2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Backup QB turned starter takes over for Titans

By TERESA M. WALKER - AP Sports Writer
    2013-10-02 19:17

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Ryan Fitzpatrick likes how he looks with a bushy beard, it makes him feel comfortable.

Now, about to make his first start in Tennessee with Jake Locker sidelined with a sprained hip, Fitzpatrick is a little upset with himself for shaving his face clean a month ago. His current beard isn't nearly as impressive, and Fitzpatrick needs any edge he can get.

``It's never easy I think to step in from a backup role to the starter kind of mid-stream I guess,'' Fitzpatrick said Wednesday. ``I got to go in there and make these three days very productive. ... Being 3-1 with our defense playing great, I think with the confidence just in general that our team is playing with, this is a fun situation to step into.''

The Titans signed Fitzpatrick to a two-year contract in March wanting the veteran in his ninth season to mentor and back up Jake Locker. Now Locker is out a few weeks with a sprained right hip and knee, it's time for Fitzpatrick to step in and try to keep Tennessee's momentum going until Locker returns.

Fitzpatrick said his role now is different than a week ago. He spent plenty of time talking with receivers during practice Wednesday in what he called side conversations. He also threw to them during defensive drills with some extra work after practice

``With Jake now being injured, I've got to go out and let them know what I expect,'' Fitzpatrick said. ``If you're not on the same page, that's what leads to some of the miscommunication and things that can't happen.''

Titans coach Mike Munchak said it's an adjustment for everybody with Fitzpatrick.

``He's been through it before,'' Munchak said. ``He's been in the league a long time, so we're hoping he can make this adjustment rather quickly because we need that on Sunday.''

The Titans have plenty of confidence in Fitzpatrick because they saw how he nearly beat them last year in Buffalo where he started 32 games over the previous two seasons. Fitzpatrick had 80 touchdowns and 64 interceptions in 55 games with the Bills. He also set Bills records for the longest completion with a 98-yard TD pass and longest TD rushing by a quarterback with a 31-yarder both in 2009.

The Bills cut Fitzpatrick in March to escape the six-year, $59 million deal he signed in October 2011. The Titans scooped him up as a cheaper alternative to back up Locker.

Now Fitzpatrick makes his first start Sunday against Kansas City (4-0). Chiefs coach Andy Reid has seen plenty of Fitzpatrick from his time coaching in Philadelphia where he said the quarterback got after his Eagles pretty good.

``So I'm well aware of him, and have a ton of respect for him, and our team here knows him,'' Reid said. ``They played against him in the past. Everyone knows how capable he is and we'll prepare ourselves to play a heck of a quarterback and a heck of an offense.''

Fitzpatrick is 4-1 against the Chiefs. Munchak has said they likely will not call run plays like they did for Locker, who is averaging 6.5 yards a carry this season. Fitzpatrick said he's never been a real speedster himself.

``Usually I'm running out of fear because those guys are big,'' Fitzpatrick said.

Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson isn't buying that talk. He called the Harvard graduate a smart quarterback who improvises with his legs just like all the other running quarterbacks.

``He's been in the league for a while,'' Johnson said. ``He knows when you make a mistake, he can capitalize off it. This isn't a regular, backup-type quarterback game for us. He can still run all their plays.''

Notes: Locker spoke to reporters Wednesday, walking very stiff and with a neoprene sleeve covering his right leg. He said the injury was pain like he'd never felt before and with the hip joint so big he thought about all the worst possibilities. Locker shared no timetable for his return, saying only that he will be working hard to get back as soon as possible. ... Munchak said the Titans will promote Rusty Smith off the practice squad to back up Fitzpatrick at quarterback. ... WR Kenny Britt returned to practice. RB Shonn Greene (right knee) and DT Sammie Hill (right ankle) worked inside with trainers. DE Ropati Pitoitua (shoulder) did not practice. RT David Stewart (right leg) got the day off.

---

AP Sports Writer Dave Skretta in Kansas City contributed to this report.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Teresa M. Walker at www.twitter.com/teresamwalker

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Trent RichardsonJan 27 10:43a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson's one-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team voided the guarantee of a $3,184,062 salary in 2015.

