The Dolphins quarterback depth chart is relatively stable at the moment with Ryan Tannehill entrenched as the starter, Brock Osweiler and David Fales following, and Bryce Petty in place as a training camp arm with plenty to prove. However, one aspect that’s still very much in question is whether it will be Osweiler or Fales who shoulder the responsibility of backing up Tannehill come regular season football. As we saw last season, the ability of a team’s backup plan at professional sports’ most valuable position can be the difference between a Super Bowl (think Nick Foles and the Eagles) and utter disaster (think Jay Cutler and your Miami Dolphins).
As it stands, Osweiler and Fales have the best shot at holding the clipboard on Sundays, as Bryce Petty has little experience in Adam Gase’s offense and has shown little promise when given a shot with the New York Jets over the past couple of seasons. That being said, there seems to be no current indication as to whether Osweiler or Fales is leading the contest. The latter certainly has more time under his belt in the current iteration of Gase’s offense, but Osweiler has far more playing time in actual regular season football. The former Bronco, Texan, and Brown also has familiarity with Gase from their time together in Denver.
Let’s look look at the numbers. Back in 2015, when Peyton Manning went down with injury and Osweiler was forced to step up, the 6’7” arm cannon started seven games and posted a 5-2 record en route to a playoff birth that eventually resulted in a Super Bowl win for the Broncos (although Manning was back under center by then). Over the course of those seven starts (and one other game in which he played only a portion) Osweiler compiled 1,967 yards, a 61.8% completion rate, a 10-6 TD-INT ratio, and an 86.4 quarterback rating.
Those are very respectable numbers that any team would love to have in a backup quarterback. In fact, those numbers earned Osweiler a four-year $72 million contract offer from the Houston Texans, an offer that he gladly accepted. Unfortunately for both him and the Houston faithful, the gunslinger’s numbers and play deteriorated and resulted in an unceremonious ousting to Cleveland, where things only got worse. Last season, Osweiler started six games and accumulated 1,088 yards on top of a 55.8% completion rate, a 5-5 TD-INT ratio, and a 72.5 quarterback rating.
Fales has far fewer numbers to sift through. The fifth-year passer has just one regular season start, Miami’s week 17 game against Buffalo last year. In that game, against a Bills team vying for playing contention, Fales completed 29 passes on 43 attempts (67.4% completion rate) for 265 yards, one touchdown, and one interception for an 82.0 quarterback rating. While that one start isn’t much to go off of, Fales did show enough to lead many to believe that he could be a reliable backup in this league. He’s also a clear favorite of head coach Adam Gase, who stated after the team resigned Fales this offseason that the team just couldn’t let someone with his potential go in free agency.
While at this point it’s nearly impossible to foresee who will win the honor of backing up Ryan Tannehill this season, and while there’s even a chance the team keeps three quarterbacks on the roster, how each passer performs during training camp and the preseason will be the final determining factor. For now, we just get to speculate.
Who will win Miami’s backup quarterback job for the 2018 season?
This poll is closed