Dolphins coach wants competition among his quarterbacks
That idea that the Dolphins invested second- and fifth-round picks on Josh Rosen to see if he could be the franchise quarterback, and this year would be his time to play and prove whether or not he’s that guy?
Slow your roll on that.
Coach Brian Flores has made no secret of the fact there will be no entitlement on his team so everyone, including Rosen, has to earn a starting opportunity. And on Friday, Flores doubled down on that idea, saying if veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick wins the job to start the season and every week afterward, well then, so be it.
“The best man,” Flores said. “If he [Fitzpatrick] wins the competition absolutely I’m good with that. I think that’s what would be best for the team and best for the Miami Dolphins.
“That will be the same at all positions. We’re going to play the players we feel are going to help us win games. That’s just what we’re going to do here. That’s at all positions — quarterback, running back, d-line, all positions.”
That approach is antithetical to the idea Rosen has to play in 2019 to give the Dolphins a good and complete evaluation on him.
That idea suggests there’s urgency to see Rosen in games during the next season so the Dolphins could decide next offseason whether they need to draft a quarterback in the first round to satisfy their search for an elite talent.
If Rosen plays well, obviously, the need to draft that next quarterback disappears. And if he doesn’t play well, the need for that first-round pick being a quarterback grows.
But Flores apparently wouldn’t sweat not evaluating Rosen in game action. Flores wouldn’t worry about an incomplete evaluation if Rosen cannot get on the field.
“Thankfully we get to evaluate him everyday in practice,” Flores said. “I mean, you guys probably don’t see that, but we do. I think that’s a good enough evaluation for me. Probably not for you guys. But that’s football, though.
“We get to evaluate them every day from an individual period, to a group period to a team period. And all of that counts. I think you got to earn the right to play, just like you got to earn the right to write articles. You got to earn the right to coach. To have it any other way, I don’t think that’s the right way to do things.”
This makes sense.
It runs counter to what I’ve been thinking. It also runs counter to the narrative around the league that Miami must and will play Rosen to see what he’s got.
But Flores is right.
If Rosen isn’t good enough to beat out Fitzpatrick to get a stretch of starts in 2019, then the answer about drafting a quarterback in 2020 will be apparent. So will the evaluation of Rosen.
Because a franchise quarterback wins the quarterback competition on his own team. And any quarterback who cannot win that competition against a veteran career journeyman such as Fitzpatrick isn’t a franchise quarterback.
So Rosen not being good enough to get on the field would offer the same answer for the team seeking to evaluate him as him not playing well in a game.
The logic is inarguable.
Obviously, we’re dealing in extremes here. This scenario is all-or-nothing and what we’re more likely to see is not all-or-nothing.
We’re more likely going to see Fitzpatrick start some games and Rosen start some games in 2019. And how will that decision be made week to week barring an injury situation?
“There’s going to be competition across the board on this team,” Flores said. “As far as the quarterback position, like any other competition, there’ll be competition there.
“But in that position we’re looking for leadership, we’re looking for accuracy, we’re looking for someone that for the most part can lead the team and put together successful drives and put us in good position in the run game and pass game from a protection standpoint. There’s a lot that goes into it. It’s a leadership position.
“There’s going to be a lot of competition at that position for sure.”