Jimmy Johnson indicated to me Thursday that he really liked the Josh Rosen trade. And he reiterated that during an interview with The Joe Rose Show on WQAM on Friday.
“Great move! Talented QB cheap… at very worst he can be a talented backup,” Johnson – the former Dolphins, Cowboys and Miami Hurricanes coach – said during an email exchange on Thursday.
“At best maybe a No. 1. Liked him [at UCLA and Arizona]. The Arizona experience probably humbled him.
Then, on Rose’s show Friday, he said of Miami’s trade:
“I think it was a great move. With his contract and the way it is right now, it’s inexpensive. He was a very talented quarterback coming out of college. A lot of people had him rated up there with [Sam] Darnold. His mechanics were great. People loved him. Really smart guy. At times people said maybe he was too smart. The experience in Arizona probably humbled him a little bit and probably made him work a little bit harder. For the price they got him for, maybe he’s going to be a No. 1 quarterback. But if he’s not a No. 1 quarterback, you’ve got a very talented, inexpensive backup quarterback.”
Rosen’s rookie numbers were actually better than Troy Aikman’s rookie numbers when playing for Johnson and a rebuilding Dallas team that went on to win three Super Bowls.
Rosen, 13 in starts, had 11 touchdowns, 14 interceptions, completed 55.2 percent of his passes and posted a 66.7 passer rating.
Aikman, in 11 starts, had nine touchdowns, 18 interceptions, completed 52.9 perent of his passes with a 55.7 rating. Aikman, of course, went on to a Hall of Fame career.
“They both can make the throws,” Johnson said. “They both have a good arm. They’re both smart…. A quarterback can have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t surround him with talent, you’re not going to win. They really had a horrible offensive line. They had a couple of different offensive coordinators. He didn’t really have a chance at Arizona. You really didn’t have an opportunity to see how good he was.
“I’m not saying [Rosen is] going to be a franchise quarterback. He may or may not. But surround him with talent and you’ll find out.”
Johnson, incidentally, agreed to a new three-year contract to remain an analyst on Fox’s NFL pre-game show. Fox last season began allowing Johnson to fly home on Sunday afternoon instead of remaining in studio for the entire day.
Here was my Thursday piece on where the Dolphins stand at every position on offense and looming battles.
Here was my Thursday piece updating the Dolphins’ search for more quarterbacks and detailing where they stand with every position on defense.