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Brian Flores on Minkah Fitzpatrick: He can play anywhere

New Dolphins coach Brian Flores talks with Chris Simms about how his childhood shaped him into the coach he is today and what lessons he learned in New England that he plans on bringing with him to Miami.

The Dolphins see Minkah Fitzpatrick as a safety long term, but the contracts of Reshad Jones and T.J. McDonald complicate the team’s short-term plans. General Manager Chris Grier said last week the Dolphins would like to keep Fitzpatrick at one position after he played all over the secondary last season.

So new coach Brian Flores was asked where he sees Fitzpatrick playing this season.

“Minkah’s a football player,” Flores said at the coaches’ breakfast last week. “I think his strength is that he can handle a lot of different positions. He’s versatile. Free safety, strong safety, corner, Star, ‘backer. You can do whatever you want with him. He’s a guy we spent a lot of time thinking about how we’re going to use him. I’m not going to give up the goods on how we’re going to do that.”

Fitzpatrick’s versatility is one of the qualities that led the Dolphins to make him the 11th overall choice last year. He played 944 snaps as a rookie, seeing time at free safety, slot corner and boundary corner.

Flores sounds as if he will have to see where Fitzpatrick best fits his defense.

“I think my preference is to see what he can handle and see what he does that will help the team win,” Flores said. “If that’s multiple positions, then that’s multiple positions. If that’s one spot, then that’s one spot. If he can long snap or kick field goals and that helps us win, then that’s what we do. Obviously, I don’t think he can long snap or kick field goals -- let’s be clear on that -- but maybe he can. We try to find out what every player can do and how they can help us win. How can they improve the team? I think versatility is going to be very important, and he’s a very versatile player. He was last year. We’re excited to work with him.”