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Catching up with Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick: Excitement for Tua, wanting to play and a serious neck-hair situation

Safid Deen, Sun Sentinel on

Published in Football

Ryan Fitzpatrick has not shaved in a while. While his head full of hair and beard appear both free-flowing and glorious, he says the hairs on his neck are getting out of control.

Fitzpatrick also has not thrown much this offseason while shuttered with his wife and seven children at their house in Arizona. Throwing has not been a part of his offseason regimen for the last eight or nine years, he said.

Whenever the Miami Dolphins resume team workouts together -- that's when Fitzpatrick says he will ramp up his arm again.

As Fitzpatrick prepares for his 16th NFL season, he is trying to make the most of the Dolphins' virtual offseason program, making himself available to new quarterback Tua Tagovailoa while also sharing his two cents with Josh Rosen.

Fitzpatrick also remains adamant about wanting to play next season.

"I'm as competitive as they come so I want to go out and start," Fitzpatrick said during a Zoom video conference with Dolphins reporters on Thursday.

"I know in order for our team to be successful, whoever is playing, that quarterback room has to be successful. Whether that's me out there, doing everything I can to put the team in position to win or whether that's Tua out there doing it. I'm going to do the best I can to help him.

"You know me very well from last year, and you know I want to be out there competing on Sundays," Fitzpatrick added.

Here are a few highlights in what we'll call, catching up with Fitzpatrick this offseason:

-- Fitzpatrick said earlier this week that he is Tagovailoa's "biggest cheerleader" while also reiterating his hopes to play.

During Zoom meetings, Fitzpatrick said he wants to ensure Tagovailoa and Rosen both know they can approach him with any questions they may have while learning the new offense being installed by offensive coordinator Chan Gailey.

After all, Fitzpatrick has some expertise working alongside Gailey in two previous stints earlier in their careers.

"I help them, try to make sure they know and they're comfortable coming to me with questions. I also am going to express my opinions and thoughts on plays that we're watching and in two-minute drives," Fitzpatrick said. "We've been going over some of that stuff. My mind and the process how I think through it, right or wrong, just provide them some perspective."

-- On Tagovailoa specifically, Fitzpatrick said:

"I'm excited for him to be here. I loved watching him playing in college. I think he's going to be an awesome addition to the team for a long time."

-- Fitzpatrick, who played under Gailey with the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets, says he has "a ton of confidence and trust" in the new Dolphins offensive coordinator.

"Chan was really the first guy that truly believed in me and gave me my shot as a starter. I've always wanted to prove him right and to play well for him," Fitzpatrick said.

 

"He's a guy that allows players to play to their strengths. He's got an offense that is not very complicated to learn but very complicated for defenses, in the way it's presented to them. He does a great job of utilizing different guys' talents, to put them in a position to succeed, and not necessarily telling them there is a certain way to do it. But allowing them some freedom and flexibility, within certain constraints, to do the best job that they can."

-- With so many new teammates, Fitzpatrick says it will be important for the Dolphins to quickly foster some cohesiveness and chemistry.

"It's difficult not being there (together)," Fitzpatrick said. "We are very young. There are going to be a lot of new faces. Whether it was guys they brought in through free agency, or guys they brought in through the draft. A lot of new faces. A lot of youth. And so with that you want to get on the field. You want to start practicing. You want to start learning the system. You want to start to get to know each other."

"It's been tough on these Zoom meetings," Fitzpatrick said of the team starting to mesh together. "But we're doing the best we can with what we have."

-- Fitzpatrick has been staying busy with his wife and seven kids at their home in Arizona. His brother, who also has five kids, lives next door, too.

"It's been a little bit crazy. ... That's 12 everyday, running around. We've got a bit of space here. The kids haven't even noticed, other than having to go to school online and doing some of their school work right away," Fitzpatrick said.

"It's actually been a good time to get away from everything else and reconnect with everybody and just be with family and enjoy each other, breakfast, lunch and dinner with each other. We haven't left the house a whole lot other to get groceries or go to the golf course every now and again. It's been good for us in the sense that we got to spend a lot of quality time together."

-- Just because Fitzpatrick has the bodies around to field some throws, he has not really thrown much this offseason. Typically, if there were NFL offseason training activities going on this May, he would begin to get back on the saddle after last season.

"The last probably eight or nine years, I don't throw a whole lot in the offseason. I just like to let my arm rest a little bit and then as OTAs start, ramp it up. We'll see what happens here in the next few weeks, but I don't like to take more throws in the offseason than I need to. I'm doing a little bit right now, but nothing crazy."

-- Fitzpatrick says he has not let anyone near his free-flowing beard since being under quarantine.

The last time we saw Fitzpatrick was during the Super Bowl week, when he slightly trimmed his beard.

"There's really only two people in the country I trust to touch this thing. One is in Tampa and one is in New Jersey," Fitzpatrick said. "It's been going ever since everything has been shut down. The neck hair is out of control right now. I'm glad you can't see it."

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