Published: Thu, March 21, 2019
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Opportunity to start excites new Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick despite apparent rebuild

Opportunity to start excites new Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick despite apparent rebuild

Fitzpatrick could become Miami's 20th starting quarterback since Dan Marino retired following 1999 season.

The magic started week-one against the division rival New Orleans Saints, where the man behind the beard threw for 417 yards and four touchdowns, while rushing for another score.

At this point, it's obvious that the Dolphins will be drafting a quarterback of the future in the 2019 draft or in 2020. After trading away Ryan Tannehill to the Tennessee Titans, the Dolphins signed Ryan Fitzpatrick, one of last National Football League season's best quarterbacks.

Fitzpatrick didn't seem to be phased by the possibility that the Dolphins selecting a quarterback high in the 2019 draft could jeopardize his starting job. Fitzpatrick's other opportunities, he said, were with teams with "penciled-in starters".

Fitzpatrick said his keys for being a mentor for a young quarterback include "being myself" and "not have an ego".

The well-traveled veteran agreed to terms Sunday on an $11 million, two-year contract as a replacement to Ryan Tannehill and a placeholder until the Dolphins can draft their franchise quarterback.

"I'm going into this thing and I'm going to come in Day 1 and act like and be the starting quarterback for this organization until they tell me I'm not", Fitzpatrick said.

The Miami Herald noted that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross really likes Tagovailoa and the franchise has labeled him a "priority" in next April's draft, adding that OR quarterback Justin Herbert also has the team's attention. He spent two seasons with the Rams. Always plagued by inconsistency, he started seven games for Tampa Bay a year ago and had four 400-yard passing games before losing the No. 1 job to Jameis Winston.

"For having a 14-year career and as many games as I've played in, physically I feel probably as good as I could have ever hoped for or imagined", Fitzpatrick said. The 36-year-old quarterback says goodbye to Tampa Bay after two seasons as the backup quarterback for the Bucs.

"The last two years really energized me - getting out there on the field and being able to play".

And the beard that has become sort of a trademark to his aura will remain with him in Miami. "It started in Buffalo because of the cold", Fitzpatrick said regarding the South Florida weather.

Incidentally, the Dolphins will be under a new head coach in Brian Flores, someone who used to be part of the New England Patriots defensive staff. "It will definitely be in full effect".

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