The Miami Dolphins named veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick their starter today ahead of its season opener on Sunday.
This call is a move that was expected and mirrors how Miami has used Fitzpatrick as the No. 1 QB in training camp and team practices.
“This isn’t groundbreaking news, but Fitz is going to be the starter,” head coach Brian Flores said. “A year like this with no OTAs, no minicamp, modified training camp, we felt like that would be the best decision for the team. He’s done a good job through the course of training camp, and he’ll be out there.”
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Fitzpatrick’s Strong WR Bond Helped Decision
The 37-year-old Fitzpatrick is entering his 16th NFL season and the final year of his two-year contract with the Dolphins. His proven leadership and chemistry in 2019 with wide receivers DeVante Parker and Preston Williams continued into this year’s camps and practices and was a key contributing factor to the decision, Flores said.
“The guys who are, let’s call it ‘starters,’ are guys who obviously had good training camps and showed that from a consistency standpoint, from a technique/fundamentals standpoint, from a communications standpoint; they were ahead of some other guys,” Flores said.
Fitzpatrick: Top-10 in QB Rating in 2019
Fitzpatrick started 13 of 16 games for Miami just a season ago, tossing 3,529 yards on a 62-percent completion percentage. He added 20 touchdowns, 13 interceptions and was the team’s leading rusher. His 66.5 QB rating also ranked eighth in the NFL.
Fitzpatrick to Have Help from Gailey, Veterans in 2020
Fitzpatrick also has offensive coordinator Chan Gailey who he worked with when he was a member of the both the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets now calling the shots on Miami’s offense.
He’ll get more help on the offensive side of the ball in 2020 with Miami adding two touted running backs to its back field in Jordan Howard and Matt Breida, while also garnering another under-valued starting WR in Isaiah Ford. In addition, the team already has the versatile former United States Naval Academy QB/RB/WR Malcolm Perry in the mix, along with now-WR Lynn Bowden Jr. (trade, Las Vegas Raiders) at his disposal as well.
Fitzpatrick has taken on the mentor role for Tagovailoa as well, and even QB Jake Rudock who’s on the Dolphins’ practice squad. The young QBs likely have one last chance to learn from the decorated veteran before an impending retirement after this season.
Miami opens the season on Sunday in New England against the Patriots at 1 p.m. eastern that will see Fitzpatrick go head-to-head with newly-named Patriots starting QB Cam Newton.
Editor’s Note: Lynn Bodwen Jr. does not have a player profile on profootballreference.com, the site FPC Dolphins uses to highlight players.