Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins partner with GENYOUth and Miami Super Bowl Committee to battle food insecurity

If there’s one thing the Miami Dolphins are good at, it’s making an impact off the field. That’s precisely what they did on Tuesday morning, as the Miami Dolphins teamed up with GENYOUth and the Miami Super Bowl Committee to provide 100 grab and go breakfast cart systems to South Florida school districts.

The event celebrates the 100th anniversary of the National Football League, along with the start of the Florida Super School Breakfast Initiative. That initiative is what will deliver the 100 Grab and Go breakfast carts, increasing access to 10 million school meals for South Florida students.

As part of the celebration, kids were able to enjoy a good lunch, and the opportunity to participate in football drills hosted by Dolphins alumni Twan Russell, Troy Drayton, and Ed Perry.

But in truth, through all the celebration, this event also brings to light a very real problem not many know about. Evidently, many children in South Florida actually don’t get enough to eat. Research shows some disturbing statistics that further show the need for events like this.

  • 20% of children in Florida live in poverty.
  • 18% of children in Broward County live in poverty.
  • 22% of children in Miami-Dade County live in poverty.
  • 19% of children in Palm Beach County live in poverty.

In a country so rich in resources, that’s simply unacceptable. Kids need to be able to eat to function properly in school. Working on an empty stomach only makes learning that much harder. That is why the Dolphins and their partners put so much emphasis on this particular cause.

“The fact of the matter is that of course, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” said Magdalena Prieto, the General Manager for school food service in Palm Beach County. “And of the children can’t have breakfast, they can’t concentrate. This will give us an opportunity to reach more kids throughout the day with breakfast.”

“Think about it this way,” said Dolphins alumni and Youth Programs Ambassador Twan Russell. “I always believe you never know who you’re impacting. These kids have a destiny that was created for them before they were even born. And sometimes those destinies get derailed because kids are not performing at a high level in the classroom. By providing them a meal, now they ‘re coming into the classroom in better spirits. And who knows? What if we’re feeding the person that’s gonna cure AIDS, cure cancer, and we had a say in it because we’re providing them a meal?”

It’s hard to say what long-term impacts these efforts will have. Indeed, only time will tell. However, there’s no doubt that the kids who benefit from the team’s efforts are not looking at Miami’s on-field record. They are just thankful that the Dolphins’ off-field record has no equal.

Luis Sung has covered the Miami Dolphins for numerous outlets such as Dolphins Wire for six years. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung

Dolphins Select LSU QB Joe Burrow in Latest Tankathon Mock Draft

Another week, another Tankathon mock draft

For those keeping track at home, each week I continue to document the latest draft order and mock draft at Tankathon.com. And although the Miami Dolphins have not had the first-overall pick in quite some time, the fine folks at Tankathon continue to make things interesting, to say the least.

In fact, prior to the Jets’ blowout loss to the Patriots on Monday Night, Tankathon posted their three-round mock draft and to the surprise of many, DID NOT have the Dolphins drafting a quarterback. Obviously, that was a mistake. Or perhaps they just weren’t sure which QB Miami might covet with the second-overall pick.

Well after a short deliberation with their trusty friends, and a nice retweet from yours truly, there was one QB that the masses believed to be the clear-cut favorite.

His name was Joe Burrow.

That’s right, folks. In Tankathon’s latest mock draft, the Miami Dolphins select LSU QB Joe Burrow.

Now I know, I know, he’s not the same type of prospect as Tua Tagovailoa. However, no one can argue with how well Burrow has played through seven games in 2019. Furthermore, if he continues to ascend over the next few weeks, while Tua recovers from an ankle injury, it is very possible that an NFL team could deem him the guy to carry their franchise to the promise land.

Tankathon.com 3-round mock draft 10/22

With the remaining two picks in the first round #10 & #22, the Miami Dolphins fill two voids on their depleted roster.  At #10, Miami selects Oklahoma WR CeeDee Lamb, who will make an immediate impact in Miami’s offense.

