Derwin James says 'you've got to be alert' when facing Ryan Fitzpatrick

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Derwin James says 'you've got to be alert' when facing Fitzpatrick originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Through his 17-year career, Ryan Fitzpatrick has established the reputation of being one of the streakiest, risk-taking quarterbacks in the NFL.

On Sunday, the 38-year-old will make his debut with the Washington Football Team against the Los Angeles Chargers. While the Chargers' defense might not know what exact version of Fitzpatrick to expect come Sunday, star safety Derwin James said one thing that is true regardless of which Fitzpatrick shows up.

"If he gets hot, he gets rolling. You've got to be alert," James said.

Fitzpatrick has had plenty of ups and downs throughout his career, but the past two years have been some of the best football he's ever played.

In his last 16 starts, Fitzpatrick has thrown for 4,400-plus yards with 27 touchdowns and just 13 interceptions. That's a significant upgrade from all four passers that started a game for Washington last season.

"He's a great quarterback," James said on Fitzpatrick. "I think that when he's at his best, when he's making plays, trying to take risks throwing to his receivers to get them open, we've got to be ready."

As for how to prevent Fitzpatrick from turning into 'FitzMagic,' James had a simple answer.

"Make it about us. Play our style of defense," he said. "What they're doing has nothing to do with us. So just coming out there and being us, it'll take care of itself."

While Sunday's game will be headlined by Fitzpatrick's debut, the Week 1 contest will also be a big moment for James as well. The 2018 All-Pro has played in just five games over the past two seasons due to multiple injuries, including a meniscus tear that kept him out all of 2020.

Now fully healthy, James is determined to remind the NFL just how good of a player he is. That starts on Sunday against Washington.Kickoff is set to take place at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Coverage begins with Washington Football Kickoff live on NBC Sports Washington and the MyTeams app at 12 p.m. and Washington Football Postgame Live immediately following the game.