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Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had a career-best game in Week 1 in New Orleans. He lit up the Saints to a tune of 417 yards passing with four TDs, as well as another touchdown on the ground.Lynne Sladky/The Associated Press

Gerald McCoy is puzzled when he hears people question the ability of fellow NFL players, particularly backup quarterbacks such as Nick Foles and Ryan Fitzpatrick.

“It’s the NFL,” Tampa Bay’s six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle said. “Everybody’s good.”

Foles’ success filling in for the injured Carson Wentz is one of the biggest reasons why the Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) were able to win the Super Bowl after losing their starting quarterback late last season.

Fitzpatrick has McCoy’s Buccaneers (1-0) off to a promising start without suspended starter Jameis Winston after playing arguably the best game of a 14-year career that includes stints with seven teams.

“I don’t get when a person, an analyst or fan or anybody says: ’Oh, he’s not good.’ … That’s a horrible thing to say about an NFL player because there are people who would give anything to be in the NFL,“ McCoy said. ”They just didn’t have what it takes to be ’not good.’ “

McCoy calls Foles “MVP” because the Eagles quarterback has been the most valuable player in a Pro Bowl, as well as last season’s Super Bowl.

“He always laughs when I call him that,” the ninth-year pro said, looking ahead to facing the defending NFL champions Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.

“He’s a great player. He doesn’t do more than he’s asked to do,” McCoy added. “He’s a great leader, and just a great guy overall.”

Those are some of the same attributes McCoy sees in Fitzpatrick, who threw for a career-best 417 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions to help the Bucs surprise New Orleans 48-40 on the road last week.

The 35-year-old Fitzpatrick, who has 120 career starts and is one of just four players in NFL history to toss TD passes for seven different franchises, also rushed for a TD.

“Confidence is a huge thing, whether you’re out there or not,” Fitzpatrick said, addressing what it takes to be a successful backup.

After going 2-1 filling in for an injured Winston last season, Fitzpatrick is slated for a minimum three starts this year while the No. 1 overall pick from the 2015 draft serves a suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

“But also, more so than my confidence in myself … is when you’re in the huddle, whether you’re the starter or you’re the backup, you can feel from the play caller, you can feel by the guys looking at you whether they have confidence in you,” Fitzpatrick said.

Foles, who threw for 117 yards, no touchdowns and one interception in Philadelphia’s 18-12 season-opening victory over Atlanta, is 2-0 in career starts against the Bucs. He completed 66 per cent of his passes for 677yards, five TDs and zero picks in leading the Eagles to road victories in 2012 and 2013.

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