Publish date:

How the Jets Have Been Preparing to Face Both Dolphins Quarterbacks

Dolphins rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was downgraded from questionable to doubtful on Saturday, setting the stage for veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick to start against the Jets on Sunday.

What does that mean for New York's defense with just one day left to prepare? 

Well, it's a good thing the Jets have been prepping to face both quarterbacks all week long.

"We have [prepared to face both Tagovailoa and Fitzpatrick] this week, and we have done certain things in practice that are for one guy, certain things for the other guy," Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams said on Friday. "Really, even if he wasn’t on injury report, if a guy goes down in the game, the next guy comes up ... We call it a 'What-If Report' and we present that to our guys."

READ: Jets' Sam Darnold Can Start the Next Stage of His NFL Career on Sunday

When these two teams faced off on Oct. 18, Fitzpatrick got the start but Tagovailoa came in to make his NFL debut late in the fourth quarter. The former Jets quarterback—who spent two seasons under center for New York—threw for 191 yards (18-for-27) with three touchdowns and two interceptions.

Miami won that game 24-0. On Sunday, they'll look to sweep the season series, playing on the road at MetLife Stadium.

RECOMMENDED ARTICLES

"We game planned for the possible situation of Fitz playing and for the possible situation of both quarterbacks playing," linebacker Jordan Jenkins said on Friday, looking ahead at the rematch. 

READ: Would Pat Fitzgerald Leave Northwestern to Be the Jets' Next Head Coach?

For defensive lineman Quinnen Williams, who played with Tagovailoa at Alabama, there's no question the rookie is incredibly talented. Even with Tua likely to sit out with a thumb injury, however, the game plan on defense won't change too much. 

At 0-10, Williams explained that this team needs to focus more on how they can execute internally before focusing too much on who is in at quarterback.

"You've just got to really focus on the plays that you're going to call and the things you're going to do," Williams said. "Right now, we're beating ourselves so we've got to focus on the execution of plays and the things we've got to do ourselves."

Last week, New York was torn apart by another rookie quarterback, Justin Herbert, in Los Angeles. Herbert threw for a career-high 366 yards with three touchdowns for the Chargers against the Jets' youthful secondary.

READ: Chargers' Keenan Allen Assesses Jets' Secondary: 'We Took Advantage of It'

Follow Max Goodman on Twitter (@MaxTGoodman), on Facebook (also @MaxTGoodman), be sure to bookmark JetsCountry and check back daily for news, analysis and more.