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Miami Dolphins

Early on it’s Ryan Fitzpatrick’s QB job in Miami

Florida Football Insiders

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

With the understanding it is way early in the process, it’s now apparent that the preference for Miami new head coach Brian Flores and his  offensive coordinator, Chad O’Shea, is it the dolphins be led by veteran QB, Ryan Fitzpatrick.

And at the Dolphins first day of mandatory mini-camp on Tuesday, Fitzpatrick was once again taking most of the first-team reps:

And as has been the case throughout the last few weeks, the Dolphins are relying on the longtime veteran as they are installing O’Shea’s offense and preparing eventually training camp and the preseason.

Many believe that former Arizona Cardinals number one pick Josh Rosen, whom the Dolphins acquired in April will eventually be the quarterback at Miami will turn to. And again, that could happen as soon as the preseason unfolds or to begin the regular season in September. But, for now, the 15-year veteran Fitzpatrick  seems to have more of a command of what Miami wants to do, offensively.

Fitzpatrick was the on-again-off-again starter in Tampa Bay for the Bucs the last two seasons, including his spectacular first two weeks a year ago. That’s when he was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week back to back by throwing for 400+ yards in wins over the Saints and the Eagles.

Miami landed Fitzpatrick is a free agent on a two-year deal in March, but clearly they have been and continue to search for a quarterback for the long-term future. And in this case with acquiring Rosen, Fitzpatrick will be an excellent resource to help in his development this season and beyond.

Still, for weapons like receiver Kenny Stills, second year tight end Mike Gesicki, and running back Kenyan Drake, they are searching for a leader of the offense. And that’s something that Fitzpatrick, who’s started 126 games for seven different teams in his previous 14 seasons, can bring.

Again, it’s early. And, these are only workouts against yourselves.

And, further, it’s likely that the Fins want to challenge Rosen to take the job this fall. But, until he does, the “Fitzmagic” that he worked in Tampa Bay, New York, Buffalo and elsewhere is on display in South Florida.

Miami Dolphins

Looks like Tua Tagovailoa will work out for teams prior to draft

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John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

There will be numerous NFL teams interested, including the Dolphins, on just how healthy injured Alabama star Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is. And, a report on Wednesday says that Tua will likely be ready to throw for teams later in the offseason draft process.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that “NFL quarterback super-agent” Leigh Steinberg and his firm are letting teams know that Tagovailoa’s injured hip should be healed enough for him to be able to throw in early April prior to the NFL Draft at the end of the month:

This will be especially important for teams like the Dolphins, who will be selecting fifth currently in the upcoming selection process.

Tagovailoa came to Alabama from Hawaii and the same high school as Marcus Mariota, having thrown for over 8,000 yards which at that time was a Hawaii High School record. And, he had a career of 84 passing and 27 rushing touchdowns in three seasons.

Tua burst onto the scene nationally, when he relieved Jalen Hurts in the second half and overtime of Alabama’s thrilling title game win over Georgia in the 2018 College Football Playoff Championship Game. Tagovailoa threw the game-winning touchdown pass on the first overtime possession, as Alabama celebrated their fifth National Title in nine seasons under Saban.

In his second season at the helm in the 2018 regular season, Tagovailoa was named second-team AP All-American and was a Heisman Trophy finalist, as the Tide reached the National Title game, again, before being beaten soundly by Clemson 12 months ago.

As this junior season unfolded, Tagovailoa was named almost became synonymous with the Dolphins, who started the season horribly at 0 – 7 and the moniker “Tank for Tua” began to gain momentum in South Florida.

However, Tagovailoa was injured in Alabama’s 10th game of the season suffering the hip injury on a sack late in the first half at Mississippi State. He missed the Tide’s final two regular-season games and their recent Citrus Bowl win over Michigan two weeks due to the injury.

Typically, players participate in some kind of individual workout or pro day, but as Rappaport relayed, most teams already know what Tagovailoa can do from his previous two seasons at Alabama. The bigger concern is his health and specifically his mobility, as he progresses through the summer and into the first NFL training camp and preseason of his career.

It is believed the Tagovailoa is the second, or at worst third rated, quarterback behind LSU Heisman Trophy winning National Championship QB Joe Burrow. Burrow is expected to be taken first overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in late April.

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Miami Dolphins

Who is new Dolphins defensive coordinator Josh Boyer?

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Winslow Townson- USA Today Sports

On Sunday night, the Dolphins finally decided to allow first-year defensive coordinator Patrick Graham to leave and take the same position with the New York Giants. And, coach Brian Flores moved quickly to promote a member of his staff, Josh Boyer, to be his defensive play-caller

So exactly who is former New England assistant that will now be in charge Miami’s defensive unit? More on him in a moment.

First, as we wrote, Miami had wavered Saturday night and Sunday on whether to let Graham go to the Giants to be with new head coach, Joe Judge, creating an important void. Graham was only being given a “lateral move” to New York, and Miami could have continued to block him. But, in the end, Flores had someone he could trust already on staff.

That’s Boyer, who has just completed his 14th season in the NFL, all previously in New England and then, obviously, his first with the Fins after coming with Flores last February.

Boyer’s background is as a secondary coach and specifically, working with cornerbacks. He held that job for his last seven seasons in New England 2012 – 18 and was part of three Super Bowl championships under Bill Belichick.

Boyer deserves credit for helping the development of defensive backs like Malcolm Butler, who sealed Super Bowl 49 win over the Seahawks with his famous goal-line interception of Russell Wison in the final half minute of the game. Boyer also worked closely with Pro Bowlers Logan Ryan and more recently, Stephon Gilmore, who iced Super Bowl 53 win last February with a late INT against the Rams.

This past year was obviously a trying one for the Dolphins defensively, as they finished 32nd in scoring and 30th in overall in defense. But Boyer cannot be judged too much, given the cornerbacks he was working with, especially late in the year.

He had his best player, former number one pick Minkah Fitzpatrick, traded away in the first month to the Steelers. Miami also lost veteran Bobby McCain to injury later in the year and had a depleted secondary at the very end of the season.

However, Boyer (shown above with DB Eric Rowe after his week 17 pick six of Tom Brady) obviously impressed Flores and GM Chris Grier with his coaching to get the promotion.

And, he’s following a similar path as Flores, who worked his way up from secondary coach to defensive coordinator with the Pats.

Now, we’ll see if Miami can bolster their defensive backfield this off sesaon.

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