Miami Dolphins 2018 NFL Draft: Top 5 Minkah Fitzpatrick Quotes

Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is selected 11th overall by the Miami Dolphins during the NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium in Texas. (Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS)

DAVIE — The Miami Dolphins drafted defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick in the first round of the NFL Draft, in part, because they learned he carried himself with an NFL maturity as a college freshman.

The Dolphins drafted Fitzpatrick not only because of his outstanding athleticism, but also because of his football smarts. And because his coaches raved about his leadership skills, including focus, concentration and commitment to preparation.

So it’s no surprise that Fitzpatrick handled himself well in his first interaction with the South Florida media, via video teleconference from Arlington, Texas, on Thursday night.

Here are 5 memorable things Fitzpatrick said:

  1. On the way he approaches practice: “You’re only going to be as good as you are in practice. People can say to you, ‘I don’t go that hard in practice, but I play hard in the game.’ That’s not true, because if you do that, you’re hurting your team, you’re hurting yourself and at the end of the day, you aren’t going to win games and you aren’t going to play the way that you want to, or at least you’re not going to play as well as you want to. Every single day, just flying to the ball, racing each other to the ball, is going to get everybody better.”
  2. On his versatility: “One is my athleticism. I’m an athlete, so you can put me in multiple different spots and I could adjust to different techniques and stuff like that. After that, it’s my football IQ. Coach (Nick) Saban taught me a lot at Alabama, a whole bunch of other coaches… It kind of allowed me to move around, be a chess piece as you would say, or a Swiss army knife as you would say.
  3. On the mindset that allowed him to contribute at Alabama as a true freshman: “I kind of had to grow quick just because of some things I’ve been through at a young age and it kind of helped me realize what I was chasing after. I had a goal in mind and I wasn’t going to fall short of that goal. That was my mindset going in, and it is the same thing in the NFL. My dream wasn’t to just make it to the NFL, it’s to be a great player in the NFL.”
  4. On if he can cover tight ends: “Yes. I did that a lot in college, whether it was at the money position or the safety position. I would come down in the box and cover those bigger tight ends, and even when they moved outside I would go out there and cover them just because I’m a physical guy. I’m physical with those (tight ends) and I know they can’t run by me, so Coach (Nick) Saban trusts me to do that job.”
  5. On playing for Nick Saban: “I remember one of the first weeks I got there, he was just on me; like on me bad, on me hard. At first, I wasn’t frustrated because I was used to getting yelled at but he was, even when I was making good plays, he was just finding something to tweak and finding something to fix. It was kind of getting under my skin a little bit because I’m like ‘I’m making good plays, why is (Saban) still yelling at me?’ He would see me getting frustrated one day and he just told me why he was that way and why he was hard on me specifically, and some of my other teammates. (Saban) just told me it was because he realized how great I could be and he’s not going to let me get away with slacking or not doing the right thing, whether it’s the smallest of little things. He wasn’t going to let me get away with it.”

For Miami Dolphins, addition of DB weapon Minkah Fitzpatrick a stunning coup

BREAKING: 2018 NFL Draft: Miami Dolphins select Minkah Fitzpatrick in first round

Poll results: Who Miami Dolphins fans want with 11th pick in 2018 NFL Draft

2018 NFL Mock Draft: Palm Beach Post’s Joe Schad | Version 2.0

Miami Dolphins 2018 NFL Draft: What I would do

2018 NFL Draft: Top 7 Miami Dolphins mocked draft picks

Get our articles sent right to your Facebook feed by clicking here