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#pounditTuesday, May 11, 2021

Articles tagged: Miami Dolphins

Dolphins given clearance to have full capacity at home games

miami dolphins logo

The Miami Dolphins will once again have a limited number of fans at their next home game, but their local government is no longer standing in the way of filling every seat at Hard Rock Stadium.

Radio host Andy Slater was told by a spokesperson for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis that the Dolphins have been given clearance to host a full-capacity crowd, which would be 65,000 people. However, they will stick with the current plan of hosting 13,000 fans at least for their next home game on Oct. 25.

Several NFL teams have been hosting limited crowds, while others continue to not allow any fans at games. Masks are mandatory for fans at games across the league, but the NFL has let teams handle their respective crowd sizes on a case-by-case basis.

It’s unclear if the Dolphins plan to host 65,000 fans, but they could increase the number they allow at some point.

Dolphins players mock Cam Newton over chain yanking incident

Cam Newton Dolphins fight

Cam Newton was involved in a minor scuffle with some Miami Dolphins players after he led the New England Patriots to a win on Sunday. The former NFL MVP said he felt disrespected when someone tried to pull his chain off his neck, but two Dolphins defenders seemed to refute Newton’s account of the incident.

After New England’s 21-11 win, Newton wrote on Instagram that the Dolphins “tried to snatch my chain and the game.” Miami defensive linemen Shaq Lawson and Raekwon Davis both had similar responses to the post.

“We don’t want that weak a– chain,” Lawson wrote.

“Man ain’t nobody want your fake a– chain s— was weak anyway,” Davis agreed.

You can see some screenshots of the comments here.

Newton and Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins exchanged words on the field after the game. That led to some pointing and shoving, and Wilkins then grabbed Newton by the collar area. You could see Newton scrambling to make sure he still had his chain afterword.

In an appearance on WEEI Monday morning, Newton said the chain represents his children and their birthstones.

Newton was also asked how Bill Belichick responded to the incident.

The skirmish reminded us of a past chain-yanking incident in the NFL, though it didn’t quite escalate to that level. The important thing for Newton was that the Patriots got the win. Whether it was his fault or not, Belichick undoubtedly spoke with him about avoiding that type of conflict.

Cam Newton is now a member of the Patriots! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Cam Newton Patriots shirt. You can buy it here.

Ryan Fitzpatrick named Dolphins’ Week 1 starting QB

Ryan Fitzpatrick Dolphins

It has been widely assumed all offseason that the Miami Dolphins would enter the year with Ryan Fitzpatrick as their starting quarterback, and head coach Brian Flores has now made it official.

Flores told the media on Monday that Fitzpatrick will start on Sunday against the New England Patriots. That leaves Tua Tagovailoa to serve as Fitzpatrick’s primary backup.

A recent report indicated Tagovailoa could enter the season as Miami’s third-string QB, but that was before the team waived Josh Rosen.

Tagovailoa has received nothing but positive feedback from doctors on his surgically repaired hip this offseason, but the Dolphins do not want to rush him. Fitzpatrick is already comfortable with the offense and has extensive experience as an NFL starter.

Fitzpatrick started 13 games for Miami last season and played well overall, throwing for 3,529 yards, 20 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

If the Dolphins struggle offensively, there will be immediate pressure to give Tagovailoa a shot. That is something Flores may have to balance early in the year.

Report: Josh Rosen on trade block with Dolphins

Josh Rosen

The Miami Dolphins have gotten nothing but positive reports on Tua Tagovailoa’s health since they drafted him back in April, and all of the good news appears to have made Josh Rosen expendable.

The Dolphins have been fielding calls from teams interested in trading for Rosen, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is considered the favorite to start for Miami in Week 1, but he recently left the team due to the death of his mother. Rosen said last week that he is ready to start if called upon. However, the Dolphins’ willingness to trade him seemingly indicates either they expect Fitzpatrick to be back for Week 1 or Tagovailoa would be next in line.

Rosen, who was drafted No. 10 overall by the Arizona Cardinals in 2018, struggled in his first two NFL seasons. He threw one touchdown and five interceptions in six games with the Dolphins last year. His motivation this offseason has been admirable, but he doesn’t appear to be a significant part of Miami’s plans.

5 NFL teams that could surprise in 2020

Tua Tagovailoa

Seeing a team go from worst-to-first has become the norm in the NFL, and 2020 is not likely to see that change. There will be many top teams that sink to the bottom while others rise up and surprise the football world.

We’re not here to predict which team will go from worst-to-first, but we are here to examine five teams that could surprise in one form or fashion here in 2020.

Let’s take a look:

5. Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons started off 1-7 in 2019 and things looked grim. However, they rebounded to close out the season by winning six of their final eight games to give them a 7-9 record for the second consecutive season. The turnaround was enough to save some jobs and give the current regime one more chance in 2020. They’ve since added running back Todd Gurley via free agency and selected Clemson cornerback A.J. Terrell in the 2020 NFL Draft, essentially improving on both sides of the ball. With quarterback Matt Ryan still under center and some young building blocks spread out across the roster, we’re more likely to see the Falcons team that went 6-2 to close out last season than we are to see the Falcons team that went 1-7 to open last season.

