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

Jawan JamisonAug 1 11:52p

The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed free-agent RB Jawan Jamison (Redskins). Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The team also waived RB Alvester Alexander.

Kraig UrbikAug 1 11:22p

Buffalo Bills OGs Kraig Urbik and Cyril Richardson shared reps at right guard with the first-team offense during practice Friday, Aug. 1.

Riley CooperAug 1 11:12p

Philadelphia Eagles WR Riley Cooper's (foot) foot injury is not considered serious, and he should be able to return to practice in a few days, according to head coach Chip Kelly.

Daryl SmithAug 1 10:52p

Baltimore Ravens DT Timmy Jernigan (back), LB Daryl Smith (groin) and CB Lardarius Webb (back) did not participate in practice Friday, Aug. 1.

Adewale OjomoAug 1 10:12p

The Dallas Cowboys have signed free-agent DE Adewale Ojomo (Titans). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Calvin PryorAug 1 10:02p

New York Jets FS Calvin Pryor (concussion) said he will not change his playing style even though he suffered a concussion during training camp. 'I play physical, be aggressive, [ More ]

Alex GreenAug 1 09:42p

New York Jets RB Alex Green (chest) and WR Quincy Enunwa (hip) were able to participate in practice Friday, Aug. 1.

Eric DeckerAug 1 09:32p

New York Jets WR Eric Decker (hamstring) is expected to play in the team's scrimmage Saturday, Aug. 2. Decker was limited during practice Friday, Aug. 1, because of a hamstring injury.

James WhiteAug 1 09:22p

New England Patriots RB James White has been performing well during training camp and has shown a lot of maturity during practice, according to QB Tom Brady. 'He's done [ More ]

Tashaun GipsonAug 1 09:12p

Cleveland Browns SS Tashaun Gipson (knee) suffered a left knee injury during practice Friday, Aug. 1, and was scheduled to undergo an MRI on the injury.

John GrecoAug 1 09:12p

Cleveland Browns OGs Garrett Gilkey and John Greco split time at right guard with the first-team offense during practice Friday, Aug. 1.

Brandon HardinAug 1 09:02p

The New York Jets have released FS Brandon Hardin.

Bobby WagnerAug 1 08:52p

Seattle Seahawks WR Kevin Norwood (foot) and LB Bobby Wagner (hamstring) did not participate in practice Friday, Aug. 1.

Knowshon MorenoAug 1 08:32p

Miami Dolphins RB Knowshon Moreno (knee) said he is feeling better but is not sure if he will be able to play in a preseason game. 'I don't know. [ More ]

Scott ChandlerAug 1 07:52p

Buffalo Bills TEs Scott Chandler (groin) and Tony Moeaki (hamstring) are not participating in practice Friday, Aug. 1.

Chris WilliamsAug 1 07:52p

Buffalo Bills TE Lee Smith (undisclosed), OG Chris Williams (toe) and OG Chris Hairston (back) are participating in practice Friday, Aug. 1.

Mike AdamsAug 1 07:42p

Indianapolis Colts SS Delano Howell, FS Sergio Brown, FS Mike C. Adams and FS Colt Anderson have all received snaps with the first-team defense during training camp. FS LaRon [ More ]

Scott ChandlerAug 1 07:22p

Buffalo Bills TEs Chris Gragg and Dominique Jones may be the only two tight ends that are able to play in the Hall of Fame game because of injuries [ More ]

Marshawn LynchAug 1 07:22p

The Seattle Seahawks officially reinstated RB Marshawn Lynch from the Reserve/Did Not Report list Friday, Aug. 1.

Taylor PriceAug 1 07:12p

Seattle Seahawks released WR Taylor Price (hamstring) from the Reserve/Injured list with an injury settlement Friday, Aug. 1.

Trevardo WilliamsAug 1 07:02p

The Houston Texans placed LB Trevardo Williams and OT Bryan Witzmann (undisclosed) on no-recall waivers Friday, Aug. 1. Witzmann was placed on waivers with an injury designation.

Michael SmithAug 1 05:42p

The New York Jets signed RB Michael Smith (Buccaneers) Friday, Aug. 1. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Joe AdamsAug 1 05:22p

The Houston Texans signed WR Joe Adams (Panthers) Friday, Aug. 1. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Terrence ToliverAug 1 05:02p

Free-agent CB Brandon E. Smith (Bills), WR Terrence Toliver (Bears), TE Brett Brackett (Dolphins) and OG Jared Smith (Seahawks) all officially cleared waivers and became free agents Friday, Aug. 1.

Jared AbbrederisAug 1 04:32p

The Green Bay Packers fear WR Jared Abbrederis (knee) suffered a torn acute cruciate ligament in practice Thursday, July 31.

Josh GordonAug 1 03:32p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is not expected to get a decision on his appeal hearing until Monday, Aug. 4, at the earliest.

Troy KropogAug 1 01:22p

New York Giants OT Troy Kropog (foot) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Friday, Aug. 1.

Jesse WilliamsAug 1 01:12p

Seattle Seahawks DT Jesse Williams (leg) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Friday, Aug. 1.

Datone JonesAug 1 01:12p

Green Bay Packers DE Datone Jones reported to camp at 285 pounds, which was his playing weight as a rookie, and he said he lost body fat and feels [ More ]

Randall CobbAug 1 01:02p

Green Bay Packers WRs Randall Cobb, Myles White and Jared Abbrederis were returning punts in practice Thursday, July 31. White struggled Wednesday, July 30, but looked better Thursday. White [ More ]

Max StarksAug 1 01:02p

The Arizona Cardinals signed OT Max Starks (Rams) Friday, Aug. 1. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Mike NealAug 1 01:02p

Green Bay Packers LB Nick Perry (foot, knee) and LB Mike Neal (abdomen) have both been activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list and have joined training camp practices.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group