Miami Dolphins

Lineup changes possible as Dolphins search for ways to keep Ryan Fitzpatrick upright

Ryan Fitzpatrick’s season opener was full of big numbers — aside from points scored, of course.

Fifteenth year.

Eighth team.

Ten quarterback hits.

And if playing a Year 16 is a real consideration, he might need that last number down going forward.

It’s unsustainable for any quarterback to regularly take the kind of beating that he took Sunday against the Ravens, but particularly one two months shy of his 37th birthday.

Even if Fitzpatrick didn’t want to admit it Wednesday.

“I don’t know if you’re trying to make me jinx myself, but I’ve been pretty healthy throughout my career,” Fitzpatrick said, who started for his record eighth NFL team Sunday. “I’ve been able to play through that stuff.”

Fitzpatrick added: “I still in a sick way enjoy that aspect of it, getting hit. Makes me feel more like a football player, like I said in the preseason, with some of that stuff. That stuff is no big deal.”

Maybe not to him.

But Dolphins coach Brian Flores is no fan — so much so that he’s considering more changes to the offensive line after starting three guys in spots they had never played for the Dolphins before, and a fourth, Jesse Davis, out of position at left tackle.

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“We’re considering lineup changes,” Flores said. “We have to be better. Everything has been considered, I would say, over the last couple of days. There’s a lot of self-scout, a lot of reflection.

“Some things that we need to do better,” he added. “We talked about that. We’re going to try to improve those. It starts today in practice. That’s the great thing about this game or the great thing about this opportunity. We have an opportunity to go out and practice, improve and get better, and right some of the wrongs from last week.”

But Flores seemed to suggest the issue Sunday was more to do with mental breakdowns than physical.

Communication was the first aspect of pass protection that needed improvement, he said, and also identification of blitzers, the latter of which is largely Fitzpatrick’s responsibility.

At times Sunday, Dolphins linemen simply lost one-on-one matchups.

“Obviously, we’re pretty embarrassed by that,” Davis said of Miami’s 59-10 loss. “We took a day to look at it. Now we’re on to the Patriots. The goal is to go out and not do what we did Sunday.”

Presumably, communication will get better this coming Sunday, as Miami’s new offensive linemen will have more time to figure things out. (Julien Davenport and Danny Isidora started less than 10 days after joining the team.)

They better. The task only gets tougher Sunday against the Patriots, who limited the Steelers to just three points in Week 1.

“I think we could do everything better,” Fitzpatrick said. “I don’t think it’s one or two things. I think there were a lot of different things that came up. I’m going to try to control the things I can control and guys up front will do the same, running backs will do the same.

“I think the biggest thing is just working towards limiting some of that stuff moving forward, no matter who was at fault or who needs to get better at it,” he continued. “Just continue to work to do it better and realizing we’re all on the same team, in this together. For me, there’s a lot of communication stuff that I can do better, and getting the ball out and all of that, there’s a lot I can get better at.”

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