A six-pack of Dolphins notes on a Monday:
▪ History tells us not to read too much into Josh Rosen’s rookie numbers --- 11 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and a 66.7 passer rating, which was worst in the league among qualifiers.
For some perspective, here are the NFL’s best active quarterbacks who had worse passer ratings than Rosen as rookies, as researched by Herald correspondent Anthony Frascone of 3oh5sports.com:
Jared Goff: 63.9 passer rating as a rookie… Matt Stafford: 61.0… Eli Manning: 55.4 and Alex Smith 40.8. And none was sacked more than Rosen last season (45 sacks).
Meanwhile, the list of retired quarterbacks who had worse rookie passer ratings than Rosen’s is pretty impressive (minimum six starts):
Phil Simms: 13 touchdowns, 14 interceptions, 66 rating in 1979;
Bob Griese: 15 TDs, 18 INTs, 61.6 rating in 1967;
Donovan McNabb: 8 TDs, 7 INTs, 60.1 rating in 1999;
Troy Aikman; 9 TDs, 18 INTs, 55.7 rating in 1989;
John Elway; 7 TDs, 14 INTs, 54.9 rating in 1983;
Dan Fouts; 6 TDs, 13 INTs, 46 rating in 1973;
Terry Bradshaw; 6 TDs, 24 INTs, 30.4 rating in 1970
That’s why no definitive conclusions can be drawn from Rosen’s rookie season, when he was playing behind a deficient offensive line.
▪ While most analysts have praised the Dolphins’ acquisition of Rosen, NFL Network’s Brian Billick was a bit more restrained and measured in an interview with WQAM’s Joe Rose Show last Friday.
“My evaluation on him: I think he’s Jay Cutler,” Billick, the former Baltimore Ravens head coach, said. “Let’s remember Cutler was a 4000 yard passer in this league at one point. We all know the promise of Jay Cutler. I think Josh Rosen can be that. Both these guys went through a lot of coordinators, a lot of transitions, not the stable situations [others have had]. Those two are similar in that a great deal of potential but we’ll have to see if it actually pans out.”
And Billick joins NFL Net’s Daniel Jeremiah and others in wondering why Miami is having a quarterback competition between Rosen and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
“Miami has got a ways to go, so why not go with Rosen every snap?” Billick told Rose and Zach Krantz. “If you don’t think Rosen’s the guy, why did you give up a second and fifth?”
▪ Keep an eye on a couple of undrafted offensive line additions:
Mississippi State guard Shaq Calhoun and Boston College offensive tackle Aaron Monteiro.
Dolphins senior scout Ron Brockington attended a Clemson-Boston College game last season and loved how Monteiro “held up against Clelin Ferrell,” the Clemson defensive end who was drafted fourth overall by Oakland. “He did a good job holding his own” against Ferrell and other “fast rushers. It intrigued me.”
Assistant director of college scouting Matt Winston told the Dolphins’ web site that Miami was “pretty fortunate to get a guy like [Calhoun] after the draft. Guys like that normally get drafted. Three year starter in the SEC.”
▪ If Mark Walton makes the team but is suspended by the NFL for three offseason arrests, Miami could end up keeping four other backs, in addition to a fullback (Chandler Cox gets first crack).
Cal rookie undrafted running Patrick Laird - competing with Walton and seventh rounder Myles Gaskin for the No. 3 and No. 4 jobs – is “an interesting guy,” Dolphins assistant GM Marvin Allen told the team’s web site.
“He’s a running back that produced in all phases of the game as a receiver, as a runner, as a blocker. He’s a better person off the field and than he is as a player. He started the process for underprivileged kids to get books and tutorials out in California that really took off and got a lot of underprivileged kids reading in the Oakland area, which is tremendous.”
▪ If you missed Peter King’s report on the Dolphins that was weaved into his summer power rankings in his NBC.com column last week (he has Miami last at No. 32), it’s consistent with what The Miami Herald has reported:
“So you hear things in this job,” King wrote. “Some things you hear are true, some you’re not sure about, and some sound so smart and logical you figure there’s a good chance they’re true. This falls in the third category: Miami owner Stephen Ross either in direct words to his football people or in every message to the football staff in recent months, has told them he wants a long-term quarterback above all things—and whatever it takes, whether it be tanking this season, or somehow getting in position to take the quarterback they’re sure can be the next franchise quarterback for the Dolphins, that’s the most important development for this Miami season. Why not?
“Assessing Ross’ 10 years as majority owner of the Dolphins: one season over .500 … zero division titles … zero playoff wins … no franchise QB. If indeed he has told his minions that he is interested only in a quarterback who has a chance to be the next Dan Marino, why not?...
“Acquiring Josh Rosen for the 62nd pick this year gives Miami a bridge year to see if Rosen just might be that franchise guy. Smart investment there. Funny to say this about the team I like least in 2019 heading into the season, but I appreciate what Miami’s doing.”
▪ Quick stuff: Xavien Howard’s cap hits the next six seasons: $10.3 million this season, $13.3 million, $13.5 million, $14.4 million, $13.4 million and $12.2 million. He’s the only Dolphin under contract past 2022. But even with that big contract, the Dolphins are still in line to have more than $105 million in cap space next offseason....
Travis Swanson became the second 2018 Dolphins offensive lineman to retire this offseason, joining Josh Sitton... William Hayes and Brock Osweiler remain the most prominent unsigned Dolphins from 2018.... This is the second of three weeks of OTA practices. Miami is making one of the three practices each week open to the media; this week’s availability will be Tuesday.