The year 2020 has felt completely different from any other year. In the case of the Miami Dolphins, that might just be a good thing.
For the most part, nothing has seemed to have gone the way that anyone wanted this year. Nonetheless, when we take a look back to 2019, there might be some reason for hope.
Former Dolphin Minkah Fitzpatrick re-opened some old wounds for fans of aqua and orange, depicting the reasons that lead to his early departure from Miami.
And when reflecting on Miami’s on-field communication following their 59-10 Week 1 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Fitzpatrick said some things which help put 2020 in perspective.
“It was my first time ever seeing them,” Fitzpatrick said in an interview with Tyler Dunne of Bleacher Report. “I didn’t even know half their names while I’m out there on the field with them. In the middle of the game! I’m trying to communicate with somebody, and he’s looking at me like I have no clue what I’m talking about.”
At this time last year, the Dolphins were in the first phase of one of the most deliberate rebuilds in NFL history. Fitzpatrick was alluding to the challenges with communication due to the revolving doors of players coming and going. Miami kept this behavior going all year, trying to uncover talent and to fill holes without compromising the future.
There’s a different feel to the year:
The Dolphins are now in the next phase of their rebuild. While this is an ongoing process, things are more stable than they were last year.
Miami has started padded practices and the feel this year seems to be trying to get the best out of the players that are on the field; rather than trying to figure out if they should be on the field. That’s the positive difference 2020 brings.
“Communication is a must in our defense,” defensive back coach Gerald Alexander told reporters. “I tell those guys a lack of communication leads to disaster.”
Alexander’s statement further highlights how different these two years are. When you put his statements next to that of Fitzpatrick’s, it’s night and day.
Miami is still putting the pieces together, but there is something to be said for stability. As chaotic and as fluid that 2020 has been, the Dolphins are finding ways to make the most of what they’re given.
Coach Brian Flores doesn’t believe that there is any momentum from one year to the next. Yet, something could be said for the advantage that stability and improved communication could provide.