Josh Rosen

Josh Rosen taking role as Dolphins backup QB in stride

Immediately after the end of the final preseason game on Thursday night, head coach Brian Flores announced that veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick is the starting quarterback for the 2019 season. Young player Josh Rosen, who put together an impressive preseason and was acquired during the draft in exchange for a second round pick, now has to ride the bench until such a time as Flores deems him ready.

“I’ve said multiple times, I think he’s improved greatly over the course of training camp.” Flores said. “This is a young kid who works extremely hard. It is important to him. He’s talented, but playing quarterback in this league – it takes some time. He’s in a new offense, and I think he’ll get there. I do. I really do. That’s a conversation we had. I think he’ll get there at some point. When? I don’t know, and a lot of that’s up to him. He knows that. No knock on him, but he has worked extremely hard, but I think he will get there. This is a talented player. We’re excited about him.”

The logic seems simple. Let Rosen start, and if he shows he can handle the job, then the Dolphins don’t need to draft a quarterback in round one. But apparently, Miami has a different plan in mind for him.

Reaction from Josh Rosen

Any young player who gets told they won’t be starting is going to be disappointed. In Rosen’s case, he has a reputation dating back to college for not handling adversity well. According to Flores, however, things were different this time.

“They both handled it well. These are two of the most professional guys I have been around. They both handled it really well.” Flores said. “Obviously, ‘Fitz’ (Ryan Fitzpatrick) was excited. Josh was a little disappointed, but at the same time, he looked at me and said… well, I will keep that conversation between he and I.”

As for Rosen himself, he admits that he had a rough start to his Dolphins tenure.

“Coach (Flores) challenged me pretty early in training camp as I wasn’t playing very well because I was just sort of drinking water from a fire hose.” He said. “I think a lot of that had to do with focusing on my day-to-day and not trying to worry if Coach was looking or make sure I impress him here or this … I think it’s only time that this team is mine, but until then I’m going to be as supportive a backup as I can, and like I said, push him every single day.”

Josh Rosen taking this in stride is encouraging. One of the main criticisms Flores has for him is that his body language is not ideal. Strangely enough, however, Rosen may be disappointed, but he doesn’t seem that upset.

What’s next?

Development is still going to be priority number one for Rosen. After the debacle that was his rookie year, he’s trying to change his mentality towards his career.

“Last year everything kind of flipped pretty quickly.” He said. “They told me at the beginning of the year I was supposed to sit out and try and learn behind Sam (Bradford) and play that Year 2 and get ready to get, and that didn’t happen. I think any sort of projection of where my career should be is kind of irrelevant, or really difficult to pin down, I guess you could say at this point. That’s why I’m really focusing on what I can do day-to-day. In terms of my progression as a quarterback, I think I’m substantially better a quarterback now than I was three weeks ago and a way better quarterback than I was a year ago.”

His improvement is undeniable. The only real question at this point is this: will he improve fast enough to win the starting job in 2020? It’s almost guaranteed at this point that Miami will draft a quarterback in round one of the 2020 draft, which means the level of competition for him will be much higher than an aged veteran with an average ceiling. Maybe he’ll be traded again next offseason, or he’ll be forced to remain a backup. Or, he could become the starter after all.

Whatever the future holds for Josh Rosen, he’s taking it in stride and remaining focused on his own growth. How’s that for improved body language?

“On this progression, I think the future is pretty bright.” He said. “I’m excited. I wouldn’t say it’s a setback, but the temporary – it’s not even a hurdle to cross over; it’s part of the journey.”

Dolphins name veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick starting quarterback

Shortly before the end of the final preseason game, head coach Brian Flores announced he would name the starting quarterback after the game ended. The oddsmakers turned out to be correct after all. Veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick is the Dolphins starting quarterback over young prospect Josh Rosen.

The decision to name Fitzpatrick over Rosen flies in the face of Flores’s declaration that the best player would win the starting job. Over the course of the preseason, Rosen performed better than the 15-year veteran, yet the competition ends with Fitzpatrick victorious. One has to wonder if the starting job ever up for grabs to begin with. It seems not. Fitzpatrick performed better early on in practice. Rosen closed the gap quickly, however.