At #22, the Dolphins select Penn State pass-rusher, Yetur Gross-Matos.  Truth is, aside from Vince Biegel and Taco Charlton, Miami has struggled mightily to get pressure on the QB.  So, Gross-Matos would instantly fill a void and help fix one of the worst defenses in all of football.

With the 33rd-overall pick, the Dolphins pick arguably the most explosive running back in all of college football, Jonathan Taylor.  Taylor would fill an instant need with Kenyan Drake on his way out and Kalen Ballage seemingly irrelevant.  Mark Walton and Taylor would be a perfect 1-2 punch in Chad O’Shea’s offense.

At pick #62 the Dolphins land Iowa offensive lineman Alaric Jackson, to help sure up one of Miami’s weakest units.  Yes, Miami has $130M+ to spend in FA, but they will absolutely turn to the draft to fix their struggling offensive line.

Lastly, Miami selects Utah CB Jaylon Johnson to start opposite of Xavien Howard in the secondary.

This will change many more times between now and April 23, 2020. With that said, how do you feel with Tankathon’s latest mock draft?

Josh Houtz (@houtz) is a die-hard fan of the Miami Dolphins, and is okay (I guess) with #BlowForBurrow

Preston Williams header

Preston Williams: ‘We believe in Fitz’

DAVIE  — Preston Williams’ expression immediately brightened Monday at the mention of veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick’s hell-bent dash to the end zone the previous day in Buffalo.

Fitzpatrick capped his 11-yard touchdown run by lowering his right shoulder and plowing into the final defender to cross the goal line.

“We believe in Fitz. We love Fitz,” said Williams, the rookie wide receiver. “He’s a hard-nosed quarterback.”

Six games into the season, the Dolphins still don’t have a win. But it is clear the young team has found a leader to rally behind in Fitzpatrick.

Fitz energizes young teammates

The easy-going 36-year-old quarterback came off the bench the previous week against Washington to direct two touchdown drives in a comeback that fell just short in a 17-16 near miss.

Sunday, Fitzpatrick started for the first time since Week 2 and had the Dolphins leading 14-9 in the second half before throwing an interception that provided the Bills impetus for a 31-21 victory.

More from Maven: Walton, Gesicki show promise in entertaining loss

Fitzpatrick’s touchdown gallop cut the margin to three points with 1:45 remaining before the Bills returned an onsides kick attempt for the clinching touchdown.

But Williams said the difference has been profound over the past five quarters since Fitzpatrick replaced second-year quarterback Josh Rosen.

“Energy, great leadership,” Williams said of Fitzpatrick. “Being a 14-, 15-year vet, just keeping everybody positive. Knowing that we’re a young team, Fitz is one of the only veterans here. We’re just taking his wisdom and knowledge and spreading [it] over all of us. We need that.”

Williams leads receivers

Williams, undrafted out Colorado State, has quickly become a go-to-receiver for both quarterbacks. He leads the team with 23 catches for 314 yards, a 13.7-yard average, and one touchdown.

But his fumble after a catch in the fourth quarter figured prominently in the Bills’ comeback Sunday.

Williams is a big target at 6 feet 5, and his talent has been apparent since offseason practices and training camp.

He acknowledged it has been a learning process. Early on there were some dropped passes.

“The game is slowing down to me. It was very fast the first couple games. My mindset was just trying to not mess up. Just trying to be more consistent,” Williams said.

While the fumble was a step back, Williams has become more assertive in his routes and reactions in recent weeks.

“I’m not known for dropping balls,” he said. “The game was kind of fast. Just trying to get chemistry with both quarterbacks at the time. You can see it’s getting better.”

Fitz may end victory drought

Following Sunday’s game Fitzpatrick said he believes he is the perfect man to lead this rebuilding team.

Despite the objective of the Dolphins front office to achieve the No. 1 draft pick in 2020, the past five quarters showed Fitzpatrick has the moxie to lead this unheralded bunch to a win or two.

