Ryan Fitzpatrick turns heads with short beard, shorter shorts in honor of ex-teammate

Ryan Fitzpatrick’s role with the Miami Dolphins has changed.

So has his look.

The former starting quarterback who made way for first-round rookie Tua Tagovailoa last week turned heads when he arrived at practice on Wednesday — for a couple of reasons.

Ryan Fitzpatrick’s new look

First — the beard is almost gone. Fitzpatrick’s trademark personal feature that gained as much attention as his erratic/entertaining style of play is no more. In its place is a considerably shorter and more manicured look.

The new beard is concealed behind a mask here. But it’s clearly a steep departure from the grizzly-man chic Fitzpatrick has been sporting for several seasons.

In case you somehow forgot about Fitzpatrick’s previously unkempt and uncontrolled facial hair, here’s a reminder.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick laughs with coaches as he comes off the field after defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars in an NFL football game, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Ryan Fitzpatrick's burly beard is no more. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

And, so, uh ... yeah. You probably noticed something else from that photo. Those shorts. Well — let’s just say they would probably make John Stockton blush.

They are very short.

So, what’s up with the hot pants?

Per beat reporters, this is not Fitzpatrick’s normal attire at Dolphins practice. The short shorts appear to be a tribute to former Dolphins wide receiver Isaiah Ford, whom the Dolphins traded to the New England Patriots at the Tuesday trade deadline.

Ford was a fan of short shorts during his Dolphins practice days, as evidenced by the tweet from the Miami Herald above. And Fitzpatrick is a fan of Ford.

Per the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Fitzpatrick frequently levied high praise on Ford, who played as a backup for two-plus seasons in Miami before Tuesday’s trade.

“He’s a guy we have so much faith in as quarterbacks because whenever anybody has a question — sometimes when coaches have questions — we’ll go back to Isaiah and say, ‘What is this signal? What is this route?’ And he knows everything,” Fitzpatrick said of Ford last season.

Ford had just come off a career game with six catches for 92 yards against the New York Jets.

“I was happy to see him get out there and get an opportunity to catch some balls and really take advantage of it and make the most out of it,” Fitzpatrick continued. “There are times when I ask Isaiah questions about the offense. That’s how smart the kid is.”

Even from the bench, Fitzpatrick remains one of the NFL’s most charismatic characters.

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