The biggest story line going into training camp for the Miami Dolphins was of course the quarterback position. This year unlike the 6 to 7 season there is a true quarterback competition rather than giving someone the job. It’s between the wily veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick and the youngster Josh Rosen. For Fitzpatrick, it’s his 15th season and his last chance to be a starter. While Rosen is trying to rebuild his career after being traded from the Arizona Cardinals one season after they made him the 10th pick overall in the draft.
Fitzpatrick is your true journeyman. This is his 8th team he has been on since coming into the league in 2004, which tells you he has talent to be in the league just not a long-term starter. Last year, Fitzpatrick became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 400 yards in three consecutive games. That’s amazing considering how the league has transformed into a passing league and no one did that before. He’s an up and down quarterback. When he’s hot, he can be one of the better quarterbacks in the league, but when he’s cold can be one of the worst quarterbacks in the league. The Dolphins know what they are getting in Fitzpatrick.
Rosen on the other hand, was just drafted number 10 overall by the Cardinals and after they made a coaching change decided to trade him. The Dolphins took a chance to try to find a franchise quarterback they have been looking for since Dan Marino retired. Rosen was considered the most NFL ready prospect a year ago, but he struggled last season. While Rosen was on a bad team, he didn’t help himself much with his play. He threw 11 TDs and 14 INTs with a 55% completion percentage. Not exactly eye popping, but normal for a rookie. However nowadays teams want their quarterback to perform and most don’t have the patience to go through the growing pains of a young quarterback. Rosen now gets a fresh start with a team rebuilding. The Dolphins have nothing to lose and everything to gain with the Rosen trade.
Now Fitzpatrick is the starter right now and should be with his experience. The first few days of camp he has had command of the offense and making plays with his new receivers, while Rosen has struggled. That should be no surprise because Fitzpatrick has been around the block and does things that at this time Rosen can’t do, such as go through his progressions, throw to his receivers with anticipation to his give them a chance to make plays, and most of all command the huddle. This isn’t to say Rosen won’t be able to do this, but you have to be realistic his is still young and learning the new offense and it will take him some time. Most of the terminology Fitzpatrick knows through other offenses he has played in with the offense being different, but the concepts are the same.
I know there are some people that will say the Dolphins are rebuilding so why not let Rosen start? I get that theory but let’s have both guys battle it out and let the best man win. Fitzpatrick will have the leg up because of his experience, but he will be hot and cold based on his history. Rosen while he will struggle, I expect him to get better as camp progresses. Rosen will get his shot, but we must be patient with him. He might do better once the preseason starts once the light go on. If he doesn’t perform well this year, the Dolphins can look to next year’s quarterback class, but that’s a story for another day. Rosen has to keep grinding and work hard his time will come at some point this year.