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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins coach Flores already putting imprint on new team

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
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First-year Dolphins head coach Brian Flores had his team out on the practice field Tuesday for the first of their “Organized Team Activities” (OTAs). And in doing so, the former Patriots defensive assistant quickly established that, while he’s in new colors in a new location, the “Patriot Way” is going to be brought to Miami.

First, Flores met with the media prior to the workout and talked about implementing schemes and things that he’s learned from Bill Belichick and the Pats:

Now, while Flores stated that it is “not cut and paste” from everything they did in New England, he clearly is going to follow some of what he learned from Belichick.

For example, even though this was only essentially a 75% speed practice with the players only in helmets and no pads, the media was given strict guidelines about what they could publicize or not, while watching the workout. Here’s are the rules from Miami Herald beat writer Armando Salguero:

That would almost be right out of a “Patriots handbook.” Don’t let them know anything, about anyone or anything.

Still, the most intriguing storyline already is whom will be the quarterback come this fall in Flores’ initial season? The temporary answer for the first OTA, Tuesday, is that veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick took the snaps with the first-team. Fitzpatrick, the 15th year veteran who was the on-again-off-again starter last year in Tampa Bay, will clearly bring veteran presence in leadership the Miami quarterback room and the practice field.

However, it is well documented that the Dolphins traded a second-round pick and a future selection on NFL Draft weekend for former Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen. And. it’s expected that it will be Rosenstein at some point in 2019 if not right off the bat.

Again, you cannot read too much into OTA practices but clearly Rosen had some Jitters on Tuesday. An example that was apparently “smuggled out” via social media from our colleague, NBC 6’s Chris Fischer:

Rosen also, for what little it’s worth, threw an awful interception later in the Tuesday workout, too.

Still, there is plenty of time for everyone to build and to improve. And, as the Dolphins continue their off-season preparation with their new coach getting acclimated to his new personnel, these are only the beginning steps in trying to change the recent losing ways in South Florida.

And, Flores will be doing that his way, with a nod to the previous way.

Miami Dolphins

Dolphins reverse course- will start Josh Rosen Sunday

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

In a move that fits the pattern of seemingly having no true plan of how to get better and, further being willing to change or get rid of personnel on any whim, coach Brian Flores and the Dolphins have done “a 180 turn,” and will now start second-year quarterback Josh Rosen in Dallas Sunday.

NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport had the news first Thursday afternoon,

After being adamant for the last three days the team would continue to start veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, even after two dismal games where the Dolphins lost by a combined score of 102 – 10, Flores and the organization have obviously decided that now is the time to see what Rosen can do.

We at F.F.I. called for this move on Monday, as Miami’s offense could be truly no worse than what it has looked like in the losses to Baltimore and the Patriots at home.

And sooner or later you have to give Rosen an extended look to find out, if he has some promise to be a quarterback of the future or at least, part of the mix as a backup etc., for 2020 and 2021.

Clearly, Miami is doing everything they can to lose every possible game they can and get their best draft position in 2020.

To that end, the Dolphins traded 2018 first round pick defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday acquiring their number one pick. This added on to the blockbuster trade of left tackle Laremy Tunsil and wide receiver Kenny Stills where the Dolphins acquired the Texans number one and number two picks this year and their first round pick next year.

The Dolphins stuck Rosen in Sunday’s disaster with New England with nine minutes to go and trailing 43-0 and he threw 18 passes, completing only seven and also had an INT while being sacked three times. Rosen even managed to roll his ankle, but kept playing, but only in worthless garbage time.

Rosen, who was acquired in an April draft night trade with Arizona, was 3-10 last year as a starter with only a 55% completion percentage and 11 touchdowns vs. 14 interceptions with the Cards.

Now, considerably handicapped on offense without Tunsil and Stills, etc., we will see what the former UCLA first round pick can do against the formidable Cowboys.

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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins trade Minkah Fitzpatrick to Steelers

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Dolphins remained true to their “lose at all costs” mentality for 2019, as they dealt last season’s #1 pick, DB Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Steelers on Monday night.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter was the first with the news, including what Pittsburgh would be dealing in return:

As we wrote earlier Monday night, Fitzpatrick has been disgruntled in Miami just two horrible games into their season and was given permission to seek a trade last week. Apparently, Pittsburgh came up with the best offer, first, to get the former Alabama All American.

Fitzpatrick, who the Dolphins took with the 11th overall pick in the 2018 draft, is disgruntled in part, because of the Dolphins “veteran purge” that has gone all in all offseason, stripping them of experienced talent everywhere. He further has been unhappy with new head coach Brian Flores and defensive coordinator, Patrick Graham, moving him to different positions all over the defensive secondary in the preseason and the first two games of the year.

Fitzpatrick started and played significantly in most of Fins Sunday blowout loss to the Patriots 43-0 that dropped them to a dismal looking 0-2. And Pro Football Focus gave him a decent grade for Sunday:

GM Chris Grier continues to stock pile draft picks for the “named players” on his roster. This included the huge deal trading of starting LT Laremy Tunsil and WR Kenny Stills on the eve of the season to the Houston Texans. Miami got the Texans next two #1 picks and their second rounder in 2021 in that deal.

The acquiring of the Steelers first rounder gives Miami three opening round picks now in next April’s draft.

Reportedly, the teams are also swapping fourth (Miami’s) and fifth round picks in 2020 and sixth (Pittsburgh’s) and seventh rounders in 2021, as part of the deal.

Grier had been busy getting rid of other veterans in the off season. This also included dealing players like QB Ryan Tannehill and DE Robert Quinn in March, veteran WR Danny Amendola being cut after just one season in Miami and Pro Bowl DE Cam Wake being allowed to walk away in free agency.

In addition to trading Tunsil and Stills, Grier dealt his most productive tackler the last three years, Kiko Alonso, to the Saints at the end of preseason, too.

Intriguingly, the Steelers, and Fitzpatrick, will host the Dolphins on Monday Night Football on October 28th.

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