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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins sign troubled former Cardinals top pick Nkemdiche

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Dolphins ongoing search to help their talent and depth this preseason continued on Wednesday, when the team took a low-risk chance on former first round pick defensive tackle, Robert Nkemdiche.

The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport was the first to break the news that Nkemdiche would be joining Miami and put on the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list:

Nkemdiche is still recovering from a torn ACL and was released by the Cardinals on July 27th after three lackluster seasons. The man that Arizona drafted with the 29th overall pick in 2016, has only played in a total of 27 games with just 44 tackles, 10 for losses and just 4.5 sacks.

Most of that output was last season when he played in 10 games before the ACL injury, registering all of his career sacks and 32 of the stops.

Nkemdiche also has off-the-field problems, including having been arrested this offseason on speeding and driving with a suspended license charges in Scottsdale, Arizona, on June 6th.

Arizona chose not to pay Nkemdiche’s $1.1 million salary for 2019, which is the final year of his original rookie deal. They had already announced that they were not picking up his fifth year contract option.

The Dolphins are more than happy to take the chance that Nkemdiche can get himself into shape and help bolster the defensive line for head coach Brian Flores’ new defense. The Fins already drafted Clemson massive defensive tackle Christian Wilkins in the first round this past year to help in that regard.

Nkemdiche can remain on the PUP list, not counting against the active roster, until he is cleared to begin practicing.

The addition of Nkemdiche means that the Dolphins now have two of the last four Arizona number one picks, as they also acquired their 2018 number one selection quarterback Josh Rosen in an April draft trade.

Rosen is currently second on the depth chart at QB behind veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, but may see significant playing time in the Thursday night preseason opener at home with the Falcons.

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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins will go back to veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick

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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

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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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