Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Texans tap the Amish Rifle as their signal caller

The Houston Texans have at least dabbled their toes in the ferocious waters of NFL free agency by inking veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to a two-year deal.

Pardon for my frankness, but I’m not overzealous about this. There’s a reason why he has been a journeyman quarterback throughout most of his career.

He’s trustworthy but not quite enough for a franchise to make a long-term investment in him. I think he will get the job done for the time being — that’s likely what the Texans are looking for. But who knows if he has reached his ceiling of growth potential? We can only hope that he hasn’t.

He has plenty of upside — he’s resourceful, eager to learn and can reliably move the football downfield, which is something the Texans had a problem with last season.

He’s also an Ivy-Leaguer right out of Harvard U. He’s on an extremely short list of players to represent the Crimson in the NFL — past and present — which is as exclusive as the university itself.

Oh boy…and here are the downsides. His quarterback rating this past season was an 82 — barely pedestrian and nothing to sneeze at. To put that rating in perspective, Matt Schaub nearly hit that mark rather easily even after stumbling through last season, which was the worst of his career. Fitzpatrick also only completed 62 percent of his passes and amassed 12 turnovers with the Titans last season, which are amazingly close to career bests for him. Yikes.

Dec. 9, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) throws a pass during the second half against the St. Louis Rams at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Buffalo beats St. Louis 15 to 12. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

I’m pinning my hopes on some déjà vu – I want to see the vintage Fitz – the one from the 2011 season that passed for nearly 4,000 yards and 24 touchdowns. The one I picked up off waivers in my Fantasy Football league that season and rode his coattails all the way to a playoff berth.

If he can work on cutting down his turnovers, he can be an integral part of Bill O’Brien’s high-octane offense.

If O’Brien can mold Matt McGloin into a NFL quarterback, then anything is possible.

What about Bob McNair’s insinuation that “we’re going to kick 2013 the hell out the door?” This looks like more of a controlled & calculated close of that said door! Where’s that splash to get us moving in the direction to be a playoff team? Is this it?

The Texans can still play coy with this move and still draft a QB for insurance, so I’m staying tuned.

Welcome to the Bayou City Fitz — good luck! Just don’t expect me to don your No. 14 jersey just yet.

Have we found our guy to lead the Texans into a new era or is this a temporary fix until something better comes along? Share your thoughts!

Tags: Houston Texans Ryan Fitzpatrick

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