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Report: Ryan Fitzpatrick to open season as Dolphins’ starting QB

Ryan Fitzpatrick Dolphins
Miami Dolphins fans are going to be anxious to get a glimpse of Tua Tagovailoa when the season begins, but the former Alabama star will have to wait a while before he gets a chance to start. With training camp set to begin in two weeks, all indications are that Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the team’s starting quarterback entering the year.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald was told by a source that there is a “great likelihood” Fitzpatrick will be the Dolphins’ starter in Week 1. The team is not planning to have Tagovailoa take a redshirt year, but it is conceivable that Fitzpatrick could keep the job if the Dolphins play well.

Josh Rosen, who was the subject of trade rumors this offseason, could also enter the mix. Jackson notes that head coach Brian Flores could also turn to Rosen early in the year if Fitzpatrick is struggling and Tagovailoa does not seem ready. Rosen would also be an option if Tagovailoa suffers a setback with his surgically repaired hip.

Most would agree that we are likely to see Tagovailoa starting at some point in 2020. Fitzpatrick played well for the Dolphins last season and helped put the tanking talk to rest, but he is 37 and has hit his ceiling. Miami expects Tagovailoa to be the future of the franchise, and all of the reports about his health have been positive.

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Tua Tagovailoa said to be ‘all systems go’ after Dolphins examine his hip

Tua Tagovailoa

The Miami Dolphins were unable to give Tua Tagovailoa a traditional physical exam prior to the quarterback signing his rookie contract, but they finally got a better look at the former Alabama star this week. By all indications, Tagovailoa’s rehab from hip surgery continues to go swimmingly.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, Tagovailoa was granted permission to visit the Dolphins’ team facility this week because his rehab is deemed medically necessary. Doctors and training staff still believe Tagovailoa is “all systems go.”

That meshes with what Tagovailoa’s physical therapist said recently, which is that Tagovailoa’s recovery from hip surgery has been “miraculous.”

Tagovailoa fractured his hip in November. Had it not been for the injury, he may have been the first overall pick in the draft. He also battled ankle injuries at Alabama, which is why the Dolphins took a risk when they selected him. Despite all that, they are reportedly not committed to having him sit out the entire 2020 season. The news surrounding Tagovailoa’s rehab has been nothing but positive.

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Report: Dolphins open to starting Tua Tagovailoa in his rookie season

Tua Tagovailoa

The Miami Dolphins have the perfect bridge quarterback on their roster in Ryan Fitzpatrick, and his presence should allow them to be patient with Tua Tagovailoa. But if Tagovailoa shows he is ready for the big stage, the Dolphins are not going to force him to take a redshirt year.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald was told by a source that Fitzpatrick is likely to begin the 2020 season as the Dolphins’ starter, but the team is not opposed to playing Tagovailoa at some point. Fitzpatrick was impressive last season and has earned the trust of Miami’s coaching staff, but there will obviously be pressure to give Tagovailoa a shot if Fitzpatrick struggles at all.

As Jackson notes, the shortened offseason will work against Tagovailoa. The No. 5 overall pick has only been able to take part in virtual workouts, so there’s no way he will be as prepared as a rookie quarterback would be in a normal offseason.

Tagovailoa had hip surgery just six months ago, so that could also be a factor in whether or not the Dolphins choose to give him playing time. While he appears to be fully recovered, that is another risk to consider.

Fitzpatrick has every intention of fighting for the starting job, but he has also gone out of his way to mentor Tagovailoa already. He should be a great asset for the Dolphins while they try to groom their next franchise quarterback.

Dolphins owner says there will ‘definitely’ be an NFL season

As major sports leagues continue to explore ways in which they can safely begin or resume their seasons, the NFL community remains confident that there will be football in the fall.

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was asked about the 2020 NFL season during an appearance on CNBC Tuesday morning, and he reassured fans that there will be football. However, it remains unclear if those fans will be able to attend games.

The Dolphins laid out a plan earlier this month that could allow them to host a limited number of fans at Hard Rock Stadium, and some teams may take that approach. Others in different areas of the country may decide to play in empty venues, and at least one team seems to have very little shot of hosting fans unless there are some serious changes in their local government’s policy.

Whatever the case, it would be a surprise if the NFL did not kick off as scheduled in Week 1. If the NBA, NHL and MLB are still planning to proceed with their seasons, time is on the NFL’s side.

Report: Chad O’Shea’s offense was too complex for young Dolphins

Miami Dolphins logo
Chad O’Shea was one-and-down as the offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins, and now we have a better idea why.

The Miami Herald published an article on Wednesday about the Dolphins’ decision to fire O’Shea after one year. The article is worth a read for interested fans.

According to reporters Barry Jackson, Adam H. Beasley, and Armando Salguero, the key issue with O’Shea is that he was running an offense that was too complex for such a young team.

From the article:

One player described the situation on offense last season as a “[expletive] show,” noting O’Shea tried to teach an offense that was too complex for a young team and that teaching/instruction during film study was a “disaster.”

O’Shea came to Miami with Brian Flores from New England, where he had served as the Patriots’ wide receivers coach for a decade. O’Shea apparently was trying to install advanced and complicated elements from the Patriots’ offense to the Dolphins. The feeling is that that approach could work when you have a veteran quarterback like Tom Brady who is one of the most experienced players in the league, but it’s a lot to ask from a young team.

The Dolphins ended up hiring Chan Gailey as their offensive coordinator, and that’s under whom rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will begin his pro career.

Maybe O’Shea didn’t recognize that the players were struggling to grasp the concepts and that was having bad effects. You could also argue that he didn’t have much talent to work with. Whatever the case, he’s now with the Browns as a wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator.