Joe Theismann 'very confident' with Ryan Fitzpatrick as WFT's quarterback


Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera told reporters following minicamp last week that veteran journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick is currently viewed as the team's starting quarterback.

Whether or not fans are satisfied with this decision, it's backed by franchise legend Joe Theismann. He supports Fitzpatrick.

"I feel very confident in the fact that we have Ryan as our quarterback going into this particular season," Theismann told the Tiki and Tierney show on Thursday. "I laugh, I saw him at minicamp last week, and I said, 'You have to have a lot of stickers on your suitcase, don't you?' And he said, 'Yeah, I've got about nine of them.' And we both started laughing. But he just keeps playing, and he's actually been playing at a high level. When Miami took him out last year, it wasn't because of the way he was playing. It was simply because they wanted to get Tua in.

"But I don't see Washington making a play for anybody. Deshaun [Watson], you just don't know how that's going to shake out. You just really don't know, and I think that would be very, very unlikely. And the Aaron Rodgers thing would be completely out of the question because you'd mortgage the future... Ryan brings a lot to the position. I think Taylor [Heinicke] is going to benefit from learning. I think Ryan will be the quarterback, I feel comfortable in saying that..."

Fitzpatrick, who signed a one-year deal worth up to $12 million back in mid-March, played nine games (seven starts) with the Miami Dolphins last season. The 38-year-old completed 68.5-percent of his passes for 2,091 yards with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions, and served as the de-facto bridge quarterback for first-round rookie Tua Tagovailoa.

According to the William Hill Sportsbook, Washington -- which won its 10th NFC East title last season with a 7-9 record -- currently has the second-best odds (+275) to repeat as division champions. The Dallas Cowboys sit at +105.

"I don't think you're going to see [last year's] kind of weakness in this division this year," Theismann said. "I think the Giants have helped themselves. The Eagles are probably still looking. The Cowboys, how healthy will Dak [Prescott] be? Having gone through recovery of a broken leg, they say Dak's really doing well, and I hope he is... When I look at this division, I think with Ryan steering the ship, the speed they added to the offensive side, the quality of defensive players they have, I look at Washington winning this division..."

Fitzpatrick would be Washington's 32nd starting quarterback since it last won the Super Bowl following the 1991 season.

Theismann, along with other professional athletes, will be participating in the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship at Lake Tahoe from July 6-11. The tournament, which has raised more than $5.5 million for national and regional charities, will be televised live on NBC and NBCSN from July 9-11.

The entire conversation between Theismann and Tiki and Tierney can be accessed in the audio player above.

You can follow the Tiki and Tierney Show on Twitter @TikiAndTierney and Tom Hanslin @TomHanslin.