I have no idea if Ryan Fitzpatrick is going to be any good this year. A protracted contract battle was followed by an unsteady preseason, and many smart football people predict the Amish Rifle will regress back to the mean in his second season in New York.
As a Jets fan, I understand this as a real possibility. I have more optimistic hopes -- Fitz still has some great weapons and Chan Gailey's offense is a perfect fit for the QB's skill set -- and yet I'm prepared for a reality in which Fitzpatrick doesn't sniff 32 touchdown passes in 2016.
But whatever you think of Fitzpatrick the player, let's give the man credit for being as smart (HE WENT TO HARVARD YOU KNOW) and engaging a guy as there is in the NFL right now. As a football fan, of course I want to have the best players on my team. But I also want guys I like and can root for as people. Fitzpatrick will never be confused with Aaron Rodgers on the field, but he undeniably fits that second category.
Which takes us to the Jets' kickoff luncheon on Tuesday in Florham Park. Fitzpatrick put on his storyteller hat and offered up a snapshot of what it's like to get a play off before the 40-second play clock ticks to zero. There are beard bits, fart jokes, gray hair digs and -- in the kicker -- the struggles that come with one of your best receivers having the physical appearance of a male model.
Asks Fitzpatrick: "Can you guys imagine sitting there trying to figure out what I'm going to do against a defense and Eric Decker makes eye contact with you?"
That's my quarterback.