Miami Dolphins

Fear the beard: Fitzpatrick will keep his epic facial hair — and swagger — in Miami

Grier: The ultimate goal is to win Super Bowls and championships and be a consistent winner,

Chris Grier, the Miami Dolphins GM discusses his goals during a press conference at the Dolphins' training facility in Davie, FL
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Chris Grier, the Miami Dolphins GM discusses his goals during a press conference at the Dolphins' training facility in Davie, FL

Ryan Fitzpatrick is coming to Miami.

Beard and all.

A day after formally signing with the Dolphins, the veteran quarterback spoke with Miami reporters.

Important matters were discussed — why he picked the Dolphins, how hard all these moves have been on his large family, if he would be OK with the Dolphins taking a quarterback in the first round.

But they all paled in comparison to the most pressing topic:

Will he keep his epic, Wildling beard in South Florida, where training camp heat indices reach the triple digits?

“It’s become such a part of who I am, it definitely will be full effect,” Fitzpatrick said.

So yes, it’s a new day in South Florida, one in which the quarterback is more than comfortable in his own skin — and facial hair.

It has worked out well for him the past 14 years, spent with seven different teams.

Fitzpatrick made the Dolphins team No. 8 because they gave him the opportunity to play. He had similar financial offers elsewhere — Fitzpatrick signed a two-year deal worth at least $11 million — but Miami was the only team without an established starting quarterback.

“I’ve been in every situation in my career, but the way I view it is there are 32 of these starting gigs in the NFL and this is one of them,” Fitzpatrick said. “To be one of those 32 guys is an amazing privilege and honor.”

Still, Fitzpatrick is a smart guy. He has been around long enough to know how the game is played. Plus you may have heard he went to Harvard.

And so he has to expect the Dolphins to use a high draft pick on his eventual replacement, either this year or next.

“I know that this is the NFL which means that nothing is promised,” he said. “Things that come up and happen all the time. I felt like it was a great opportunity for me.”

Fitzpatrick added: “I’m going to come in from Day One and act like I’m the starting quarterback for this organization until they tell me I’m not.”

Then there’s the human side of this league.

Fitzpatrick is now on his eighth move since college, which would be hard enough for a bachelor. Imagine doing it with a wife and now seven kids.

“I’ve loved it,” Fitzpatrick said. “As a family, we look at it as an adventure every time we move. We’ve had such a good time with it. We try not to focus on the labor and misery of moving around. We look at the thrill of seeing new places.”

Two other points of housekeeping:

Ryan Fitzpatrick hasn’t even met new teammate Minkah Fitzpatrick yet, let alone discussed the FitzMagic nickname they share. There was a bit of drama last year when Minkah Fitzpatrick tried (unsuccesfully) to trademark the name.

Ryan Fitzpatrick joked: “I think first we have to figure out if we’re related in some way. I think there’s plenty of magic to go around.”

Despite turning 36 in November, Ryan Fitzpatrick said that he’s “feeling as good as I could imagine. The last two years really energized me, getting out on the field and being able to play.”

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