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Miami Dolphins

Bucs- Dolphins begin joint practices looking for improvement

Florida Football Insiders

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday Morning in Tampa, the Dolphins and the Buccaneers will begin their week of work together. And, both are hoping to improve in certain areas prior to their second preseason game together Friday night.

The obvious and most scrutinized part of the Dolphins preseason will be back on display, as veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (above) and second-year newly-acquired QB Josh Rosen continue to vie for the starting spot.

Ironically, Fitzpatrick will be doing work this week against his former team of the last two years, the Bucs. He was the part-time starter in each of the last two seasons, including his electrifying first two games of 2018 where he threw for over 400 yards in each as the Buccaneers beat the Saints and the Eagles.

Fitzpatrick became the first Buc player in history to be named Offensive Player of the Week in back-to-back weeks.

Fitzpatrick has been installed, for now, as the starter and getting most of the reps with the first-team. Meanwhile, Rosen who played significantly in the first half of the preseason opener with the Falcons last Thursday, may very well get a look with some of the first team reps over the course of the next couple of days against the Tampa Bay D.

Coach Brian Flores has made it no secret they would like for Rosen to step his game up and he could potentially end up starting the second or third preseason game, if he does. After all, these are great “dress rehearsal” opportunities to see what he can do under live fire against an opponent when it doesn’t count for the schedule.

As for the Buccaneers, they are still trying to get their young secondary together and at times they still struggled to cover the Steelers reserves in the Friday night preseason game in Pittsburgh. Tampa Bay has numerous first or second-year players in their secondary like Carlton Davis, M.J. Stewart, Jordan Whitehead, Sean Murphy-Bunting, and Mike Edwards to do battle against what is a very talented Dolphins receiving corps.

Miamilayers like Kenny Stills, DeVante Parker, Albert Wilson and undrafted free agent, Preston Williams, who shined Thursday against Atlanta, will definitely challenge the Bucs young guys in the backfield. New Bucs defensive coordinator and former Jets coach, Todd Bowles, will be scrutinizing in the midweek workouts and then in the first half of the game Friday night.

Finally, both teams are trying to figure out their running back rotation.

Although, Tampa Bay seems to have solidified Peyton Barber as the  starter, returnign from a year ago. He will be backed up by Ronald Jones and beteran Andre Ellington. The Buccaneers will definitely give Jones many more opportunities upcoming in the Friday game.

Meanwhile, Miami has last year’s part-time starter Kenyan Drake, but also second-year backss Kalen Ballage  and Mark Walton will be used in the first half. Those backup running backs and their reps in these joint practices, as well as Friday night’s game, may dictate who gets some first team work in preseason week three.

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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins will go back to veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick

Florida Football Insiders

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins continue their ongoing evaluation of whom will start the season at quarterback between veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick and second-year newly acquired, Josh Rosen. And on Monday morning, coach Brian Flores announced that after Rosen had started game two last Friday night in Tampa, Fitzpatrick will be back under center to begin the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars this Thursday.

Flores met with a media prior to the Dolphins latest workout on Monday but also said not to read too much into the latest QB switch:

Miami started Rosen against the Buccaneers, whom they acquired from the Arizona Cardinals in a draft weekend trade. And, as we wrote, he was largely ineffective for most of Friday night’s first half that he played.

The final stat line read 10-18 102 yards 0 TD and 0 INT, which indicates an average half of football.

And, yes there were damp conditions from pregame rain in Tampa, but Rosen on multiple occasions threw behind or low towards receivers that were open for possible gains. He was also jittery against the Bucs occasional blitz package from new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and Rosen was sacked three times and knocked down several others.

A key moment of scrutiny was when Rosen was unable to get the team in the end zone after they got outstanding field position on a Buccaneers 31 yard line midway through the first after fumble buy backup running back Andre Ellington. The Fins moved inside the 10, but Tampa Bay held Miami on fourth down, where Rosen threw incomplete in the right corner of the end zone to backup receiver Isaiah Ford and Miami came away with no points.

While Flores tried to make it clear that the media and fans should not read too much into going back to Fitzpatrick as an indication on who will be the opening day starter, it will likely be the veteran when Miami hosts the Baltimore Ravens on September 8th.

Miami obviously knows what they have in the 15-year veteran Fitzpatrick, who started the first three games of last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And he led them to two victories and was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week for both of the first to win in 2018.

However, just because Fitzpatrick starts the Jaguars game Thursday night, doesn’t mean Rosen won’t play in the first half with the first team to get another look for new offensive coordinator, Chad O’Shea.

The game Thursday night will also be televised nationally by Fox and the Jaguars are expected to play their starters throughout the first half, and perhap,  into the early part of the third quarter.

That will give Fitzpatrick and maybe, Rosen,  ample opportunity to see what they can do against a quality defense.

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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins QB Rosen did little Friday night to win starting job

Florida Football Insiders

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Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The ongoing battle for who will start the Dolphins season at quarterback took another interesting turn in Friday night’s preseason game with the Buccaneers. However, the current backup, second-year player Josh Rosen, did little to help his case to unseat veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick.

New head coach Brian Flores and his offensive coordinator, Chad O’Shea, obviously challenged Rosen by having him start with the first team and play the entire first half in last night’s second preseason game.

Unfortunately, for Rosen and the coaching staff, he did a little to impress and at times, showed the same shaky quarterback play and bad throws that he did during a mostly dismal rookie season in Arizona. The final stat line read 10-18 102 yards 0 TD and 0 INT, which indicates average half of football.

And, yes there were damp conditions from pregame rain, but Rosen on multiple occasions threw behind or low towards receivers that were open for possible gains. He was also jittery against the Bucs occasional blitz package from new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and Rosen was sacked three times and knocked down several others.

A key moment of scrutiny was when Rosen was unable to get the team in the end zone after they got outstanding field position on a Buccaneers 31 yard line midway through the first after fumble buy backup running back Andre Ellington. The Fins moved inside the 10, but Tampa Bay held Miami on fourth down, where Rosen threw incomplete in the right corner of the end zone to backup receiver Isaiah Ford and Miami came away with no points.

Later in the first half Rosen should have thrown an interception, as he threw the ball right to Bucs rookie defensive back Jamel Dean after throwing late and behind a receiver on the near sideline. However, Dean dropped the INT. Still, Miami punted shortly after.

Coach Brian Flores said after the joint practices with the Bucs this week that Rosen needed to “improve his body language” and leading the team.

Yet, while this was a dress rehearsal, he did little to inspire the Dolphins offense, which only managed 2 field goals even with great field position throughout the first half.

There will still be more opportunity for Rosen in the final two preseason games, and perhaps he will be better.

Better than he was Friday night.

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