Flores stated during the press conference that Ryan Fitzpatrick starting was the best decision for this team. The decision was made over the course of the last week. Which means, somehow, Rosen’s performance in week three of preseason meant nothing to Flores. The rookie head coach insists that Rosen is talented, but he isn’t ready yet.

It’s extremely difficult to justify the decision to name Fitzpatrick the starter at this point. Perhaps, in the beginning, it might have been different. But now there’s nothing to do but wait and see how the regular season plays out. Also, prepare for the Dolphins to draft a quarterback in the first round of 2020. Maybe they want a rookie to compete with Rosen next year. If that is the case, however, this was not a smart way to handle the situation.

Whether they draft Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, Jake Fromm, or someone else, it’s clear that Rosen isn’t viewed as the solution to the quarterback problem. Truly a shame to see.

Luis Sung has covered the Miami Dolphins for numerous outlets such as Dolphins Wire for six years. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung

Oddsmakers favor Ryan Fitzpatrick starting for Dolphins over Josh Rosen

Right or wrong, there’s something to be said about betting odds. Las Vegas has a way of knowing what’s going to happen any given season, even if their predictions don’t make sense in the minds of fans. They’ve even weighed in on who’s more likely to start for the Miami Dolphins come week one of the regular season. Will it be longtime veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, or young prospect Josh Rosen?

So far, the oddsmakers favor Fitzpatrick.

To be fair, the odds were made back in late July. This is before Josh Rosen put together a fairly impressive preseason. But taking into account what head coach Brian Flores is saying, it’s starting to look more and more likely that Vegas is right again, even if the logic behind it is increasingly faulty.

“He played well, and that makes the decision harder.” He said this past Thursday after the preseason win against Jacksonville. “I think that’s pretty clear, clear and evident. But there’s – again, there’s other things at play here. ‘Fitz’ (Ryan Fitzpatrick) played well, I thought, and there’s some things – when you’ve got a young quarterback, again, I’m a proponent of not rushing that, not rushing the process for young players. So we’ll make the decision for what we think is best for Josh, ‘Fitz,’ and this team.”

The best decision for this team, he says. Best decision for Rosen, he says.

What else does Rosen need to do to prove he’s worthy of earning the starting job?

Flores has said that he wants Rosen to work on his decision making, to not take so many chances. However, most of Rosen’s chances seem to lead to positive results. In the end, that’s all that any coach can hope for, right? Isn’t it refreshing to have a QB who can improvise and make plays even when everything is crumbling around him? This goes for his potential as a franchise QB as well. He’s showing a lot of traits that suggest he can be a franchise QB. Someone who can lead a team to the promised land…after some serious investment into the offensive line of course.

And yet Las Vegas is saying Ryan Fitzpatrick is still more likely to start over Rosen. Is Flores just stubborn? Unwilling to let Rosen start over Fitzpatrick since one is a veteran and one is a young guy still trying to stabilize his footing? Josh Rosen needs to learn, and if 2019 is truly a wash no matter what, what is gained by starting Fitzpatrick over Rosen at this point?

Back in June, it was suggested that the best man should be the Dolphins starting quarterback. Brian Flores needed to make sure everyone knew that performance would dictate who plays and who doesn’t. Back then, Rosen was behind Fitzpatrick. After this preseason, however, it appears Rosen has outplayed Fitzpatrick in almost every aspect. Is that not grounds for starting? If Flores is honest, there should be no reason for debate.

Vegas always seems to be right, and Vegas insists Fitzpatrick is the man to start 2019. But if they are right, then a microscope needs to be placed on Flores and everything he says at this point. Even the players don’t know what’s going on at this point, since Flores doesn’t give updates.

“No, he really doesn’t. He keeps it plain and simple.” wide receiver Jakeem Grant said Sunday. “Everybody knows there’s a quarterback battle going on. We just get in and compete with both of them. It’s either we’re in with Josh (Rosen) or if we’re in with ‘Fitz” (Ryan Fitzpatrick). Either way it goes, we love those guys. They are both great, talented quarterbacks and I think that both of them can lead us to the promise land.”

