OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Sunday’s game against the Ravens will be a step into the unknown for the Miami Dolphins.
After an offseason of upheaval, including a new coaching staff, quarterback and 31 new players, the Dolphins are entering the 2019 season with a lot to figure out.
As the week one opponent of the Dolphins, the Ravens have a lot to learn about their opponent — and themselves — before Sunday’s kickoff in Miami.
Coach John Harbaugh discussed that and more at the Monday press conference. Here are a few takeaways from his Monday presser:
Unknown in Miami
The Dolphins have just 22 players on this year’s team that were a part of last year’s team. With a new head coach, Brian Flores, there’s a lot that the Dolphins will be unveiling for the first time.
“They’re new in a lot of ways, no question,” Harbaugh said. “Obviously they got coach Flores in there from New England. All three coordinators have ties to that system, that’s their philosophy, scheme and strategy is built along those lines. So I have the utmost respect for it. We studied a lot of that as well, so the studying we’ve done has not just been Miami tape, but it’s also a lot of New England tape.”
Additionally, the team just traded Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Stills to the Houston Texans for a host of draft picks. Ryan Fitzpatrick will make his first start as a Dolphins quarterback, too.
Fitzpatrick, a 36-year old veteran, is on his eighth NFL team.
“He’s always played well against us if you go back and look at it, so we have nothing but respect for Ryan Fitzpatrick,” Harbaughs said. “He’s been good. He’s proven. He’s had a lot of big games. He opened up [last] season with a couple of 400-yard passing games. He’s a little bit of a swashbuckler, I would say.”
Youth movement in Baltimore
The Ravens have their own unknowns, too.
10 rookies made the 53-man roster as a youth movement is taking over Baltimore. 22 players on the team are entering their first or second season as a professional.
“It’s unknowable,” Harbaugh said. “(It’s like the) Donald Rumsfeld quote from a few years back: You have to know what the unknowables are, and you can’t worry about them too much. I don’t know what’s going to happen on Sunday. We don’t know how certain things are going to look or how guys are going to respond. We might have confidence. Whatever happens, we’ll deal with it.”
With a new look offensive expected, and first or second-year players at quarterback, tight end and two of the top three receivers, the first week will be a new look at youth on the Ravens. That’s what Harbaugh is ready for.
“That’s what’s exciting,” Harbaugh said. “That’s the drama. We’re going to go out there and find out a lot on the first Sunday. We’ll come out of it, and there will be a lot of good things that we can build from, but there will be a lot of things that aren’t good that we’re going to have to get straightened out. That is knowable.
Starting lineups decided — and not yet announced
With questions at left guard and elsewhere on the roster, Harbaugh said that the team has determined its starting lineup. He just wont
“We’ve decided,” Harbaugh said of the left guard spot. “We have our starting lineup all setup. We’re not going to share that. Why would we? What would be the advantage for us to do that?”
So it will take until pregame warmups to get a first look at the starting lineup the Ravens will deploy in Miami.
MORE RAVENS NEWS:
- Offense on Lock: Takeaways from Ravens original 53-man roster
- Keep Track: Roster cut tracker for 2019 Ravens
- Stock Up, Stock Down: Who shined and struggled in the finale