The Dolphins have recently traded Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Stills, just before Ryan Fitzpatrick starts at quarterback for a record eighth team
DAVIE — Ryan Fitzpatrick is the key veteran on the Miami Dolphins, the starting quarterback and leader of what is the youngest team in the NFL.
So what, if anything can Fitzpatrick tell those youngsters, when talented players like Laremy Tunsil, Kenny Stills and Kiko Alonso are jettisoned — in one fell swoop?
“The biggest thing I’ve learned is nobody is going to feel sorry for you on Sunday,” Fitzpatrick, 36, said Wednesday. “No other team is going to come in and say, ’Man they don’t have this or they have this or they look different from last year.’”
Fitzpatrick will start for his eighth NFL team on Sunday, an NFL record, as the Dolphins host the Ravens.
“I’m going to put a lot on myself this week to make sure everything goes smoothly,” Fitzpatrick said. “I think in terms of me being in this spot and this place right now, my career has led me to this. And I fit well in the role I’m being asked to play.”
Fitzpatrick declined to say who Miami’s starting left tackle will be, though newly-acquired Julien Davenport was listed as a first-teamer on the initial depth chart.
The Dolphins may be underdogs in every game this season. He was asked if he believes this is a good team.
“The Ravens?” Fitzpatrick quipped, generating laughter.
“Here’s the deal,” Fitzpatrick continued. “We’re all professionals. That’s the reason I made the decision to come here. Because I wanted to be on the field, playing. And some guys either don’t want to do that or pass on that. But I think the group that we have in the locker room we’re all competitors and we’re here for a reason. And we’re ready to go out there and fight.”
Fitzpatrick said he believes in Miami’s offensive scheme, which has been proven to work in New England, and elsewhere. Fitzpatrick said he’s trying to meet all of the 13 players added in the last week before Sunday’s game.To sign up for a free Dolphins newsletter, click here.
And Fitzpatrick said that the Ravens defense, ranked first in the NFL in total defense and second in scoring defense last season, is an immense challenge.
“They’re stout up front,” Fitzpatrick said. “They have a great secondary. A lot of play makers back there and guys that have done it for a long time. There’s not really a weakness on their defense. They’re multiple in what they do. They were number one in the reason for a league last year. It’s impressive to watch. It will be a huge challenge.”
Fitzpatrick will take on that challenge without Tunsil and receiver Stills, traded to Houston for two first-round picks and a second-round pick.
Fitzpatrick says when he took the job, he didn’t ask for a long-term vision for the franchise. He says he’s fired up to play. He’ll just have do it without two players who could have helped.
“It’s just one of those things,” Fitzpatrick said. “You never know what’s going to happen in the NFL. That’s probably the thing I’ve learned most — expect the unexpected and go from there.”