Based on the preseason, it’s clear who’s more capable at this point. Josh Rosen should start. True, Las Vegas won’t appreciate it, but the Dolphins need to see what they have in Rosen, and the young UCLA standout has earned his chance.

Preseason sack leader Nate Orchard close to earning Dolphins spot

Nate Orchard could make the Dolphins roster. The 2019 season is about discovering who can have a long-term impact on the Miami Dolphins. While looking for diamonds in the rough, the Dolphins may have discovered Nate Orchard.

The 26-year-old has only 69 career tackles in his six-year NFL career, but it seems he has found his niche in Miami’s new defensive system under first-year coach Brian Flores and defensive coordinator Patrick Graham.

“Yeah, I love the system,” Orchard said on Tuesday. “Patrick Graham knows what he’s doing. He’s able to put guys in positions to be successful and he’s doing that with me and a bunch of guys. He sees my skill set and what I can bring to the table, allowing me to stand up and have my hand in the dirt, as well.”

Orchard, who is listed as a linebacker, has the flexibility the Dolphins are looking for on the defensive side of the ball. He has even spent some time as a defensive back.

“Yeah, I did that with [Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator] Kalani Sitake when I was at Utah,” Orchard said. “So yeah, I’ve had experience. I’ve been in the league for five years now, so you get your hands in a little bit of everything.”

While he can do a little of everything, but Orchard is making noise this preseason as the league-leader in sacks with four after a two-sack performance against Jacksonville.

“I feel really comfortable with what we’re doing,” Orchard said. “They’ve moved me from a 5-, 9- or a 6-[technique], stand up, have my hand in the dirt. I’m comfortable being able to move around and play to my strengths.”

Keep in mind, the Dolphins are looking to find players who can rush the passer, Orchard knows he needs to continue to work in order to secure a spot on the 53-man roster.

“You’ve got to be able to block out the noise,” Orchard said. “Knowing what’s at stake, it’s tough. But at the same time, don’t let it take away from your game. Be who you are and approach each game, each snap, as if it was your last and just enjoy it as much as possible.”

Orchard, who wears the number four, may have a shot to even push for a starting job across from Charles Harris. The fourth game of the preseason may not mean a lot for most teams, but for the Dolphins, it is the last opportunity for a handful of players to prove they deserve a spot on an NFL roster.

The Dolphins play the Saints on Thursday night with kickoff scheduled for 8 p.m.

Kalen Ballage

Kalen Ballage rushing full speed towards Dolphins starting RB job

Kalen Ballage is getting a rare opportunity with Kenyan Drake down with an injury. The Dolphins are going to need a running back, so he’s responding to the call by making play after play. His speed and acceleration caught the Tampa Bay Buccaneers off guard both days they held joint practices, resulting in several touchdowns. That level of production does not go unnoticed, and it’s clear head coach Brian Flores is enjoying noticing them.

“Oh, I saw them.” He said during his Wednesday press conference.

It makes sense that Ballage is pushing himself with Drake out. At the start of training camp, he was the one who worked with the starters, only to eventually be overtaken by the Alabama speedster as the days went on. It appeared that Drake was ready to lock down the starting job, at least until these joint practices with Tampa. All of a sudden, he, QB Josh Rosen and WR Preston Williams are getting chances to work with the starters after being stuck under the veterans.

“I think young guys have to be able to come out here and make plays.” Ballage said Wednesday. “This (isn’t) college anymore. It’s not high school. In my opinion, age doesn’t really matter. I think you just come out here and if you can ball, you can ball. I think that’s a big part of it.”

He’s doing a good job of impressing the coaches, and those touchdown runs included good execution across the board. That’s precisely what coach Flores is looking for in his players.

“They all work together. It’s 11 guys.” He said. “If you put 11 guys in and they execute their responsibility, you’ll get a good play. Kalen did a good job of making a guy miss, and that’s how you get long runs, receivers blocking corners and secondary players, and that’s how you get long runs. It takes everybody.”

