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Rivalry Between Ryan Fitzpatrick, John Beck Goes All The Way ‘Back’ To Childhood

By ZAC BOYER | | @ZacBoyer

ASHBURN – John Beck was one of the best backstroke swimmers in Arizona when he was 9 and 10 years old.

At least, that’s what Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick remembers about his Washington Redskins counterpart. The two competed against each other in several sports while growing up in the Phoenix suburbs – Beck in Mesa, Fitzpatrick in Gilbert.

In fact, Fitzpatrick often recalls a time in high school when his older brother, Brandon, was the quarterback at Highland and Beck, playing for rival Mountain View, made a tackle and broke his collarbone.

“He’s definitely a competitor,” Fitzpatrick said Wednesday. “I think just in general, to be a quarterback in this league, you have to be a competitor to stick around more than a year or two. I’m not surprised by it.”

Both quarterbacks took a similar path through the NFL to end up where they are now. Fitzpatrick, who went to Harvard, was a seventh-round pick by St. Louis in 2005 and bounced around the league, getting a shot with Cincinnati in 2008 before moving into a starting role in Buffalo in 2009.

Beck, from Brigham Young, was a rookie starter in Miami in the second half of 2007 and didn’t get another shot until the Redskins gave him that role last week.

Fitzpatrick said the two haven’t particularly stayed in touch in the offseason but have talked on occasion.

“I know that he’s a guy that loves football and I know that he didn’t have – it didn’t start the way he wanted it to in Miami, but he stuck with it and is now getting another big-time opportunity,” Fitzpatrick said.