“I want to bring an energy. I want what I’m doing out there to be infectious to other guys,” Fitzpatrick said. “We have a lot of young guys that haven’t really played much at this level, and we have some guys that are a year or two into it. But I want to be that ‘stable guy’ that they can look to when things get a little shaky, and I’ve been in this situation a lot before.”

Williams’ smile was evidence that he and his young teammates are eager to follow their bearded leader.

Craig Davis has covered South Florida sports and teams, including the Dolphins, for four decades. Follow him on Twitter @CraigDavisRuns

More from Dolphin Maven

Please check out our site, dedicated to bringing you Dolphins news, insight and commentary year round.

Christian Wilkins remorseful about emotional outburst

Christian Wilkins

Dolphins rookie Christian Wilkins remorseful over emotional outburst

Football is an emotional game. When your team is 0-5 and desperately trying to hang onto any semblance of hope, that emotion can be amplified. That was the case with rookie defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, who found himself ejected from the game almost the moment it started.

Some would argue that the punch Wilkins threw wasn’t enough to warrant an ejection, but the referees felt differently. Wilkins sat out the rest of the game, watching as the Dolphins came close to pulling off their first victory of the season. Unfortunately for the players, they fell apart in the second half – a recurring pattern – and ultimately lost by a score of 21 to 31.

“I was just really extremely selfish.” Wilkins said after the game. “This is the ultimate team sport. It’s not just about me and I don’t think I’ve ever been more disappointed in myself about something, especially something that was in my control. It really, really shouldn’t have happened, there’s no place for it in this game and that is not the standard I hold myself to. Because I love this game I try to respect this game as much as possible and play it as competitively as possible. This game is meant to be competitive, not combative at all. I really let myself down and my teammates down in just a selfish moment so early in the game.”

Anyone who knows Christian Wilkins describes him as a humble, fun-loving guy who is passionate about football. Throwing a punch seems so out of character for him. Even Wilkins himself couldn’t believe he’d done it.

“It just happened so quickly, it was only the second play of the game.” Wilkins said. “I just tried to come into the game with some energy on edge and just fired up. It’s an emotional game. So again like I said it all happened so fast but there’s no place for it in this game and just no place for it for me because I don’t want that reputation on myself. That’s not something I’m proud of, that’s not something I intended on doing coming into this game or anything like that.”

Wilkins, 23, has not been the playmaker everyone expects him to be in his rookie year. Through six games, Wilkins has only 18 tackles and a pass deflection. Those aren’t the numbers of a first round draft pick. However, his role at Clemson was to open the way for other players to make players. That, also, isn’t happening. It’s hard to stay positive when losing seems to be the agenda. The level of talent is so low on the roster, there isn’t much anyone can do.

However, this one isolated incident should not be a cause for concern. Christian Wilkins isn’t the type of guy to regularly pick fights. It’s unlikely he’ll become the next Ndamukong Suh, with a reputation for dirty plays. Wilkins is clearly contrite over his mistake, and intends to not make it again.

“You know, it’s just a learning experience, too, you live and you learn.” He said. “That’s just a message to myself. A learning experience for my teammates and also a learning experience for people watching at home, kids watching at home. There’s no place for it, you have to play the game the right way.”

It’s clear that the tank is taking its toll on the players. Their desire to win does not coincide with the front office’s roster moves. No doubt, they will keep trying to compete and avoid the dreaded 0-16 season. If they can hang on until 2020, their suffering, hopefully, will be rewarded.

Luis Sung has covered the Miami Dolphins for numerous outlets such as Dolphins Wire for six years. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung

Do you believe in FitzMagic?

FitzMagic Believes he’s the ‘Perfect Man’ to Help Lead Young Dolphins Through Rebuild

When Ryan Fitzpatrick joined the Dolphins earlier this year, he was just thankful for an opportunity to start.  And although it hasn’t been all sunshine and roses, the 36-year old QB continues to show the world why he was given the nickname #FitzMagic.

Last week, Fitzpatrick was brought in late in the third quarter to try and spark Miami’s offense-and that’s exactly what he did.  His impressive performance earned him the starting QB spot for Miami’s Week 7 match-up vs Buffalo.  And the man known as #FitzMagic, didn’t disappoint.

