Head Coach Brian Flores spoke to the media before practice at the Baptist Health Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University on Thursday. Here were some comments that stood out, along with some perspective:
"We're going to play the guys we feel give us the best chance to win. We're going to stick to what we've been doing all season."
— Many teams use younger players in the season finale if there are no playoff implications in the game, but Flores says the Dolphins will approach it as they would any game. That means that Ryan Fitzpatrick will start at quarterback and play the whole way unless circumstances dictate otherwise.
"This is a kid who really improved over the course of the season from he was in rookie minicamp."
— Running back Myles Gaskin scored his first NFL touchdown against Cincinnati last Sunday but later sustained a lower leg injury that landed him on injured reserve. Gaskin got some game action in the second half of the season, but showed steady improvement in practice and Flores is hoping that continues once the Dolphins began their offseason program next spring.
"It's the only way I got on the field early in my career in college. It's a phase of the game that I love. If you want to impress me, do it in the kicking game."
— Throughout the 2019 season, Flores hasn't been shy when it comes to talking about his passion for special teams and he explained Thursday the origin of that passion. As for Flores' college career, he became a two-year starter at linebacker at Boston College, where he was named to the Big East All-Academic Team in 2003.
"I know my way around that place. It's a road game in a tough environment against a good football team. As far as my personal history there, right now I'm the head coach of the Miami Dolphins. That's where my focus is going to be."
— The game Sunday will mark a return to New England for Flores, who worked for the Patriots for 15 years before being hired as Dolphins head coach. Flores has a lot of personal relationships built through his time in New England, but those will take a back seat to the task at hand this weekend.