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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins make smart safe play going with Ryan Fitzpatrick

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
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Dolphins coach Brian Flores made it official after the final preseason game on Thursday night, veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick will be his opening day starter on September 8th, when the Ravens come to Hard Rock Stadium. And, for all of the “Belichick-like” secrecy about the battle for the job, it was and is the most obvious, safest move to go with the long time veteran over newly acquired second year QB Josh Rosen.

First, here was Flores making it official late Thursday night:

Flores told the media that he had informed the QBs and the team prior to the game that Fitzpatrick, who won the first two games of the season as Tampa Bay’s starter a year ago, would be given the chance to lead Miami, at least at the beginning of what will likely be a rough rebuilding year.

And, that’s why the move is safer and smarter than going with Rosen right away. Particularly, when you take into account that Rosen didn’t look very good in either of his last two preseason opportunities to demonstrate that he could challenge for the job.

Starting Rosen and having him potentially fail, or at least look largely like he did a year ago as a rookie in Arizona would do two big negative things. One, it would get the media and fans talking about 2020 and college QBs right away. And two, it might very well ruin Rosen confidence-wise, once and for all.

After all,  his record was 3-10 last year as a starter with only a 55% completion percentage and 11 touchdowns vs. 14 interceptions. So, if you put him behind the Dolphins suspect offensive line with a first year offensive coordinator (Chad O’Shea), it had the potential to be bad, immediately, again, psychologically.

No, with Fitzpatrick, he might just have the “Fitzmagic” start that he gave the Bucs last year, when he threw for 400 yards in two straight wins over the Saints and the Eagles. But, even if he doesn’t, and let’s say Miami is awful on offense while losing, then no one will question giving Rosen the shot at that point.

And, further, he could play for several games, even if Miami is struggling or bad, and no one would question having to evaluate Rosen, once and for all for the Dolphins future plans.

So, the bottom line is: Brian Flores made a veteran move- going with the veteran.

Rosen’s day will come, and maybe quickly, but with less immediate pressure and scrutiny by doing it this way.

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    michael wise

    August 30, 2019 at 6:49 am

    What a disappointment. Fitzpatrick looked good in OTA’s but has not done anything in the pre season with the exception of one good drive. Not understanding why you are saying Rosen was bad playing in the last 2 preseason games. He was clearly the better QB all through preseason. In fact Ruddock has looked better then Fitzpatrick. Flores statements about not tanking were just BS clearly they are not putting the best players on the field. Big disappointment concerning Flores and his decision making. Hard headed just like Gase was. Looks like he planned on tanking all along but just cant admit it,

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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins reverse course- will start Josh Rosen Sunday

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

In a move that fits the pattern of seemingly having no true plan of how to get better and, further being willing to change or get rid of personnel on any whim, coach Brian Flores and the Dolphins have done “a 180 turn,” and will now start second-year quarterback Josh Rosen in Dallas Sunday.

NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport had the news first Thursday afternoon,

After being adamant for the last three days the team would continue to start veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, even after two dismal games where the Dolphins lost by a combined score of 102 – 10, Flores and the organization have obviously decided that now is the time to see what Rosen can do.

We at F.F.I. called for this move on Monday, as Miami’s offense could be truly no worse than what it has looked like in the losses to Baltimore and the Patriots at home.

And sooner or later you have to give Rosen an extended look to find out, if he has some promise to be a quarterback of the future or at least, part of the mix as a backup etc., for 2020 and 2021.

Clearly, Miami is doing everything they can to lose every possible game they can and get their best draft position in 2020.

To that end, the Dolphins traded 2018 first round pick defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday acquiring their number one pick. This added on to the blockbuster trade of left tackle Laremy Tunsil and wide receiver Kenny Stills where the Dolphins acquired the Texans number one and number two picks this year and their first round pick next year.

The Dolphins stuck Rosen in Sunday’s disaster with New England with nine minutes to go and trailing 43-0 and he threw 18 passes, completing only seven and also had an INT while being sacked three times. Rosen even managed to roll his ankle, but kept playing, but only in worthless garbage time.

Rosen, who was acquired in an April draft night trade with Arizona, was 3-10 last year as a starter with only a 55% completion percentage and 11 touchdowns vs. 14 interceptions with the Cards.

Now, considerably handicapped on offense without Tunsil and Stills, etc., we will see what the former UCLA first round pick can do against the formidable Cowboys.

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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins trade Minkah Fitzpatrick to Steelers

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Dolphins remained true to their “lose at all costs” mentality for 2019, as they dealt last season’s #1 pick, DB Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Steelers on Monday night.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter was the first with the news, including what Pittsburgh would be dealing in return:

As we wrote earlier Monday night, Fitzpatrick has been disgruntled in Miami just two horrible games into their season and was given permission to seek a trade last week. Apparently, Pittsburgh came up with the best offer, first, to get the former Alabama All American.

Fitzpatrick, who the Dolphins took with the 11th overall pick in the 2018 draft, is disgruntled in part, because of the Dolphins “veteran purge” that has gone all in all offseason, stripping them of experienced talent everywhere. He further has been unhappy with new head coach Brian Flores and defensive coordinator, Patrick Graham, moving him to different positions all over the defensive secondary in the preseason and the first two games of the year.

Fitzpatrick started and played significantly in most of Fins Sunday blowout loss to the Patriots 43-0 that dropped them to a dismal looking 0-2. And Pro Football Focus gave him a decent grade for Sunday:

GM Chris Grier continues to stock pile draft picks for the “named players” on his roster. This included the huge deal trading of starting LT Laremy Tunsil and WR Kenny Stills on the eve of the season to the Houston Texans. Miami got the Texans next two #1 picks and their second rounder in 2021 in that deal.

The acquiring of the Steelers first rounder gives Miami three opening round picks now in next April’s draft.

Reportedly, the teams are also swapping fourth (Miami’s) and fifth round picks in 2020 and sixth (Pittsburgh’s) and seventh rounders in 2021, as part of the deal.

Grier had been busy getting rid of other veterans in the off season. This also included dealing players like QB Ryan Tannehill and DE Robert Quinn in March, veteran WR Danny Amendola being cut after just one season in Miami and Pro Bowl DE Cam Wake being allowed to walk away in free agency.

In addition to trading Tunsil and Stills, Grier dealt his most productive tackler the last three years, Kiko Alonso, to the Saints at the end of preseason, too.

Intriguingly, the Steelers, and Fitzpatrick, will host the Dolphins on Monday Night Football on October 28th.

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