Fitzpatrick looked sharp on Sunday, completing 21/31 for 282 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception.  It wasn’t a perfect game but the offense looked light years ahead of what we’ve become accustomed to throughout the first five games of the season.

That’s what he said

Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to get the win.  But Brian Flores liked what he saw from Fitzpatrick so much, that he named him the team’s starting QB for Monday Night’s game vs the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“I thought he played well. I thought he moved the ball well offensively. I thought he made some good throws. I thought he got out of some trouble. They got a good pass rush, he got out of trouble a couple times and made some plays for us. We got to continue to build and get better, and finish a game. We gotta finish the game.”

When asked if Fitzpatrick did enough to warrant the start Monday at Pittsburgh, Flores kept things short and sweet.

“I mean, yeah, he played well. So, yes, he did.”

The Dolphins will take on the 2-4 Pittsburgh Steelers in Northwest Pennsylvania next Monday Night.  And if there was ever a game the Dolphins should be invested in winning, it’s this one.  After all, the Steelers traded their first-round pick to the Dolphins in exchange for DB Minkah Fitzpatrick.  The more games Pittsburgh loses, the better the draft pick.

So is it possible for the win-less Dolphins to overcome all odds and defeat the superior Steelers’ on prime time? Ryan Fitzpatrick was asked what he could do to help turn an 0-6 team around, much like he did a previous 0-8 team.

“Well, and I said this at the beginning, I think I’m the perfect man for the job, because I’ve been through it, I have zero ego, and all I want to do is go out there and win. I want to bring an energy. I want what I’m doing out there to be infectious to other guys. We have a lot of young guys that haven’t really played much at this level, and we have some guys that are a year or two into it. But I want to be that ‘stable guy’ that they can look to when things get a little shaky, and I’ve been in this situation a lot before. It’s something that I embrace. I’ve had a different career than a lot of different quarterbacks, but this has been a career that I’ve loved and a position that I like being in.”

In #FitzMagic We Trust

Josh Houtz (@houtz) is a die-hard fan of the Miami Dolphins, and believes in #FitzMagi

Should the Dolphins Trade RB Kenyan Drake?

Heading into the 2019 season, it seemed as though Dolphins’ RB Kenyan Drake was in-line for a bigger workload in Chad O’Shea’s offense.

Unfortunately, that did not happen.

And despite playing second-fiddle to Kalen Ballage throughout much of the offseason, he still remained the most explosive player on Miami’s offense. Truth is, he was not only the team’s best RB between the tackles, he had the most value as a pass-catcher and in a NE-style offense, this was just as important.

However, once Chris Grier began to purge the roster, Drake’s name immediately became involved in trade talks.

Prior to Miami’s 43-0 loss to New England, Fox Sport’s Jay Glazer reporter Drake asked for a trade, which angered the 25-year old RB.

Reports from Drake and ‘sources’ around the team suggest he never asked for a trade, and wasn’t overly concerned with what the future entailed. But all of that has changed in recent weeks. And with the emergence of Mark Walton as the heir apparent and current RB1, trade rumors have once again started to circulate.

What can Miami expect in to get in a trade?

Which begs the question, what would it take for the Dolphins to part ways with the RB most known for his improbable run that will forever be remembered as the ‘Miami Miracle’?

Ideally, a player of his skill set and youth would fetch a third-round pick. Unfortunately, the Dolphins are unlikely to see a team part with a day two pick. After all, if reports are true, Miami already tried to lock Drake up long-term. And if he is indeed on the trade block, the price tag may be too rich for any team long-term.

So what is fair compensation?.

Personally, I think if a team offers the Dolphins a fourth-round pick, Chris Grier would be ecstatic. This should also appeal to the handful of teams that need a RB. A RB that has the skills as both a runner and pass-catcher.

In the end, no one knows if Drake will be traded before the October 29th deadline. But what we do know is his future in Miami is bleak. And for a front office looking for every and any, opportunity to land draft capital, it would be in both sides interest to strike a deal.

