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The Blitz: Flores' Approach to Limiting Penalties

October 1, 2020

It's October! While the ghouls and goblins don't come out until the end of the month, Miami's upcoming slate looks a little scary. Each of the last two NFC Champions are on the October docket while the 3-0 Seahawks are up first. The Seahawks, 49ers and Rams will all provide unique challenges in the NFC West and so too will the the two AFC opponents in the Broncos and Chargers for a Dolphins team whose confidence is building.

Here's what's happening today in Davie.

Injury Report

The Dolphins Wednesday injury report is available.

Did not practice: cornerback Byron Jones (Achilles/groin), quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (illness).

Limited participation: safeties Clayton Fejedelem (pectoral) and Kavon Frazier (shoulder) cornerback Xavien Howard (knee)

Full participation: safety Brandon Jones (back).

Seattle listed 25 players on the Wednesday injury report. That list can be found here.

They Said It

Football teams are said to take on the personality of their coach. There are many ways to describe Brian Flores but perhaps no word embodies how Flores leads his team more than meticulous.

Most elements of football have varied degrees of control. The receiver can control his route, but he can't control how the defensive back defends him. That example is evergreen across every individual matchup on the gridiron.

One thing that is comprehensively under a team's control is penalties. Since his arrival in 2019, the Dolphins rank among the best in the NFL in both penalties committed and limiting yardage assessed from those fouls.

Veterans Ryan Fitzpatrick and Kyle Van Noy spoke on Wednesday about the team's approach to limiting those mistakes well within the Dolphins' control.

"In terms of a clean operation and avoiding the pre-snap penalties, that's been a theme," Fitzpatrick said. "The things we do in practice to eliminate some of those bad habits, preaching fundamentals and the small things like penalties we can avoid, just understanding that those things are not acceptable."

"Taking on Coach Flores' philosophy and being a fundamentally sound team that doesn't make mistakes," Dolphins linebacker Kyle Van Noy said. "Mistakes are penalties and we want to limit those as best as possible. We've done a good job of that this year. If they're calling it tight than we have to tighten up and if they're calling it loose we can be more aggressive."

Around the Beat

Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post wrote about Miami's ability to limit penalties under Flores.

But what goes on behind the scenes is driving that success. Flores and his staff spend a lot of time — this year, on Zoom calls and in person — actually going through the precise language of the rules.

"I've learned some stuff that I've been playing football for 20 years and didn't know," Dolphins cornerback Byron Jones said, before the season.

Dolphins On Social

On this Day in Dolphins History

October 1, 2000 – The Dolphins improve to a 4-1 record with a comfortable 31-16 victory on the road in Cincinnati. After the Bengals jumped out to a 13-0 lead, Jason Taylor produced the first Miami touchdown with a 29-yard fumble return to paydirt. Lamar Smith scored from 18 yards out and Oronde Gadsden caught touchdowns on back-to-back drives to put the game on ice in the fourth quarter.

Stat of the Day

The Dolphins rebuilt the interior offensive line with new starters at center and both guard positions. So far, through three games, Ereck Flowers, Ted Karras and Solomon Kindley have allowed a combined 10 pressures on quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Know the Opponent

Russell Wilson is the second-highest rated passer in the history of the National Football League, trailing Aaron Rodgers by only .4 points. He's one of the game's most dangerous ball carriers at the position, too. He averages better than 32 rushing yards per game in his brilliant nine-year career at a clip of 5.2 yards per carry.

Content On Tap

It's a busy day here in Davie. The Drive Time Podcast with Travis Wingfield returns to preview the Seattle game, in addition to the written portion on Plus, we'll detail Jerome Baker's value to the defense and why the coaches say he rarely leaves the field. Finally, we'll recap the day's events on Top News.

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