The Miami Dolphins (3-11) are clearly a team in transition and building for the future. Given that, it does seem a bit curious that firs year head coach Brian Flores is electing to continue giving longtime veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick the starting spot over 2018 first round pick Josh Rosen.
One would think that the Dolphins would want to see a larger sample size from a player like Rosen — taken No. 10 overall out of UCLA by the Cardinals — to see if he could possibly be the franchise quarterback going forward. After all, they did spend a second round pick to acquire him this offseason. While Fitzpatrick has been more than serviceable and has kept Miami competitive in some of their games this season, the 37-year-old isn’t the long-term answer under center.
That very question was posed to Flores during his Wednesday presser as it appears like Miami will be sticking with Fitz over the final two regular season games.
“I guess my first thought is if we feel like that’s the best thing for us – and we do for us to win on Sunday – I think that is in the best interest of this team,” Flores noted. “I think – and this is philosophically, I think people will feel differently about it – I think that any time – you always want to give yourself the best opportunity to win. I think it’s easy for people to sit and say ‘you should do this or that, or this or that.’ I don’t think those same people will stand in front of that group and say ‘this is in the best interest of the team, for us to win this week.’
“That’s no knock on Josh. Maybe you think that’s in the best interest, but you’re not in front of this team every day. You’re not in the trenches and a lot of people aren’t. Those are decisions I have to make, and we as a coaching staff, we go through this diligently and we come out of it with that decision, and we feel like that’s the best thing to do.”
In Flores’ defense, Rosen was not good when Miami gave him a shot earlier this season. He appeared in six games (three starts) and completed just 53.2% of his passes for 567 yards, one touchdown and five interceptions. He also had one fumble over that span as well. Fitzpatrick, meanwhile, has been able to at least keep Miami competitive and has taken some of the pressure off Flores in his first year as an NFL head coach. The veteran has helped them to a 3-4 record since Week 9 so while he likely won’t help them in the long run, he’s been solid in the immediate.
But what does that mean for Rosen? Does he have a future beyond this season with the Dolphins?
“Josh Rosen is a very talented player,” Flores answered. “I think we all know that. I think he’s making a lot of improvement like I’ve been saying for the last few weeks. Yeah, I do. We’ll see where it goes. But right now, for this team and this week, we’re going to play ‘Fitz.’
The Dolphins will be in line for a top selection at the 2020 NFL Draft this spring and could be looking at the likes of Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa sitting on the board when they’re up. It’ll be at that point when they’ll have to serious consider taking someone like that or keeping Rosen as the longterm answer.
By the way they’re acting right now, it appears like Rosen may be the odd man out once again.