Dolphins’ Fitzpatrick already focused on season opener

The Sports Xchange

July 01, 2018 at 11:48 am.

Miami Dolphins rookie Minkah Fitzpatrick already is looking ahead to Week 1 of the season.

In fact, the former Alabama defensive back hasn’t stopped focusing on the opener since being selected by the Dolphins with the 11th overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft.

“Every day I just think about it,” Fitzpatrick told the Miami Herald of the Dolphins’ season opener against the Tennessee Titans. “I’m just going out there and doing what I do. Making plays. It’s the same game. Just in a different stadium, different setting. I’ve just got to do what I do.”

Fitzpatrick, who signed a four-year contract worth $16.4 million, reportedly has earned positive feedback from both coaches and players following organized team activities. The 21-year-old, in turn, admitted that he’s received plenty of help from his teammates.

“OTAs were good. I learned a lot,” Fitzpatrick said. “I have the playbook not mastered, but I’m learning the playbook. All the older guys took us in. Whenever we have questions, they answer them. Whenever they see something, they point it out. We’re all working together.”

Fitzpatrick won the Bednarik and Nagurski awards this past season as the nation’s premier defender at Alabama. He also won the Thorpe Award as the best defensive back in the country.

A two-time first-team All-American, Fitzpatrick filled every role in the secondary for the Crimson Tide in the last three years, including cornerback, strong safety, nickel back and dime linebacker. He set the school record for career interception returns for touchdowns with four.

Fitzpatrick drew rave reviews from NFLDraftScout.com leading up to the draft, which touted him as perhaps “the cleanest NFL prospect” in college football.

“Fitzpatrick possesses the raw athleticism, instincts and toughness to continue playing multiple roles at the next level. The question is not whether Fitzpatrick can play cornerback or safety in the NFL but which position the team lucky enough to select him needs help at most,” read the website’s assessment.