Barry Jackson

Prominent ESPN analyst said Dolphins went overboard in dismantling, set up Rosen to fail

ESPN analyst Louis Riddick, the former Redskins and Eagles director of pro personnel, said Thursday that the Dolphins’ stripping of the roster has gone overboard and said they’re setting up backup quarterback Josh Rosen to fail.

Riddick — on a conference call promoting ESPN’s opening week Monday Night Football doubleheader (Houston-New Orleans and Denver-Oakland) — referenced this tweet he wrote after Miami traded Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Stills to Houston on Saturday:

“Josh Rosen could not have asked for a more [poop emoji] start to his career from an organizational support standpoint. I don’t care if you like the kid or not ‘personally.’ He has been set up to fail. Nice job. Getting the job isn’t the point. Plenty of QBs get jobs. Point is about being set up to succeed, which he is not.”

Asked to expand on his thoughts on what the Dolphins are doing, Riddick said:

“To say the stripping down of this roster has been excessive is an understatement. We all know what they’re doing. [First-year Dolphins coach] Brian Flores has been put in an impossible situation. Of course he’s not quote unquote tanking. Of course, he’s not coaching to lose. No player is sitting there in the locker room saying, ‘Yeah, we’ve been instructed to go out there and tank.’

“[But] they are severely, severely undermanned. They just are…. They are below average, below average on the offensive line. They are right now below average at quarterback. At running back, they’re average. At wide receiver, they’re average. On the defensive side, Christian Wilkins is a nice young player; I like him a lot. They don’t have a lot of horses to rush the passer and not a whole lot of depth on the interior.

“[Linebacker] Raekwon McMillan I like. Jerome Baker [is a] small, average will linebacker. In the secondary, Reshad Jones has always played some good ball. Xavien Howard is one of best corners in the NFL period. Who else do they have other than that?

“On top of it, it’s a culture that’s being established down there that says we’ll sacrifice the short-term for the long-term. We’re going to have all these draft picks, and hopefully Chris [Grier] and Brian can hit on the right players and they can kind of develop and we can pull out of this in a year or two. It’s a hell of a situation to be in. It’s a hell of a thing to have to swallow.”

Riddick said the situation that Auburn rookie fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham finds himself in New England — as Tom Brady’s backup — is more conducive to successful development than Rosen’s predicament in Miami.

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Stidham completed 61 of 90 passes in preseason for 731 yards, four touchdowns and one interception and a 102.6 passer rating.

“That’s why my tweet was geared toward Josh Rosen being set up to fail and that’s because he is,” Riddick said. “There is no way in hell you can evaluate Josh Rosen on a level playing field if you were to relate it to let’s just say any other young quarterback that’s been put into a situation where he has some decent weapons to work with and there’s an offensive system that is well established [and].... he has a veteran in front of him and can learn from him [and]... have an established winning culture, a la Jarrett Stidham in New England.

“If you took Jarrett Stidham out of New England and put him in Miami, you think Jarrett Stidham would have the same kind of preseason he had in New England? Hell no, he wouldn’t. You would be saying Jarrett Stidham still sucks like many people tried to say he did at Auburn. He looks much better in a system that sets up people for success. Funny how that works.”

Riddick punctuated his comments by saying “people think I’m always excessively negative on Miami. I’m negative on things that look negative and things that don’t look like it’s conducive to winning. It just doesn’t look like things are being set up to win down there anytime soon. It’s going to be a tough year for the Miami Dolphins fan.”

NEWS NOTE

Defensive tackle Vincent Taylor, cut by Miami on Monday, joined Buffalo’s practice squad. He’s the second jettisoned Dolphins defensive tackle to join the Bills organization in the past year, joining Jordan Phillips.

Here’s my piece on a bunch of things we’re hearing behind the scenes with the Dolphins.

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