With so little game film available on rookie quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who made his NFL debut last week for the St. Louis Rams, Washington Redskins coaches have turned to other resources. Gregg Williams, assistant head coach-defense, said Fitzpatrick, who will make his first start Sunday against the Redskins, certainly caught the attention of Washington's players and staff, and he is reaching out to those who know the former Harvard player.
"We've been asking Zak Keasey some questions about him," Williams said. Williams's son also plays Ivy League football, for Princeton, but was redshirted and did not face Fitzpatrick.
Keasey, a Redskins practice-squad linebacker who is a Princeton product, did and Williams has asked for a little scouting report. The 250th selection in the April draft, Fitzpatrick was pressed into duty Sunday when Jamie Martin, filling in for the injured Marc Bulger, got hurt. Fitzpatrick passed for 310 yards in three quarters and led the Rams back from a 21-point deficit to an overtime victory over Houston.
Fitzpatrick, named the NFC's offensive player of the week, finds the NFL is a bit different from Harvard.
Teammates expect "me to know every answer to every question," he said. "During training camp, some guys were in a big, heated discussion, so I walked over to see what they were talking about. They said, 'Fitz, you can answer this question; you're from Harvard.' I said, 'Okay, maybe it's some trivial question, some history, something.' They said, 'What do you think would hurt more, getting hit in the face by the trunk of an elephant or being kicked in the face by a donkey?' "
No Fine for Springs
League sources said that Redskins cornerback Shawn Springs was not fined for throwing his helmet at the end of Sunday's overtime loss to San Diego. . . . Washington's home game against Dallas on Dec. 18 has been moved from a 1 p.m. start to a 4:15 p.m. start to accommodate a national television audience. The change means that the Redskins will play late-afternoon games in three straight weeks. . . . Offensive lineman Chris Samuels (knee), running back Ladell Betts (knee), defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin (hip) and defensive end Renaldo Wynn (rested on Wednesday) returned to practice yesterday and are slated to play Sunday. Wide receiver James Thrash (hamstring) was downgraded to out. . . . The Redskins donated $15,000 to the Hyattsville Hawks Pop Warner football team yesterday to enable them to attend the national championships in Florida. Owner Daniel Snyder donated the check at Redskins Park before yesterday's practice, and for most of the players this will be their first time outside this area. The team has not lost a game in three years and was unable to raise the necessary funds to attend the event. "We hope some of their success rubs off on us," Snyder said.