Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick
Welcome to the second day of the Miami Dolphins’ three-day mandatory minicamp, ladies and gentlemen.
Come and enjoy the most discussed and perhaps most important competition this team will conduct in 2019: The quarterback duel between Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen.
(A competition, by the way, which will eventually lead to both players starting games for the Dolphins in 2019).
Now, it must be said this two-hour practice is usually closed to you, but through the magic of my average ability to keep play-by-play (along with unremarkable math skills), you will see what coaches, players and even reporters have seen from these two quarterbacks much of this offseason .
You will see the Fitzpatricks beating the Rosens on the field.
And this time, you will know exactly how it happens:
It begins about 35 minutes into the humid workout with Fitzpatrick taking reins of the first team offense, which we’re dubbing the Fitzpatricks. His first pass is a 7-yard completion. And his second pass is a 10-yard completion. And by the time this initial team period is complete — the Dolphins’ first-team offense against the first-team defense — Fitzpatrick has thrown eight passes and completed seven of them.
Now Rosen gets his turn with the second-team offense, known as the Rosens, against Miami’s second-team defense. He also opens with consecutive completions, both for 4 yards. Then he throws two consecutive incompletions.
And then the mistake.
Minkah Fitzpatrick, obviously trying to help his namesake quarterback teammate, beats a receiver to a spot and intercepts a Rosen throw. It will be the only interception either quarterback will throw all day but it will matter.
Because Rosen will watch as Fitzpatrick takes the first snap in the next team period and completes a 74-yard touchdown throw to DeVante Parker. The Fitzpatricks celebrate.
But that celebration ends with Minah Fitzpatrick, this time showing no regard for his allegiance to the Fitzpatricks, ending the drive by breaking up a third-down pass. Fitzpatrick nonetheless completes two of three throws this series.
The Rosens trail. So Josh completes consecutive passes of 11 and 3 yards to start a modest rally. But then he simply misses on a pass to tight end Nick O’Leary, who is running behind two defenders down the seam of the defense — a potential big play missed.
Rosen gets hot his next series. He completes a 20-yard pass to Isaiah Ford. Then he connects on a 10-yard pass. Then a 15-yard pass to Patrick Laird, and an 13-yard pass to Preston Williams.
Good period for the Rosens.
The problem is (cue NFL Films music here) the Fitzpatricks have fate on their side this day.
The next period Fitzpatrick misses on two of three attempts, including one that was batted at the line of scrimmage. But then he throws a deep pass to Parker that is tipped in the air by cornerback Eric Rowe.
Trenton Irwin snatches the tipped ball out of the air while running in stride and heads for the end zone. It’s a 70-yard touchdown.
The Rosens fight back. In red-zone work, Rosen completes four consecutive passes, including a 12-yard touchdown to Mark Walton, and two consecutive 9-yard touchdown passes to tight end Clive Walford. While Fitzpatrick is better all over the field this practice Rosen can find solace in being the more effect red-zone passer.
It could have been better for the Rosens except that Williams drops an apparent touchdown to end the red-zone period.
Then the Fitzpatricks assert their superiority. The quarterback who has had the upper hand much of this offseason throws a 65-yard touchdown to Parker. It’s his third long TD pass of the day. The Rosens have none.
Both quarterbacks end the day with three touchdown passes, but obviously the Fitzpatricks have been more explosive (and luckier based on that improbable tipped TD).
Rosen finishes this day completing 15 of 24 passes for 143 yards against the Dolphins’ second-team defense. He throws three touchdowns and one interception and his passer rating is a commendable 101.2.
The problem for Rosen is he’s being compared to Fitzpatrick. And Fitzpatrick this day completes 21 of 28 passes for 350 yards. Fitzpatrick has three TD passes of 70, 74 and 65 yards and doesn’t throw an interception.
Fitzpatrick’s quarterback rating in team periods against the first-string Miami defense is 152.4.
He wins the day.