Head Coach Brian Flores addressed the media Monday. Here were some comments that stood out, along with some perspective:
"I can tell you I Iove Fitz. I think he's done a great job for us. I love that he's our quarterback."
— Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for a season-high 419 yards in the overtime victory against Cincinnati on Monday, and for once in his day-after-the-game press conference Flores wasn't asked whether Fitzpatrick would start the next game. Instead, he was asked whether Fitzpatrick would be on the roster next season. Flores said he didn't have a crystal ball and that discussions would take place in the offseason, though he said Fitzpatrick has done nothing to dissuade him from bringing him back.
"He plays hard. He plays with good technique. He tackles well. He made some big tackles for us."
— Defensive lineman Zach Sieler made his first start for the Dolphins on Sunday and came through with an impressive performance that featured seven tackles, one sack and two passes defensed. Flores mentioned that Sieler might have saved the game when he tackled running back Joe Mixon after a 3-yard gain on Cincinnati's second possession of overtime. Flores said without Sieler's play there, the Dolphins likely wouldn't have won the game.
"It's obviously a very good team. It'll be a tough environment. It'll be a major challenge for us."
— The Dolphins close out the regular season against the New England Patriots, who clinched their 11th consecutive AFC East title by defeating the Buffalo Bills on Saturday. The Patriots need a victory Sunday or a Kansas City loss to clinch the second seed in the AFC playoffs. The Dolphins, from their end, would love to finish the season on a high note.
"I think we've made a lot of improvement in a lot of different areas. Every team wants to do that."
— The Dolphins look like a different team from the one that faced the Patriots in Week 2 at Hard Rock Stadium. The way Flores sees it, it's the way the team has gone about preparing for every game that's been the biggest difference, more so than specific aspects of the game itself like third-down conversions or red-zone production.