The Miami Dolphins are 3-11 on the season with two games remaining to be played. Starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown for 2,790 yards on 61.6 percent completions with 15 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The Dolphins have played with spark for him as compared to the offense when it was helmed by second-year quarterback Josh Rosen, who has thrown for 567 yards on 53.2 percent completions with a touchdown and five interceptions.
Which begs the question, is it time to bench Fitzpatrick and start Rosen?
Not because Fitzpatrick is not getting the job done, but because the Dolphins need to see Rosen.
Fitzpatrick turned 37 last month and is not the quarterback of the future for Miami. Rosen turns 23 in February - in comparison, 2019 Hesiman Trophy winner Joe Burrow turned 23 earlier this month - and, while the Dolphins will likely be looking to add a quarterback early in next year’s NFL Draft, they could look to Rosen to either start in 2020 if the rookie is not ready or to continue as the team’s backup moving forward.
Which again leads to the question, is it time for Rosen to start for the Dolphins?
Head coach Brian Flores does not believe so, and for a pretty straight forward reason. “I think Josh has done a lot of good things in practice,” he explained this week. “He really has. He’s throwing the ball well, he’s making good decisions, he’s throwing with more accuracy. At the end of the day, ‘Fitz’ has played well also and he has a rapport with the team. Not that Josh doesn’t – Josh does as well and he’s building from that standpoint. Whether it’s with the scout team or when he gets his team reps in practice, they’ve been good. You can see the improvement. But we just feel like going with ‘Fitz’ is the best thing for us to win the game or to try to win the game on Sunday.”
Pressed about how starting a 37-year-old Fitzpatrick over a 22-year-old Rosen for the end of a season when you have a 3-11 record makes sense for the long-term viability of the franchise, Flores instead looked to the present. “Well, 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,” he stated. “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.”
Does Rosen have a future with the Dolphins? Flores seems to believe he does. “Josh Rosen is a very talented player,” Flores said. “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.’”
He added, “I think in due time, he’ll get his opportunity.”
Is it time for Rosen to start for the Dolphins? Should they look to play the quarterback who could have upside for tomorrow over the quarterback that could lead the team today? Flores seems to believe his job is for today, while he can use practice reps to assess Rosen for next season.
There would be logic in moving to Rosen for the final two games, but keeping the team together for this week’s game is more Flores’ style. Which way is the right way?
Should Rosen be starting for the Dolphins?