Time will tell, but for now it appears Kenyan Drake’s days in Miami are numbered.

Josh Houtz (@houtz) is a die-hard fan of the Miami Dolphins, and will miss Kenyan Drake if traded.

Josh Rosen out, Ryan Fitzpatrick in for Dolphins

Brian Flores clearly wants to win, even if the Miami Dolphins organization does not.

And in that context, he’s gone back to Ryan Fitzpatrick as the starter at quarterback, as the Dolphins travel to Buffalo.

That means Josh Rosen, after three starts and an overall 52.0 passer rating for the entire season, is back on the bench. And it means there will be much debate about whether it was worth trading a second-round pick to Arizona for him, and whether he has any future with this franchise.

Rosen was repeatedly hurried and hit in Sunday’s loss to Washington, but his performance also paled in comparison to that of Fitzpatrick, who rallied the Dolphins to within 17-16 before a two-point conversion failed.

And Rosen hasn’t been that good when given time either, as our Chris Kouffman of Three Yards Per Carry noted:

And Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post has a sentiment that is similar to ours.

Rosen may have been put in a terrible spot. Awful offensive line. So-so skill players. A coaching staff that, at times, has seemed clueless or worse.

But he hasn’t shown much either. Some escapability and improvisation. Some toughness. But not much special in terms of arm strength or anticipation. And it’s clear that Flores hasn’t been satisfied with his command of the offense.

We thought that, at worst, Rosen would compete with the next quarterback — likely drafted this April — to be the starter at the start of next season. Now that appears unlikely.

Fitzpatrick? Well, he is what he is.

Buffalo is one of his former teams, and Fitzpatrick knows that stadium and the conditions well. The Bills are good, really good, but it shouldn’t stun anyone if there’s some FitzMagic on Sunday. Flores clearly wants that. Do you? Does Steve Ross?

Dolphins’ HC Brian Flores is safe, for now

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald is reporting the Dolphins HC Brian Flores is safe through 2020.

It is no secret that the 2019 Miami Dolphins are in the middle of one of the worst teams in the history of the NFL. And after the roster was stripped of an elite left-tackle and a disgruntled defensive back, it was obvious that there wasn’t much success on the horizon. Truth is, whether you believe in #Tankovailoa or you want to see Miami win a game or two, there’s not going to be many wins in 2019. The same might be true in 2020, but it’s all part of the process.

Nevertheless, there’s still a crowd of people that believe Brian Flores is at fault. And no matter how depleted the cards are he’s been dealt some think he’s the one to blame and should be re-evaluated at season’s end.

That’s not going to happen.

According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins have no intentions of moving on from head coach Brian Flores at the end of the 2019 season. In fact, his source goes on to say that he will not lose his job ‘under any circumstances’

 

This is good news for a franchise that in recent years, has cast aside one head coach after another, like a piece of recycled paper.  Flores and the Dolphins never really stood a chance in 2019 and given the current circumstances, can’t do much to right the ship this season.
But if it takes one historically bad year to land the franchise quarterback they have long hoped for since Dan Marino’s retirement, than so be it.  It won’t be in 2019, but things are going to finally look up for the Dolphins.  And head coach Brian Flores will be a part of that.

Tankathon’s Latest 3-Round Mock Draft

Let’s take a look at Tankathon’s latest 3-round Mock draft and where they have the Dolphins drafting in the 2020 NFL Draft.

As you may know by now, the Miami Dolphins hosted the winless Washington Redskins on Sunday, in what many deemed the ‘Tank for Tua’ Bowl.  And aside from being the battle between two winless franchises, the game was quite interesting to say the least. There were three questions that would be answered on Sunday.

  1. How would the Dolphins look after having two weeks to prepare?
  2. Could Washington play with a new-found passion, after firing Jay Gruden earlier in the week?
  3. Which team would want Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa more?

Truth is, no matter what the fanbase long yearns for, the players and coaches have no interest in ‘tanking’. And as you saw on Sunday, Brian Flores and his coaching staff tried every little bit of Magic they had to defeat Washington, but unfortunately with the game on the line and a 2-point conversion to seal the deal, the Dolphins did what many had hoped. TANKED.