At this point, it’s impressive that Kalen Ballage is able to do as much as he’s doing. The Dolphins offensive line is an absolute mess, so these touchdown runs are a testament to the home run capability Ballage has in him. It also acts as a demonstration for what the offense itself is capable of.

“It’s something that I’ve always known.” Ballage said. “I think that it gets the best athletes and the best talents in space, gets them the ball and kind of puts the rest on us to make plays. I think that that’s something that’s real important.”

Ballage’s opportunity to showcase himself stands to last a while, especially since Kenyan Drake has to wear a walking boot for an undisclosed amount of time. While coach Flores isn’t really concerned, indicating Drake will be ready for week one of the regular season at the latest, it doesn’t bode well for Drake with Ballage running full speed towards the starting job.

Kalen Ballage has had his struggles, but they appear to be past him. Back in college, he felt extremely underused. In his rookie season, he sat behind Drake and veteran Frank Gore. He appears ready to take charge, and he has a chance to prove it on Friday.

Chandler Cox

Chandler Cox giving Miami Dolphins much-needed physicality

Think back to the last time the Miami Dolphins had a fullback. More than likely, the name Lousaka Polite springs to mind. Polite was the bruiser, they guy that was given the ball when it was third and short and Miami needed a first down. Unremarkable, but reliable, and steadfast. Since then, the Dolphins have made halfhearted attempts to find a replacement, but not until now, with Chandler Cox, have they add any success.

The last real fullback Miami had on the roster was Jorvorskie Lane. Serviceable, but he never lived up to Polite’s standards. Then the Dolphins tried to get Charles Clay to be an H-back type hybrid, playing both tight end and fulback. It soon became clear that Clay was more effective as a pass-catching tight end. There was also the reported pursuit of veteran fullback Vonta Leach, one of the best at his dying position, back in 2013. Ultimately, nothing came out of that, and since then the position has been in limbo.

Both Joe Philbin and Adam Gase decided to forgo the fullback position for the most part, putting strong emphasis on the passing game. Ryan Tannehill was tasked with making the offense run almost solely on his arm, with little to no investment placed in the running game. Only in 2016, with now free agent RB Jay Ajayi, did anyone get to see what the offense could look like when they started playing smashmouth football. Ajayi became an instant star, and the Dolphins made the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

But it wouldn’t last. Ajayi’s body gave out just as his ego kicked in, and Gase sent Ajayi to the Eagles where he won the Super Bowl in 2017. He didn’t contribute much to that victory, but it was a victory all the same. And once again, Miami’s rushing attack fell by the wayside.

Enter Brian Flores, who comes from New England. The Patriots know how important a strong running game is, and Flores made it clear Miami would remember that lesson. They would have a fullback, no questions asked.

“I think it adds a competitiveness, a grit, a toughness, to the team.” He said back in late May. “We want to run the football. I think having a lead blocker clear the way helps that, I value that position. I think it brings a toughness, a grit that I think I like in my team … Quite honestly, I played linebacker and I’ve had to deal with fullbacks. It’s not always the easiest thing to do. Wherever the league goes is where it goes; but personally, having dealt with a lead blocker, it’s not an easy thing to deal with.”

That much is true. With a fullback leading the way, defenders have to get through an extra player to bring down the running back. In that moment it might take to knock down the fullback, the running back could score a touchdown. That is precisely what happened on Thursday night against the Falcons. Mark Walton was handed the football, and Cox blocked two different defenders, leading to a score that gave Miami the lead.

Chandler Cox already has the respect of his teammates. With fullbacks being a dying breed, the fact he goes out there and does everything he can do to contribute makes him a rarity.

“He’s an Auburn guy, but you know, I won’t hold that against him.” Drake joked on Thursday. “He goes in there, he’s still out there doing his job, so I know he’s going to be tired up in this game, but he’s a rookie so he’s got to get his dues in, so I look forward to him doing a lot more for this season.”

Having a fullback is a luxury it seems, one that most teams decide not to have. With the NFL putting more and more focus on protecting quarterbacks, it’s clear that the league wants teams to throw more. But the effectiveness of a fullback can’t be denied. And some believe the position may yet see a comeback as Miami adjusts to having one.

