Head Coach Brian Flores spoke to the media before practice at the Baptist Health Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University on Wednesday. Here were some comments that stood out, along with some perspective:
"I think he's a good player. He's tough, physical ... a leader. I think he's improved over the course of the season."
— Ryan Fitzpatrick has played some impressive football since being reinserted into the lineup in Week 6, and Flores has liked the job the veteran quarterback has done in terms of managing the game and the position.
"Practice and execution, and players making plays in those situations."
— The Dolphins have been the best team in the NFL in the red zone over the past eight weeks, scoring touchdowns on 80 percent of their opportunities inside the opponent's 20-yard line. Flores says there's no great secret to the recent success because it's simply a matter of coming up with the plays in those situations."
"We've had as many guys play as anybody in the league. We take a look at a lot of guys. We'll continue to look at different guys."
— Flores was asked whether General Manager Chris Grier has made any requests in terms of playing certain young players down the stretch, which is when Flores made the point that the Dolphins already have taken a look at a lot of different players. The Dolphins have used 72 players in 2019, which ranks as the highest total in the NFL.
"He's impacted a lot of young men. Everything I learned about how to be successful, I learned on that practice field in Brooklyn and from him."
— Flores often has talked about the influence his high school coach, Dino Mangiero, has had on his life and how his philosophy stems from a lot of things he learned from those days in Brooklyn. Flores will get the chance to see Mangiero this weekend when the Dolphins travel to MetLife Stadium to face the New York Jets. Flores said one of the biggest lessons he learned from Mangiero was to remain mentally tough.
"This team is still growing and trying to improve and build. If we stay on that path, we'll be OK."
— Flores was asked whether the Dolphins are trending to be the team he thought they would wind up being, and the answer was that it's impossible to make that prediction because things always change so much through the course of a season and too many things are unavoidable, mainly injuries. That said, the focus for Flores always has been about steady improvement and he has seen that from the Dolphins this season.