So, with Miami losing to Washington, surely, they would have the inside track at Tua?  Wrong.  Because just like the Dolphins, the Cincinnati Bengals also lost their respective matchup vs division rivals the Baltimore Ravens.

Which left ONE very important game to be determined.  Sunday Night’s matchup between the Los Angeles Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers.  After all, there was no way Gerald Hodges and the Steeler’s defense could beat the one feared Los Angeles Chargers in LA, right?  Wrong again!

According to Tankathon.com, the Miami Dolphins have two picks in the top-10 and five in the top-66. This will most likely change between now and season’s end, but for now, Miami’s historically bad season would come up just short of Tagovailoa.

So, without further ado, here is Tankathon’s latest 2020 mock draft.

Tankathon Mock Draft 10/15

 

With the 2nd pick in the 2020 NFL draft, the Dolphins select elite pass-rusher Chase Young.  Miami desperately needs a pass-rusher and Young is the best player in the entire class- quite the consolation prize if the Dolphins do miss out on Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa.

With the 8th-overall pick, Miami drafts Justin Herbert, although this pick could be Jake Fromm or Joe Burrow if Miami’s scouting department believes they are the QB to change the franchise around.  Regardless of where Miami picks, the Dolphins will use a first-round pick on a QB.

With the 25th-overall pick, the Dolphins select a defensive back to start opposite of Xavien Howard.  Last week, this was LSU’s Kristian Fulton.  This week, however, it’s Florida Gators’ CB C.J Henderson.

At pick No.33,  the Dolphins’ offense gets an explosive weapon in Clemson RB Travis Etienne.  Truth is, Etienne is one of the best RBs in all of football and in a contract year for Kenyan Drake, makes a ton of sense with their first second-round selection.

With the 60th-overall pick Miami adds much needed depth on the offensive line in Oklahoma C Creed Humphrey.  The Dolphins’ offensive line is a turnstile and Humphrey would be a day-one starter.

Lastly, Miami uses the 66th-overall pick on Texas WR Collin Johnson.  Johnson would be a welcomed addition a WR corps that has DeVante Parker and Preston Williams, and not much more after that.  He would be a nice fit schematically in Chad O’Shea’s offense.

This will change many more times between now and April 23, 2020.  With that said, how do you feel with Tankathon’s latest mock draft?

 

Josh Houtz (@houtz) is a die-hard fan of the Miami Dolphins, despite what Jerome Baker thinks.

Parker making most season under new staff

The Dolphins suffered another loss on Sunday.

Falling 17-16 to a previously winless Washington team offered little-to-no bright spots for Miami. The 16 points the Dolphins scored was the most they’ve scored this season, but they needed a bye week and two quarterbacks to reach that total.

One player that is showing some life for the Miami Dolphins is DeVante Parker, who doubled his 2018 (and 2017) touchdown total on an 11-yard grab from Ryan Fitzpatrick with just six seconds remaining in Sunday’s game.

“Yeah, it was a good thing we kept moving the ball [on Sunday],” Parker said after the game. “At the end, we didn’t win. That’s all that matters.”

Despite the offense struggling in general, Parker is putting together a decent season after signing a two-year deal (which is basically a one-year prove it deal) this offseason.

“It was fun. I mean that whole fourth quarter was fun just to be out there,” Fitzpatrick said of the fourth quarter. “Some guys made some nice plays, and then DeVante (Parker) on the touchdown – a big catch. That’s the kind of stuff – that’s why I still like being out there and playing this game. ”

The former first-round pick has 13 receptions for 229 yards, good for a 17.6 average that includes a season-long 49-yard grab that came week one against Baltimore.

In fact, this is the first time Parker has secured touchdowns in back-to-back weeks since late in the 2015 season.

Parker and the Miami offense has a big test next week as they travel to Buffalo. They’ll face a Bills team that is coming off their bye and is allowing just 14 points a game, the fourth-best mark in the NFL headed into week six.