Miami Dolphins

Who will be the Dolphins’ backup quarterback? The team has a problem

Miami Dolphins quarterback Brock Osweiler talks after facing the Baltimore Ravens

Miami Dolphins quarterback Brock Osweiler talks inside the locker room after facing the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018.
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Miami Dolphins quarterback Brock Osweiler talks inside the locker room after facing the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018.

Brock Osweiler is, by all accounts, an upbeat guy.

But even he seemed to be fed up late Saturday night.

Osweiler, who is not only fighting for a spot on the Dolphins’ roster, but possibly also to keep his NFL career alive, was beside himself after getting sacked on consecutive plays to end a third-quarter drive against the Ravens.

He raced to the sideline, running as fast as he could, and ripped his helmet off on the way. He did not chuck the head gear, but he didn’t need to.

He made his point:

“I think that’s just the emotion that we football players play with,” Osweiler said. “We play with a lot of passion, a lot of energy, and we want to have success. Any time you’re not able to put points on the board and things like that, it’s hard and frustrating.”

Osweiler has spent the past four months competing with David Fales to be Ryan Tannehill’s backup.

But after another ugly second half by Miami’s backups Saturday, there’s real question if either deserves the job.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill takes responsibility for two drop balls in the first quarter of their game against the Baltimore Ravens Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018, at Hard Rock Stadium.

The Dolphins took a 10-3 lead into the half. They ended up losing 27-10.

The Dolphins had a mere 90 yards of offense after halftime, went 0 of 6 on third downs and crossed midfield just once. Their final five drives lasted five or fewer plays.

The individual stats were no better.

Fales went 5 of 10 for 63 yards and an interception. Osweiler completed 5 of 7 attempts for 23 yards and also threw a pick. Both quarterbacks had passer ratings in the 30s.

“I thought David had one good drive.,” Dolphins coach Adam Gase said. “The ball was coming out quick. We were doing the right stuff and then after that, it was chaos. We were having all kinds of protection issues. We weren’t on the right guys and we had some issues with the snap count, as well.”

Gase added: “I think there’s room for improvement for sure but it’s hard to put it all on them when you get the ball and you’re not expecting it or we’re not blocking the guys. That’s why it’s hard to evaluate quarterbacks sometimes in preseason games and you have to use all your practice time and what you know about guys’ history, and that’s what makes it tough to evaluate them sometimes.”

But practice has been no picnic either, at least for Osweiler. He threw at least seven training-camp interceptions during team drills that reporters saw. He’s had at least one since camp ended.

And the preseason rankings suggest the Dolphins have a real problem on their hands. Through Friday’s games, Osweiler ranks 51st out of 56 NFL quarterbacks in passer rating (60.4). But that’s two spots better than Fales, who’s at 42.8.

The Dolphins will have zero chance of success with that level of play should Tannehill get hurt. Which leads to the obvious question: Might the Dolphins reconsider looking outside the building for his backup?

Available free-agent quarterbacks include Matt Moore, Colin Kaepernick and Derek Anderson. More will shake free next weekend when teams make their cuts.

And a trade is an option as well. Fans have clamored for Teddy Bridgewater, but it’s tough to see the Jets dealing him within the division for anything less than a first-round pick. The Dolphins aren’t giving them that. But what about Robert Griffin III, who has put up respectable stats this preseason, Saturday night notwithstanding?

Osweiler has one more week to save the Dolphins from making such a drastic action.

“I’m confident with what I’ve put out there,” he said. “Obviously, we haven’t had any scoring drives and I understand that. Your No. 1 job as a quarterback is find a way to get the ball in the end zone. That’s extremely disappointing. But at the end of the day, we spend countless hours with our coaches, going back to April. They know what I’m capable of and it’s up to them to make the decision.”



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