"You can't take the hot man out."
Veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has been absolutely lights out to start the season, throwing for an NFL-best 819 yards and eight touchdowns while leading the Buccaneers to a 2-0 record. However, Tampa Bay head coach Dirk Koetter will have a decision to make after the team's Week 3 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers: ride the hot hand or let Jameis Winston take over when he returns from his three-game suspension.
For some, the move is clear cut. Bucs wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who leads the league with 275 receiving yards and three touchdowns, says they "can't take the hot man out."
"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."
Jackson adds, "He's putting on a show. 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."
According to ESPN, Koetter told reporters Monday:
"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."
"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."
The Bucs, 2-0 for the first time since 2010, will host the Steelers on Monday night. If they improve to 3-0 and the FitzJackson connection stays hot, Koetter's decision shouldn't be that difficult after all.