Josh GordonJan 26 02:13p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is in Stage Three of an alcohol program, which requires him to be tested for alcohol for a minimum of two years. His failed [ More ]

Rob GronkowskiJan 26 02:03p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski could cause a problem for the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX, because the Seahawks defense allowed 11 touchdowns to tight ends this [ More ]

Earl ThomasJan 26 02:03p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) said he won't miss the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots with a dislocated shoulder, but he also admitted that it won't [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Jan 26 01:52p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) said he'll need to shut himself down this offseason in order to enter 2015 fully healthy and in great shape. He [ More ]

Josh GordonJan 26 12:33p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon tested positive for alcohol, according to sources, and his failed test will subject him to a possible one-year suspension. Gordon caught 24 passes for [ More ]

Vontaze BurfictJan 26 12:23p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) is recovering from microfracture surgery on his left knee, and the surgeon who operated on him is hoping that he will be at [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Jan 26 11:22a

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) said he played this season with two tears in his right hamstring, which never fully healed.

Josh GordonJan 25 09:12p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will be under contract through the 2016 season, and he will only be a restricted free agent after that year due to his looming [ More ]

Josh GordonJan 25 04:12p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon has reportedly failed another drug test and will be subject to a one-year banishment, according to multiple league sources.

Earl ThomasJan 23 09:02p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) will play in the Super Bowl, head coach Pete Carroll said Friday, Jan. 23.

Dennis PittaJan 23 04:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) met with some specialists last week, but the team is not expected to have an update on his status for a few weeks, [ More ]

Johnny ManzielJan 23 01:12p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel had a big proponent last year in owner Jimmy Haslam, but Haslam now thinks the team needs a quarterback in order to get their [ More ]

Jimmy GrahamJan 23 10:32a

New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham (shoulder) said he'll rehabilitate his shoulder injury after the Pro Bowl, but he hasn't made a final decision on surgery. 'It's something we [ More ]

Mark IngramJan 22 06:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram, who will be eligible for free agency this offseason, wants to return to the team next year, and he thinks the interest is [ More ]

Vernon DavisJan 22 06:22p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis had just two touchdowns in 2014, and they both came in Week 1. He also wasn't targeted at all in the red zone [ More ]

Geno SmithJan 22 05:32p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith has a lot of talent and promise, according to new head coach Todd Bowles. At the same time, Bowles acknowledged that the quarterback [ More ]

Brian HoyerJan 22 04:52p

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer could be re-signed this offseason, according to his agent. Hoyer is expected to meet with general manager Ray Farmer and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo in the near future.

Johnny ManzielJan 22 02:43p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel will be working with a new offensive coordinator this year in John DeFilippo, but DeFilippo is unsure if the team's quarterback next year is [ More ]

Joe FlaccoJan 22 12:52p

Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco will have his fourth difference offensive coordinator in as many years in offensive coordinator Marc Trestman. However, head coach John Harbaugh is confident Flacco [ More ]

Tom BradyJan 22 10:12a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is now scheduled to speak to the media Thursday, Jan. 22, and he could come under fire due to the report of deflated [ More ]

Vontaze BurfictJan 21 09:03p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) has had knee surgery, head coach Marvin Lewis confirmed Wednesday, Jan. 21. While there has been concern Burfict might have to begin the [ More ]

Mike WallaceJan 21 09:03p

Miami Dolphins WR Mike Wallace's future with the team is unclear. General manager Dennis Hickey would not say Wednesday, Jan. 21, whether Wallace will be back or if his [ More ]

Johnny ManzielJan 21 04:43p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel could benefit from new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, according to Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr. Carr said DeFilippo will do great with Manziel, adding [ More ]

Richard ShermanJan 21 04:23p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (elbow) said he will practice in a brace, but should not have any limitations on gameday.

Marc TrestmanJan 21 03:53p

Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman said he wants to learn the specificities of the team's offense instead of changing it. Head coach John Harbaugh said Trestman's familiarity and [ More ]

Blake BortlesJan 21 03:43p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles should be able to develop under new offensive coordinator Greg Olson, according to general manager Dave Caldwell. Caldwell said Olson has the ability to [ More ]

Blake BortlesJan 21 03:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles developed bad habits and may need to start over, in the opinion of NFL Films guru Greg Cosell.

Latavius MurrayJan 21 12:53p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray is likely to be the team's lead back in 2015, and new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave plans tailor his system to Murray's talents. Musgrave [ More ]

Peyton ManningJan 21 11:03a

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning plans to return in 2015, pending the results of his annual physical, according to three sources The Denver Post's Woody Paige trusts. The test [ More ]

Rashad JenningsJan 21 10:23a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings could have a veteran running back to complement or compete with him next season. The team could possibly add a change-of-pace back and [ More ]

Trent RichardsonJan 21 09:13a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson was suspended and deactivated for the AFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 18.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group