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Old 06-08-2014   #305
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Default Re: Ryan Fitzpatrick visiting Texans (signs)

Winding road leads Texans QB Fitzpatrick to big opportunity
By Brian T. Smith

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Texans wide receivers coach Stan Hixon was in Buffalo when Fitzpatrick started for the Bills. Special teams coach Bob Ligashesky was in St. Louis when Fitzpatrick was a rookie Ram. Secondary coach John Butler was at Harvard when Fitzpatrick wore crimson. Tight ends coach John Perry once tried to get Fitzpatrick to come to Dartmouth. Texans coaches Bill Kollar, Craig Fitzgerald and Sean Hayes also saw their life paths cross with Fitzpatrick's.
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"I was just looking at his staff, and there were so many people from my past. I was just sitting there thinking, 'Man, I'm getting old,' " Fitzpatrick said.
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Quarterbacks coach George Godsey and O'Brien believe that if Fitzpatrick's turnovers are minimized and his strengths are accentuated, the Texans have the potential to "develop" a veteran, system-based quarterback. If the experiment works, Fitzpatrick will rely on running back Arian Foster, three tight ends, wide receivers Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins, and a new emphasis on a slot receiver to win tight games.
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"It's about decision-making," O'Brien said. "Not forcing the ball and understanding that you have a really good back out of the backfield in Foster that you can always check it down to. We believe in our system. But at the end of the day, Ryan, he needs to go out there and make good decisions and make sure he is doing what is best for the team."

To NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell, Fitzpatrick could be the perfect answer for the 2014 Texans. The positives: good arm, high intelligence, legit experience, a natural feel for the position. The negatives: limited athleticism, occasionally frenetic in the pocket, random regrettable throws that can immediately turn games upside down.

Fitzpatrick never was and never will be confused for an elite starter. But if "gray areas" are removed, his assets are harnessed and his role is clearly defined - throw here and here, never there - a team searching since 2002 for a franchise quarterback could have an unexpected winner this season.

"A quarterback like Fitzpatrick can sometimes be exposed, which is why he's Ryan Fitzpatrick and not Tom Brady," Cosell said. "But for the most part, I think Bill sees a guy that he can really manipulate, in a positive sense, and control and get the most out of him."...
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