Minkah Fitzpatrick Rips Brian Flores and Miami Dolphins in Tell-All Interview

Minkah Fitzpatrick Pittsburgh Steelers Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Back in 2019, the Miami Dolphins traded away star safety Minkah Fitzpatrick for a bundle of draft picks.

At the time, the move left many experts scratching their heads as Fitzpatrick is considered to be one of the NFL’s rising star defenders.

Now, in a recent interview, Fitzpatrick has broken down some of the many issues that he was having as a member of the Dolphins while speaking with Tyler Dunne of Bleacher Report.

The first grievance he reflected on was his belief that Dolphins head coach Brian Flores misused the former first-round pick.

“Flores had Fitzpatrick playing the Patrick Chung role in his scheme, which Fitzpatrick believed completely misused his gifts,” Dunne wrote. “Oh, he was perfectly fine with moving around. As a rookie, Fitzpatrick had shifted from outside corner to nickel to free safety to strong safety to even 20-some snaps at linebacker. But now? Now, Flores wanted him to play all strong safety and all linebacker, where he could not use his athleticism or his mind.

“He felt as though Flores had no clue who he was as a player and didn’t care to find out.”

According to Fitzpatrick, that was impacting his ability to play his best football.

“It was messing up my skill set,” Fitzpatrick said. “I was working the hand-fighting drills against the tight ends and working on hitting the bags and stuff like that. That’s fine and dandy, but that wasn’t my skill set.”

Fitzpatrick admitted that he was so upset with a lack of 1-on-1 training that he ultimately decided to take it upon himself to work on what he felt were his strengths during practice. One day, he left hand-to-hand combat drills and instead chose to join the players working on 1-on-1 drills.

“They were frustrated at me for doing that, but I was like, ‘I’m not trying to sit here and punch a bag all day,'” Fitzpatrick said.

Then, Fitzpatrick recounted the embarrassing 59-10 defeat at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1. He remembered getting onto the field and not even knowing the names of the players he was lining up with on defense due to the last-minute additions the Dolphins had made to their roster.

“It was my first time ever seeing them,” Fitzpatrick says. “I didn’t even know half their names while I’m out there on the field with them. In the middle of the game! I’m trying to communicate with somebody, and he’s looking at me like I have no clue what I’m talking about.

“We went out and got embarrassed.”

He went on to say that while Flores made it clear that the organization hoped Fitzpatrick would become a franchise player, the young safety felt there was no way he’d achieve that goal if he was not allowed to flourish in the role he is most comfortable in.

“We had a difference of opinion in my skill set and what he thought I could do and what I thought I could do,” Fitzpatrick said. “It was going to get tough for me to show something to somebody they were choosing not to see. They didn’t give me the opportunity to show it, even though I had film that showed it. The losing and all that stuff? If I was put in the right position and we’re losing—because of decisions people made upstairs—it is what it is. I can only control how I play. That didn’t affect me at all.

“It was just a fact that I was being used the wrong way. And we had a difference of opinion between myself and the head coach.”

Now, Fitzpatrick is a stud on the Pittsburgh Steelers. As for the Dolphins, they still have what many consider to be one of the strongest defensive back groups in the NFL.

Hopefully, none of the defensive stars currently on the Dolphins roster end up feeling similarly to how Fitzpatrick felt during his short tenure in Miami.