Ryan Fitzpatrick will be a pregame analyst for Amazon Prime Video’s “Thursday Night Football” that begins this fall, he said in an interview with The Post.
Fitzpatrick will join the already announced Richard Sherman and Tony Gonazlez on the desk that is expected to be at every Thursday night game in the fall.
The Post has previously reported that Fox Sports’ Charissa Thompson is the leading candidate to be the host and that Marshawn Lynch will likely be involved.
Enticing people to watch is about being interesting, and it is hard to argue that Fitzpatrick is not that. The Harvard graduate spent 17 years in the NFL with nine teams, earning the nickname “FitzMagic” for his sometimes sparkling play, including with the Jets in 2015. He and his wife have seven children (three boys, four girls), ranging from ages 3 to 15.
Fitzpatrick, 39, retired from the NFL after his hip injury basically cost him all of last season with Washington. After not playing for most of the year, there were no starting opportunities in the league for him.
This, combined with constantly moving his family and his oldest child entering high school, forced him to put down his helmet and shoulder pads.
“That kind of opened my eyes to life after football,” Fitzpatrick said. “And here we are.”
Fitzpatrick said the two obvious post-playing careers for him after 17 years in the league were either coaching or media. The grind of coaching is not something he wanted to put his family through at this point.
“Amazon jumped out at me,” Fitzpatrick said. “In terms of it is something that’s fresh and new. It just made a lot of sense of what I was trying to get into.”
Plus, with Amazon being on Thursdays, Fitzpatrick said that will allow him to attend his kids’ football games and soccer tournaments.
“And, also, for me to be able to sit down with my kids and watch some of these games on Sunday,” Fitzpatrick said. “It is something I haven’t had a whole lot of time to do these last 17 years.”
A little more than three years ago, Fitzpatrick had his youngest child, which occurred after he and his wife deliberated over if they wanted to go to the next level of family because an SUV can fit eight, but not nine.
“Do we want to get a bigger 12-person van and be that weird looking family?” Fitzpatrick said.
The Fitzpatricks tool around in a Nissan NV these days.
“I had no interest getting a [Mercedes-Benz] Sprinter or something overly nice for the family,” Fitzpatrick said. “The amount of Cheerios and Goldfish on the floor that are smashed and ranch and barbecue sauce from Chick-Fil-A. I had zero interest in getting a Sprinter.”
Since Fitzpatrick is going to be an analyst, we asked him to strap on a mic to analyze the two young New York quarterbacks.
On the Jets’ second-year quarterback Zack Wilson, Fitzpatrick said Wilson has to be himself
“The one thing I would say about Zach Wilson, just watching from afar and being in the situation of being a quarterback, especially in New York, but being a young guy that’s trying to figure out what he’s doing in this league, is he has to be himself,” Fitzpatrick said. “I know he has a lot of different people in his ear. He’s got different quarterback coaches flying in and I’m sure life coaches and agents, and my biggest advice to him would be, go out to dinner, have a beer with your linemen, be yourself. Don’t try to be what everybody else thinks the starting quarterback in the NFL should be. And I think that’ll help him relax and have a much better year.”
On the Giants’ Daniel Jones, who is entering his fourth year
“Daniel Jones is an interesting one for me, because I’ve had coaches that have crossed over with him as well,” Fitzpatrick said. “And I’ve put him and know him a little bit. Really nice guy. But then to turn it over and say, ‘OK, well, how has he played?’ I think it’s been a tough situation. There have been a lot of injuries. There’s been a lot of stuff he’s had to play through. I actually really like his talent.
“I think the running part of it was a surprise for me. I didn’t know that he was going to be as athletic as he is. But this is a make or break year for him. He knows that and everybody in the world knows that. So it’s not going to be a matter of is he putting in the work, because I know that he’s got a strong work ethic. But it’s gonna be about results this year. Is ge going to be able to produce or not?
“And I’ll say this, you know, with his new coach, and what they’ve already been able to do with Josh Allen. You take a guy that was low-50s completion-percentage guy and [Brian Daboll] brought him all the way up to the top five – 67-68 percent, whatever it was (69.2 percent in 2020). That was Josh Allen, but a lot of that was also Brian Daboll on what he was able to do. So hopefully they can get on the same page and get comfortable quickly, and I think Daboll is going to do great things for his career.”