It isn’t only 13-plus years of experience that Ryan Fitzpatrick has going for him in his role as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ starting quarterback.

It’s also the ability to deliver difference-making plays, as he did in throwing for 417 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Bucs to their stunning 48-40 victory in last Sunday’s season-opener against the New Orleans Saints.

‘The fact he’s seen so much, it allows him to go out there and he just plays free’

“Fitz, he’s a great quarterback,” Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin told Alex Marvez and Bill Polian on Late Hits. “I think the biggest thing that kind of stands out to me is just his experience. Obviously, he’s been around for awhile and I think just the fact that he’s seen so much, it allows him to go out there and he just plays free. I think he does a great job of giving all of our playmakers an opportunity to make a play on the ball.”

That doesn’t mean Godwin or the rest of the Bucs have forgotten the man Fitzpatrick replaced, Jameis Winston, who is serving a suspension. Winston isn’t forgetting them, either.

‘(Jameis Winston) is one of our leaders of our team, he’s very passionate about this game’

“After the game, he reached out to a couple of players on the team, some of the guys on the team, saying, ‘Congratulations, it was a big win,'” Godwin said. “That speaks to the kind of guy that Jameis is. He’s a team-first guy. He’s one of our leaders of our team, he’s vary passionate about this game and about our team. So for him to text immediately after the game to say congrats, that says a lot about him.

“And kind of going off of that, I think that’s more of what we can expect when he gets back. He’s very passionate about this game and I know he’s itching to get back. And when he does, he’s going to come back and give us all of his energy, all of that leadership that he has and just give us all that he can to help us take the next step.”

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