Bucs’ Jackson on Fitzpatrick: ‘You can’t take the hot man out’
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson said he would keep Ryan Fitzpatrick under center when fellow quarterback Jameis Winston returns from suspension.
“(Fitzpatrick has) been on fire right now,” the 31-year-old Jackson told NFL Network’s Scott Hanson and Willie McGinest on Monday. “With the way the team is rallying behind him and just playing lights-out football, you have to kind of honor it. You can’t take the hot man out. You got the hot fire right now. It’s like NBA Jam. We used to play NBA Jam — whoever’s got that hot fire shot, you got to keep shooting, man.
“It’s not my decision but I’m sure (coach) Dirk (Koetter) and (offensive coordinator Todd) Monken and the guys that make those calls, they’ll make sure they stay on fire until that fire is out.”
Fitzpatrick has thrown for a league-best 819 yards to go along with eight touchdown passes. He has a completion percentage of 78.7 to boot.
The 35-year-old Fitzpatrick is starting because former No. 1 pick Winston is serving a three-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
So what will the team do if Fitzpatrick shines on Monday night against a generous Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense?
“I won’t be the one getting into that,” Koetter said. “We’ll worry about that when the time comes. Right now, we’re going to start working on Pittsburgh and that’s all that matters right now. Everything else is in the future because it could all change just like that.”
Jackson has thrived with Fitzpatrick under center, recording consecutive 100-yard receiving games. He has nine catches for 275 yards and three touchdowns the past two weeks after having 50 receptions for 668 yards and three scores in 14 games last season.