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Cris Collinsworth confident in Jets' Ryan Fitzpatrick

New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick warms up

New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick warms up for the Jets' NFL preseason football game against the Detroit Lions, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, in Detroit. Credit: AP / Paul Sancya

Cris Collinsworth said the situation with quarterback Geno Smith is "bizarre," but thinks Ryan Fitzpatrick is just the guy to bring it back to normalcy.

The NBC "Sunday Night Football" analyst Wednesday was asked on a conference call about the Jets and their quarterbacks. More specifically, he was asked if he could remember a similar story line of a quarterback being punched out by a teammate and lost for a significant period.

"Not really," he said. "One time in my career, and I won't say who, I was in a locker room where I saw a quarterback pinned up against the wall by a teammate, and man, we all came running fast. I guess that [the Jets] just didn't have a feel that it was going to escalate to something like that that soon, but it's bizarre. Poor Todd [Bowles] is up there trying to figure this whole thing out and Chan Gailey and all those guys are trying to piece it together."

Enter Fitzpatrick, the backup who has become the starter.

"Sometimes a calming hand [helps], and I think that's what Ryan is," Collinsworth said. "He's just a guy that if you go back and look at what he really did last year, he's pretty good."

And, he added, that may be all the Jets need from him. Pretty good.

"You don't want that team, I don't think, being a 35-passes-a-game kind of a team," he said. "You watch them play defense against the Giants and you go, 'Boy, I tell you, they can be something on that side of the ball.' So if they are not giving away games on the offensive side, then you've got a pretty good chance. You just don't think Ryan is going to do that."

If he can help in that way, then it certainly would be difficult to unseat him.

"If the formula starts to work -- and with some of the corners they have on that team the formula could work, it worked in Arizona -- then you want a little more cautious hand at the quarterback position," Collinsworth said. "I don't think they would change if it were working when Geno got back."

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