at Running Back When He Comes Back From Suspension?

Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said Sunday there are no assurances suspended RB Doug Martin will regain his starting job following his three-game ban according to Dan Graziano of ESPN.com.

Licht would not even guarantee Martin’s roster spot. “Look, he has done everything we’ve asked him to do, and he looks reminiscent of 2015 when he was playing for his contract. He looks the same out there, mentally and physically. So he might be one of those guys that needs a carrot. And he’s got a pretty big carrot in front of him right now, because there’s no guarantees that he’s going to be here. And he knows that.”

Jacquizz Rodgers is expected to be the lead back in Tampa during the first three weeks of the regular season while Martin serves his suspension and it sounds like he will be given every opportunity to win the job outright. Signed by the Bucs last season when Martin was out due to injury, the 27-year-old Rodgers had the most productive year of his six-year NFL career and chose to re-sign with Tampa this offseason rather than test the free agent market. His teammates have praised Rodgers for his exceptional field vision and toughness and the coaching staff loves his versatility.

Bucs DE Jacquies Smith to Start Camp on PUP List

Getty Images

The Bucs announced on Wednesday that defensive end Jacquies Smith will begin training camp on the active Physically Unable to Perform list, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

By placing him on the active PUP list, Smith will count against the 90-man roster limit and can be activated anytime before the final roster cutdown to 53 players.

Smith suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while attemping to cover a punt in the 2016 opener against Atlanta.

It’s a setback to be sure for Smith and the Bucs, who have not had a player record at least 10 sacks in a season since Simeon Rice in 2005.

The Bucs were confident enough that Smith would make an impact in 2017 that they tendered him a one-year tcontract worth $1.8-million as a restricted free agent. The designation Wednesday means the Bucs expect Smith to be ready sometime before the start of the regular season.

Buccaneers Agree to Terms with Veteran Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick

The Bucs have a solid veteran quarterback to help out and mentor Jameis Winston, as today the team has come to terms with former Bengals, Bills and Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Last season in 14 starts with New York Fitz threw 12 touchdowns and 17 picks as he and the young Jets struggled. He was solid two seasons ago, throwing 31 touchdowns and 15 interceptions as the Jets came within a game of making the postseason.

He’s played with six teams in his career, throwing a total of 80 touchdowns.