Ryan Fitzpatrick’s Magical Mystery (Dolphins) Tour

The Miami Dolphins have suffered through 19 starting quarterbacks since Dan Marino retired back in 2000.


Jay Fiedler

Damon Huard

Ray Lucas

Brian Griese

A.J Feeley

Sage Rosenfels

Gus Frerotte

Daunte Culpepper

Joey Harrington

Cleo Lemon

Trent Green

John Beck

Chad Pennington

Chad Henne

Tyler Thigpen

Matt Moore

Ryan Tannehill

Jay Cutler

Brock Osweiler


And during that time only Jay Fiedler, Chad Pennington, and Matt Moore (sort of) have taken the Dolphins to the playoffs.

Sure, Ryan Tannehill may have given his blood, sweat, and tears to the team but it wasn’t enough to rise above the fiery depths of 7-9 hell.

So the Dolphins are rebuilding, and finally doing things the right way. But what is their plan at quarterback?

It’s safe to assume Jake Rudock and Luke Falk are probably not the answer.

And yes we know Miami had interest in Tyrod Taylor, before he signed with the Chargers to become Philip Rivers backup.

Heck, even Benedict Teddy Bridgewater decided to pass up an opportunity to start with his hometown team, and circled back to Sean Payton and the Saints.

If the Dolphins had hoped to find a solid veteran quarterback, Chris Grier would need to pull a rabbit out of a hat.

A furry rabbit.

Enter. Ryan Fitzpatrick.


Age: 36

Height: 6’2

Weight: 223 LBs.

Hometown: Gilbert, Arizona

College: Harvard


Fitzpatrick has pin-balled from team to team during his tenure in the NFL.

The 15-year veteran has been on a total of eight teams–the Rams, Bengals, Bills, Titans, Texans, Jets, Buccaneers, and Dolphins. Miami is his third team in the AFC East.

Throughout his NFL career, Fitzpatrick has thrown for 29,357 yards, 190 touchdowns, and 148 interceptions.

He has his highs and lows but one thing is for certain, there’s never a dull moment with #FitzMagic.

Here is my film breakdown on one of the NFL’s most unique quarterbacks, and what Dolphin fans can expect from the Amish Rifle.

The Good

No one can argue that Ryan Fitzpatrick is a gunslinger.  And at times, he looks like one of the NFL’s better quarterbacks.

Here is a prime example of what Fitzpatrick can do when everything around him goes right.  The ball is thrown perfectly to his receiver for the touchdown.

And another look…

First, notice the little hand signal that Fitzpatrick gives to his receiver.  This is the circle game and I believe it originated on the hit TV show Malcolm in the Middle.

Secondly, check out the Amish rifle at work.

If Fitzpatrick was wearing #1 and had a visor, I would probably, almost believe that was Cam Newton.

One of his better throws is the back shoulder. Here he puts the ball where only his receiver can make the catch.

Now close your eyes and envision Mike Gesicki in man-to-man coverage vs a significantly smaller defender.

What if, wait for it, DeVante Parker transforms into a suitable number one?

First play of the game vs the defending Super Bowl Champions and Fitzpatrick connects on a perfectly thrown deep ball to DeSean Jackson.

No slight towards Jackson, but Miami has three receivers with eerily similar big-play potential.

I can’t really explain why this video looks like an old John Wayne movie but it does.

O.J Howard runs a post and Fitzpatrick waits patiently as he finds the soft spot in the coverage.  The accurate throw creates yards after the catch. Guys like Jakeem Grant, Albert Wilson, Kenny Stills, and Mike Gesicki should thrive with similar concepts.

If you were hoping the Dolphins were going to tank, this is probably the part of the article where you start to get concerned.

Fitzpatrick is a pretty good quarterback and will throw for 400 yards three or four times a season.  He can make all the throws.

Pocket presence isn’t an issue with Fitzpatrick like it may have been with previous quarterbacks.

Here, he feels the pocket collapse from his right side.  As a result, he slides to the left, squares his shoulders and fires a dime to the receiver in the end zone.  Touchdown.


The myth that Ryan Tannehill couldn’t throw the deep ball surrounded this team for the last 7 seasons.

Certainly, this will not be in question with Fitzpatrick under center.

Throws like this are usually made by the NFL’s #elite.  Fitzpatrick knows where he’s going before the ball is snapped and throws a strike between several defenders.

and again…

Look at Fitzpatrick catch the ball effortlessly with one hand, like Jarvis Landry once did in South Beach 🙁   Pinpoint throw that is placed between the Steelers defenders.

I guess this is why he got the nickname “FitzMagic”. 

Fitzpatrick’s ability to throw the deep ball with exceptional accuracy, should be lethal with the offensive weapons that surround him.

Can DeVante Parker be the Dolphins Mike Evans?  That’s the real question.

The Bad

This is a well timed blitz by Pittsburgh’s defensive back, which forces Fitzpatrick to rush the throw.

His pass is deflected into the air and falls helplessly into the defender’s waiting arms.  Perfect representation of the bad FitzMagic.

I like the way Fitzpatrick maneuvers around in in the pocket.  Nonetheless, the throw is wildly off target.

If this is the Ryan Fitzpatrick the Dolphins get in 2019, maybe they do have a chance at Tua in 2020.

The Ugly

Almost everything you saw from “the good” was really damn good.  Which is why the bad and ugly are both inexcusable.

Here, Fitzpatrick throws to the wide receiver that is shadowed by the defensive back.  Yes, that is Michael Thomas. And no, the ball should not have been thrown.

This play never stood a chance.

It’s the second quarter and Ryan Fitzpatrick is throwing up prayers into quadruple coverage.

As you can expect, Jameis Winston took over shortly after and would remain the starter for the last six games of the regular season.

When Fitzpatrick is good, he’s good.  But when he’s bad, things can get very ugly.


If the Dolphins signed Ryan Fitzpatrick to lead the team towards the #1 overall pick in 2020, they may have made a terrible, terrible mistake.  At worst, #FitzMagic will win you four games and ruin any hope Miami once had at Tua Tagovailoa.  He is going to do whatever he can to help this team win football games.  Sometimes it will be good, and other times it will be bad. Really bad.

But no matter what happens, Fitzpatrick will be a guy his teammates can count on.  He will be a welcomed addition to a quarterback room, that consists of two players that have combined for only five attempts in the NFL.  And no matter how you might feel about the team’s chances this upcoming season, Ryan Fitzpatrick will make things interesting-at the very least.

No one knows how the season will play out.  But with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm, there is no denying 2019 should be a magical season.


Josh Houtz (@Houtz) cooks in his spare time, when he’s not working on 65 things for Five Reasons Sports Network and Dolphin Maven.

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