Bucs begin taking sides on Ryan Fitzpatrick or Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston hasn’t been Wally Pipp’d yet. But DeSean Jackson thinks he should be.

The Buccaneers receiver believes Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has led Tampa Bay to a surprising 2-0 start, should remain the starter when Winston returns from his three-game suspension.

“He’s been playing on fire right now,” Jackson said on NFL Network on Monday. “With the way the team is rallying behind him and just playing lights-out football, you have to kind of honor it. You know what I’m saying? You can’t take the hot man out. You got the hot fire right now. It’s like ‘NBA Jam.’ We used to play ‘NBA Jam’ — whoever’s got that hot fire shot, you got to keep shooting, man.”

It’s hard to argue with Jackson. The 35-year-old Fitzpatrick has thrown for 819 yards in two weeks, the most in the NFL. He’s completing an absurd 78 percent of his passes and has produced nine touchdowns, eight through the air. His 151.5 rating is also the best in the sport. He just torched the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles.

“Well, I mean his numbers are off the charts. I guess how would you expect them — everybody — to respond? Of course, everybody’s responded well,” Bucs coach Dirk Koetter told reporters Monday. “Our team’s playing well. Our team’s doing something that not many thought they could. We have a good locker room. Our guys believe in each other right now. Any player that’s playing well — he’s backing it up with his play — you get what you deserve.”

Koetter refused to touch the potential quarterback controversy, preferring to focus on the immediate future rather than the potential distraction ahead. But Jackson believes he knows what Koetter is thinking.

“It’s not my decision, but I’m sure Dirk and [offensive coordinator Todd] Monken and the guys that make those calls, they’ll make sure they stay on fire until that fire is out,” the veteran wideout said.

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