The Dolphins’ quarterback situation doesn’t sound “settled” one bit.
Five days after Dolphins coach Brian Flores all but anointed Josh Rosen the starter for the rest of the season, he basically said, “yeah, about that ... ”
Not that anyone could blame him after Sunday’s game. Rosen was dreadful — throwing two interceptions and amassing a meager 85 yards on 25 attempts in a loss to the Redskins — and Ryan Fitzpatrick provided a spark.
He rallied the Dolphins from a two-touchdown fourth-quarter deficit and was a botched two-point conversion from handing Miami its first win of the season.
“You know what, I thought Fitz played really well when he went in there,” Flores said. “I thought he did. Yes, I anticipate Josh being the guy, but I think we’re going to do what we feel is best for this team. That’s what we did yesterday in the fourth quarter.
“I thought Fitz played really well,” Flores added. “I thought Josh has played well in spurts also. We’ll see how this goes in practice, this week of practice, but yeah Josh will be the starter.”
“I just feel Josh has played well, he’s made a lot of strides, he’s developed over the course of the last, let’s call it, six weeks, training camp, maybe more than that,” Flores continued. “He’s done a good job. You never want to just pull a guy for one bad game. I think this is still an ongoing conversation between myself, our coaching staff. We really gotta take a look at Buffalo and see what they’re doing. We’re always going to try to put what we feel is the best group out there.”
If this seems vaguely familiar, it should. He used similar, noncommittal language the week before he benched Fitzpatrick.
The 15-year vet won the starting job for the season opener, but got pulled for ineffectiveness in Weeks 1 and 2 and was benched in favor of Rosen in before Miami’s third game.
Rosen suggested last week that his goal was to play so well the last three months of the season, the Dolphins wouldn’t even consider drafting a quarterback high in April.
That hasn’t happened. He is the league’s lowest-rated quarterback and has thrown five interceptions in 13 quarters.
But perhaps it’s an indictment on the offense as a whole, not just Rosen.
The 16 points the Dolphins scored Week 6 were the most of the season; they had just 26 on the year entering the game. They still are on pace to break the league’s record for fewest points in a season (140, Seahawks, 1992).
And Fitzpatrick and Rosen have combined for a ghastly 55.2 passer rating on the season.
So logic suggests that, considering that they are relatively close in production, the Dolphins should play Rosen the rest of the season to get a full evaluation on him the rest of the season. But Flores batted down that idea Monday.
Fitzpatrick of course is not the team’s future. But based on Flores’ most recent comments, it doesn’t seem as though Rosen is either.
“I wouldn’t say that’s part of the thought process,” Flores said. “Right now, it’s one game at a time, trying to win every game, each week. I’d say, I think by now we’ve got a pretty good evaluation of him since April, and all OTAs, all training camp, three starts. And when guys develop, they get better. As far as the development part of that, I don’t think that’s part of it. It’s more what we feel is best for the team.”
Flores added: “I don’t look at the quarterback position as any different than the punter or kicker or center. I realize that obviously it’s the premier position, but at the end of the day, we try to do what we feel is best for the team. For me personally, that’s what I think about when making any decision.”
The short version of a long answer: The Dolphins’ starting quarterback in 2020 probably is on a college campus somewhere.