Miami Dolphins

Is the Miami Dolphins’ quarterback battle basically decided with three weeks to go?

Why the Dolphins started QB Josh Rosen against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores discusses why he started quarterback Josh Rosen against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Dolphins' second preseason game on August 16, 2019.
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Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores discusses why he started quarterback Josh Rosen against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Dolphins' second preseason game on August 16, 2019.

Josh Rosen wasn’t great but wasn’t terrible either in his only start so far this preseason.

But there’s a real chance it will be his last start for a while.

Because Ryan Fitzpatrick will “probably start” for the Dolphins against the Jaguars next Thursday — in the always-important third preseason game — Brian Flores announced shortly after Friday’s Dolphins-Buccaneers game ended.

Keep in mind that this is the same Brian Flores who just 10 days prior said that “the third game, you want it to be a dress rehearsal for what game No. 1’s going to look like.”

Now, it’s entirely possible that Fitzpatrick plays terrible or Rosen plays incredible in the week that precedes and the week that follows that dress rehearsal.

But making such an important lineup change that late would be the exception to the rule.

“I’m here,” Fitzpatrick said. “Whatever coach wants to do. Whenever he wants to put me in or not put me in, I’m ready to play. Whatever he wants, I’m here for.”

Rosen has played basically twice as much as Fitzpatrick this preseason and went the entire first half Friday. The Dolphins’ offense has been more efficient and more explosive in the drives Rosen has been under center.

But when asked if the quarterbacks have swapped spots on the depth chart — with Rosen now on top — Flores demurred.

“It’s hard to say without going through the film,” he said. “Fitzy went in there and did a good job. I think Jake went in there and did a good job. It’s always a competition. That’s the way it will always be around here.”

One might think that Rosen had to be better than simply good Friday night to change the dynamic of the competition. That he needed to be great.

But when asked if he thought he needed to make something happen against the Buccaneers, Rosen — who completed 10 of 18 passes for 102 yards Friday — responded:

“Nothing in particular. I know it’s a game. It’s definitely a little bit more formal than practice, but each day, I’m trying to execute every play the best I can, try to keep my head down, more of a microscope perspective instead of a telescope. His decisions about playing are above me. I’m just basically trying to show my skills.”

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick says what the team needs to do to get to the next level following the team's second preseason game on August 16, 2019.

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