Bills Quarterback and Former Harvard Star Ryan Fitzpatrick Ready to Face Patriots

Bills Quarterback and Former Harvard Star Ryan Fitzpatrick Ready to Face Patriots Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick isn't your typical Harvard lad.

The Crimson alum who was given a slim shot in the seventh round by the Rams in 2005 is now the go-to guy for the Buffalo Bills.

While Harvard isn't known as a football hotbed, the lessons he learned at the Cambridge campus and on head coach Tim Murphy's squad have really paved the way for his football career.

"It was awesome," he said Wednesday via conference call. "Coach Murphy’s a great guy, great coach, and I really respect him, still keep up with him and talk to him a lot. He taught me a lot. Not only about football and playing quarterback but being a man, the family man that he is, the leader that he is. [I] really respect the heck out of him and I loved playing there. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I met my wife there. There were a lot of good things that came from me going to Harvard and I certainly wouldn’t trade them for anything."

Fitzpatrick didn't get recruited by any Division I-A schools, but that didn't stump the Arizona native's confidence. He's taken over the offensive reins in Buffalo and isn't looking back. He's faced adversity since joining the NFL family and isn't about to back down now — especially as a starting signal-caller.

In this, his fourth year in the league (and first with Buffalo), the 6-foot-2, 225-pounder has accumulated 22 total touchdowns and close to 4,000 passing yards in just 36 career games played.

"I got drafted in the seventh round by the Rams and was the [No.] 3 [quarterback] there for two years then got traded and was the backup in Cincinnati," he said of his hectic young career. "I’ve never been cut, never been on a practice squad, but … this is what I want to do. This is my passion and I want to play for as long as they let me."

This weekend when Fitzpatrick — who has 1,089 passing yards and five touchdowns in eight games this season — faces off against the Pats, don't assume he's going to be in awe of the franchise he watched torch the league as a Boston-area college lad.

His relationship with the New England club is pretty minimal despite the short drive between Foxborough and Cambridge.

"I went to a practice once," he recalled. "Jamil Soriano was on the practice squad. He was one of my linemen at Harvard so I went to a practice once and got to eat the meal when all the players were there and stuff but I didn’t know any of them, no. … I don’t think it’s any more or less special because of where I went to college."

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