Steve Seufert | May 28th, 2020
Brian Flores and the ageless Ryan Fitzpatrick dragged this team to a 5-4 record after starting the season 0-7. Personally, I think that says a lot about Flores and the way some of these guys respond to his coaching style. Although I wasn’t a big fan of their draft, it looks like they’re headed in the right direction, and Flores is the man to right the ship.
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At age 38, Fitzpatrick starts all 16 games and throws for 4,000 yards
The former Harvard graduate takes pride in playing with intelligence and toughness, but we can’t forget about his gun-slinging mindset. Fitzpatrick is excited to work under offensive guru, Chan Gailey. Gailey was his offensive coordinator in New York when he threw for over 30 touchdowns for the Jet in 2015. He also played under Gailey in 2010-2012 where he didn’t win but put up solid numbers as a passer.
This city is one of the better sports cities in the entire world and they’re dying for a superstar. Many fans will be eager to see Tua Tagovailoa suit up in year one but I think it would be in his best interest to sit this season out. The off-season has been all virtual and that is doing no favors for the rookie either. It’ll be a good opportunity to learn and return to even better health. Be patient, Miami.
Preston Williams emerges as the next potential receiving star
If Fitzpatrick is going to sling it, receivers are going to benefit. The former Colorado State Ram slipped out of the draft due to some off-field concerns but looked good in his first eight games as a pro. He posted a 32/428/3 receiving slash line and flashed a ton of potential before tearing his ACL.
He may come out slow and may need time to adjust to physical contact and the new ACL ligament but I expect him to fully recover and pick up where he left off. It also helps that DeVante Parker finally emerged and will pose a legitimate threat on the other side of the field. Brace yourselves, Miami. You might have a legit receiving duo on your hands.
Jakeem Grant surprises everyone and wins the slot receiving job, catching 50 balls
From the outside, I’m not sure how Miami fans feel about Grant. Personally, I think this guy won at the college level thanks to his 4.2 speed and wasn’t required to learn the entire route tree at Texas Tech. If it’s not this season, then it’s never. With four years under his belt, I think he has the football acumen to finally contribute as a receiver. Keep an eye on Grant, who will provide Tu’a or Fitzpatrick with a safety valve underneath.
Mike Gesicki explodes for 70 catches and over 700 yards
Speaking of safety valves, Gesicki’s progression will be a huge asset for which every quarterback that is under center. I often mention that tight end is the slowest developing position in the NFL, but after posting 50/570/5 in 2019, it would appear that Gesicki is ahead of the curve.
With improvement’s inline, he will be guaranteed to play every snap as long he stays healthy. Thanks to his absurd athletic profile, he will be able to threaten all three levels of the field and it would be a perfect pairing for Fitzpatrick. I expect him to continue to pepper Gesicki with targets, giving him a legitimate shot at reaching this prediction.
Miami wins 8 games behind coach Flores and coach Gailey
Flores has done a good job of surrounding himself with excellent coaches. It can be difficult to do for a new head coach and it’s the most underrated aspect of coaching a professional team in any sport. There’s so much more that comes with a head coach than just scheming up defenses for the entire week. Adding an offensive coach like Gailey will take a ton a pressure off the defensive-minded head coach like Flores.
Is this a bold prediction for Miami fans? I’m not sure. I don’t see this team making the playoffs but thanks to an influx of a solid free agency class, especially on defense, this team should be able to compete week in and week out. I also think it will be a down year for the division as the New England Patriots are poised to start Jarrett Stidham or Brian Hoyer at quarterback. The Buffalo Bills are the clear favorites but can they dominate? Oh, and the New York Jets, Adam Gase is their head coach. You remember him, right?
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