When the Miami Dolphins got on the clock during the 2018 NFL Draft, owner Stephen Ross wanted his management and coaching team to move down in the draft, acquiring more assets with the top four quarterbacks off the board.
Fitzpatrick, who was in Fort Lauderdale to surprise Anthony Schwartz of American Heritage High School with the Gatorade Player of the Year award (video below), joined the Pick Six Podcast (Subscribe: via iTunes | via Stitcher | via TuneIn | via Google Play) and admitted the comments do motivate him.
"It did motivate me in a sense. Anybody would get motivated by a decision like that," Fitzpatrick said. "But I understand where he's coming from, it was a business decision and he's a business man. I respect him and he does a great job at what he does. I've got to go in there and do my job and prove him otherwise."
Of course it has to motivate Fitzpatrick. He was a standout on a national championship team that had one of the top defenses in the country. He surely believes he can make the Dolphins better immediately, even if his impact might not be felt the same way as a young quarterback.
Fitzpatrick is part of the reason why people are kind of bullish on the Dolphins this year, and see them as the only real challenger to the Patriots, or at least the second-best team in the AFC East. Bringing in an impact defender SHOULD have a positive effect on improving the Dolphins defense and making them better against the run as well as against the pass; Fitzpatrick can move around and play multiple positions, making him a valuable chess piece.
As soon as he picks up that first interception (or perhaps pick six) or even sack -- his admitted favorite play if he had to pick one defensive outcome -- Ross will likely change his mind.
The former Alabama defensive standout also had an interesting message for young athletes, telling them to be themselves and find their voice and style on their own.
Here's video of Fitzpatrick surprising Schwartz: