First Posted: 11/4/2008 12:06:42 PM | Last Updated: 11/4/2008 12:06:42 PM
It was just a matter of time.
And it wasn’t about the Cincinnati Bengals getting their first win of the season – a 21-19 thriller over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Nov. 2.
No, it was just a matter of time that Ryan Fitzpatrick, the club’s back-up quarterback showed what he could really do under center.
Check his resume. Pretty impressive. He led Harvard – yes Harvard – to a perfect 10-0 season and was named the Ivy League’s Player of the Year as a senior.
And like another Bengal who graduated Harvard – Pat McInally – rumor has it he scored perfectly on the Wonderlic intelligence test administered to NFL prospects. And, if he didn’t get a perfect score, well, he completed the exam in nine of the allotted 12 minutes.
And he was almost perfect Sunday, completing 21 of 31 pass attempts for 162 yards, and two touchdowns in leading his club to their first win in nine tries.
Fitzpatrick was dealt to the Bengals before the 2007 season after spending his first two professional seasons with the St. Louis Rams.
It was Carson Palmer –The Franchise – and his inflamed elbow which pushed Fitzpatrick off the clipboard into a starting role in game four this season.
While others may have their doubts with the Crimson signal-caller, his former coach – Tim Murphy – says he believes Fitzpatrick is certainly up to the challenge.
“The kid to me is a right-handed Steve Young,” Murphy, who coached the University of Cincinnati, told Jonathan Lehmann of the New York Post. “He has tremendous decision-making ability. He’d be in the upper 25 percent of the league in arm strength,” Murphy said of the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Arizona native.
Murphy also said his former quarterback would probably be in the upper 10 percent in athleticism. And he said he has tremendous poise. He needed a shot in the right system, he added.
Maybe the Bengals, at least for Fitzpatrick, are the right system.
Fitzpatrick will have a week off to celebrate his Bengals win. The club has a bye-week before meeting the Philadelphia Eagles on the 16th.
As for his Ivy League roots, Fitzpatrick told the New York Post he does not want that to remain the signature item on his NFL resume.
“The ultimate goal for me is for my play to be able to transform a team to win games,” Fitzpatrick said.
That could be a pretty tall task, considering the last 18 years of this hapless franchise. But Ryan Fitzpatrick seems to have the makeup to at least give this ball club a fighting chance while their star remains on the sidelines.
And for Fitzpatrick, quarterbacking even a lowly team in the NFL certainly beats working on Wall Street in these economic times.
Andy Furman operates Publicity Enterprises, a full-service publicity/promotions/marketing business, and serves Jake Sweeney Automotive as their Promotions Specialist and Internet Director. Furman’s commentaries can be heard twice daily on Oldies 1160 WDJO, first at 7:55 a.m. with Dusty Rhodes and also at 4:55 p.m. with Dr. Boogie. For more, check out www.CinciPulse.com.