A day after calling Ryan Fitzpatrick a “relief pitcher,” Brian Flores downplays labels

Los Angeles Rams v Miami Dolphins
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NFL teams rarely use two quarterbacks, for a variety of reasons. Dolphins coach Brian Flores uses a periodic quarterback system for one important reason: It works.

“We felt like we needed a spark, trying to win the game,” Flores said after last night’s unlikely win over the Raiders, fueled by a stellar performance off the bench by backup Ryan Fitzpatrick. “If we’ve got to go to our relief pitcher in the ninth, that’s what we’ll do. Fitz, he’s always ready to go. He went in and moved the ball for us, but we had contributions from a lot of guys.”

So if Flores calls Fitzpatrick “our relief pitcher,” that’s what he is, right? A late-career Dennis Eckersley with way better facial hair?

“I don’t want to put any labels on,” Flores told reporters on Sunday. “The label is we’re going to do what we’ve got to do to win. I owe that to the Dolphins fans, to the players in that locker room, the people in this organization. So that’s what we’re going to always do, so two-person, three-person quarterback, five-person quarterback; whatever we need to do to try to win, that’s what we’re going to do.”

As long as it works, so be it. It takes a selfless, no-ego, low-maintenance starter to make it work. And that’s what Tua Tagovailoa is.

“Tua is a resilient kid,” Flores said Saturday night. “He’s a tough-minded kid. He’s happy that ‘Fitzy’ went in there and we won the game because he is a selfless, team-first guy. That’s why he is here. We’re always going to do what’s best for the team and try to help the team win.”

And so Tua, as Flores said last night, will start in Week 17 at Buffalo. Maybe Fitzpatrick will finish.

13 responses to “A day after calling Ryan Fitzpatrick a “relief pitcher,” Brian Flores downplays labels

  1. Fitzpatrick had more yardage in one quarter – probably in one drive – than Tua had in three quarters.

    It makes no sense that Fitzpatrick wasn’t named the starter after this latest game. He can march his team down the field, Tua can’t..

    Flores apparently doesn’t think the Dolphins have a chance of getting past the Bills regardless. He’s probably right….

  2. Flores Dolphins are not going anywhere with Tua in the playoffs. He sucks right now.


    Tuas best days are in front of him and maybe those days will be this years playoffs…

  3. What sucks is that Flores immediately has to address those comments when it was obvious in the first place.

    Reporters trying to create division and controversy for no reason. How about doing some research and seeing if / when such a system worked and when.

  4. Professionals like Brian Flores often make statements for public consumption. There are reasons why the change was made and it worked. Brian is not going to state why he made the change. Tua did not go through a normal training camp for a rookie, it was a ‘Covid 19 camp’ Please stop hanging on every word from Flores. Figure this out Lynn Bowden Jr. was being double covered by Gruden and the Raiders. Lol Flores knows when he needs Ryan’s experience for a win. The Dolphins are winning and so it goes! Brian Flores for NFL Coach of the Year!

  5. Tua just doesn’t consistently move the ball yet. It is good in game coaching that a lot of teams don’t have the luxury to do. Plug in a backup where they drop off in talent is not significant. It takes a good group to have that not impact the locker room. I think they have that in Miami

  6. If the Dolphins were truly trying to win Fitz would have remained the starter with Tua getting reps in games that weren’t close. Tua may be the future, but the idea in the NFL is to win NOW, and right now Fitz is the better QB – by a lot – in Miami.

  7. How quickly everyone forgets “WoodStrock.” David Woodley was a young, inexperienced quarterback for the Dolphins whom Don Shula would replace with veteran backup Don Strock whenever he struggled. It got the Dolphins to the Super Bowl.

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