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The Blitz: Gailey Blown Away By Fitzpatrick's Football IQ

October 14, 2020

At the NFL Scouting Combine in February, Brian Flores talked about the changes implemented at the 2020 edition of the annual event. "Adapt or die," the Dolphins Head Coach said. Eight months later, Flores will lean on that approach again. The Dolphins were originally scheduled to play in Denver this weekend, but in 2020, things can change at a moment's notice.

Flores addressed the change postgame Sunday, the same day he found out the Jets would be Miami's Week 6 opponent.

"It's a different year and everyone's got to adjust and be flexible," Flores said. "We've been talking about that all year and we're going to have to do that. We've got coaches breaking down film of the Jets this morning and I'm sure they're doing the same thing, but we've just got to adapt and that's what we'll do."

So, it's on to New York. Here's what's happening today in Davie.

Injury Report

The first injury report Dolphins-Jets will be available this afternoon.

They Said It

The 2020 Dolphins season marks the third time quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and Offensive Coordinator Chan Gailey have worked together. A relationship that spans three AFC East teams (Dolphins, Jets and Bills) has created some memorable moments and less than memorable times between the two.

"I've been with (Fitzpatrick) a long time," Gailey said Tuesday. "We've had some great times together and we've had some bad times together. I think I have as much respect and I like him as much, if not more, than anybody I've ever coached. He's a great teammate and a great, great, great competitor."

Monday, Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki said Fitzpatrick's most valuable trait is that he makes everybody around him a better player.

"The thing that makes him special is that he makes the guys around him better players," Gesicki said.

The numbers back up Gesicki's claim. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Fitzpatrick has the third-quickest release time from snap to throw. At 2.38 seconds on average, Fitzpatrick trails both Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger and Washington's Dwayne Haskins by .01 seconds (2.37 seconds time to throw for both). Getting the ball out quick has produced only eight sacks allowed in Miami's five games – tied for the 10th fewest in the NFL.

Gailey's praise of Fitzpatrick detailed the game within the game – the ultimate chess match that is playing quarterback in the NFL.

"He does things with this offense that we have that are truly amazing to me," Gailey said. "We'll call a route and he'll change one little wrinkle to it and be able to take advantage of the defense. The other day, he saw the defensive end's stance, so he knew the coverage, so he changed one route and we get a touchdown."

Around the Beat

Fitzpatrick is guiding the Dolphins offense to 27.2 points per game – tied for 12th in the NFL. The defense is allowing 22.6 points per game, ninth-best mark in the league. The three takeaways on Sunday made it 11 straight games with a turnover for the defense, the longest current streak in the NFL.

Cornerback Xavien Howard has three interceptions in as many games and forced the team's lone takeover against Seattle to extend the aforementioned streak. His recent string of interceptions gives him 15 in his last 27 games played.

Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald takes a look at the success Howard has had to start the 2020 season:

Three interceptions in the past three weeks is as good as it gets, and with his knee injury and illness behind him, Howard sure seems like the player who led the league with seven interceptions in 2018.

Dolphins On Social

On this Day in Dolphins History

October 14, 1979 - Tony Nathan escapes on a record 86-yard punt return for TD as Dolphins defeat Buffalo, 17-7, for the 20th consecutive win in series, the NFL's longest consecutive win streak by one team over another.

Stat of the Day

Howard's interceptions come in bunches. In Weeks 2-3 of 2018, Howard pulled down three picks. Then, in back-to-back games against the Colts and Bills in Weeks 12-13 of that same season, Howard intercepted four more. He did the same thing – four interceptions in two games – in December of 2017 when he intercepted Tom Brady and Trevor Siemien twice each. Now, in Weeks 3-5 of this season, Howard added a hat trick with an interception in each game.

Know the Opponent

Selected No. 3 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, defensive tackle Quinnen Williams is enjoying a breakout sophomore campaign. According to ESPN analytics, Williams ranks top 10 among all defensive tackles in both pass-rush win rate (ninth at 15 percent) and run-stop win rate (fifth at 44 percent).

Content On Tap

The players are back and ready for another week of work. Preparations for the Jets start on the practice field and we'll hear from Head Coach Brian Flores, some Dolphins players and recap it all on Drive Time and Top News.

On the topic of Jets week, in case you missed it, Seth and Juice from the Fish Tank podcast welcomed Bart Scott into the tank.

Plus, Eric Rowe's growth and development into versatile, do-it-all defender came at this time last year, coinciding with a position change. We'll talk to Miami's versatile defensive back on Drive Time with Travis Wingfield and detail his story in a feature.

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