“I think it will be, but it takes time to do that when you haven’t done that.” running back coach Eric Studesville said in late July. “It’s different to have another guy closer to you and he has to make decisions. There is a trust that builds in that. Chandler (Cox) has done a great job of coming in here. It started yesterday in pads right away. He’s physical with his pad level. We’ll all get better at that and we’ll get better feeling him and what’s going on. I think it adds another dimension to our offense and capabilities and what defenses have to prepare for.”

Chandler Cox adds an extra blocker, and he has the ability to run if necessary. He can catch, he can lead, he can back up the offensive line in the backfield, he’s the full package. And, he’s already adjusting well. Becoming a physical team after spending so long focused on finesse will take time. But Cox will do a lot to speed up the process.

Josh Rosen risks

Dolphins head coach Brian Flores wants Josh Rosen to curb risk taking

One major difference between Miami’s current quarterbacks and the one that departed in the offseason is their willingness to take chances. Both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen are aggressive in their decision-making, a trait put on full display during the Dolphins win against the Falcons. They attempted plays that can only be described as incredible. Some of them worked, while some of them did not.

That willingness to be aggressive is part of what makes Rosen such an intriguing prospect. However, it can also lead to mistakes that Miami can’t afford to make. One such mistake was when Rosen attempted a pass in the middle of the field to WR Isaiah Ford, only to be intercepted by linebacker Jermaine Grace. The three-year veteran stepped right in front of the route and Rosen could do nothing but watch as his team chased the defender down.

Rosen is taking chances, but head coach Brian Flores wants him to tone it down a bit.

“Yeah. A couple times there I thought, maybe, those are a little dicey.” Flores said after the game. “And at some point as a quarterback you’ve got to take the sack. That’s the best play. But the guy’s got a little bit of a gunslinger mentality and wants to let it rip and obviously got the nice one out to Preston, but I think we want to play smarter than that I would say in that situation, not just let the ball go like he did.”

Once again, Flores functions on the premise of basics and fundamentals. Even if risky plays end in favorable results, that doesn’t mean Flores condones the decision. He wants smart, calculated football. That means taking advantage of what the defense gives, not forcing something when things get dangerous.

“I felt some guys at my ankles.” Rosen said. “I knew Preston kind of had a stop coming back to me, I saw he was a bit inside of him. So I knew if I just put it up he would kind of have the break on it. It might have been a little bit too dicey; but I don’t know. A couple fall in your favor, a couple don’t. I probably should be a little smarter with that, even though this one worked out.”

Not having consistent protection can easily lead to more of these mistakes. Josh Rosen had to spend the majority of his playing time dodging defenders before he could make a throw. In reality, it’s a testament to Rosen’s improvement that he was able to accomplish what he did against Atlanta. Rosen completed 13 out of 20 attempts for 191 yards, and of course his interception. That averages out to a 75.2 passer rating, which does not reflect his overall performance. Rosen grew more comfortable as the game continued, and soon those risky plays started looking routine.

“I feel substantially better now than I did two weeks ago.”Rosen said. “But like I said, I’ve got a long ways to go. The way ‘Fitz’ (Ryan Fitzpatrick) in our meeting room can break down a defense and how quickly he can make comments on where everyone is, where the ball should go, is pretty impressive and I think if I can kind of hedge that gunslinger attitude a little bit and put a little bit more thought into it, I think I could develop pretty nicely.”

It’s encouraging that Rosen recognizes the flaws in himself. He even goes as far as to admit he’s struggled with taking unnecessary risks throughout his entire football career. He’s learning when the best move is to give up on a play and try again on the next down, and when it’s okay to throw up a prayer. It’s something he’s been dealing with all through the offseason and training camp already.

Josh Rosen isn’t making excuses for himself, though he easily could have on Thursday. With the offensive line unable to protect for him, he didn’t have much time to think about what he was doing. But that’s moot. He made a mistake, and he knows it. He isn’t about to whine about something he feels has no bearing on his ability to make wise choices.

“I threw the pick in a completely clean pocket. So football is football.” He said. “You’re never going to have a completely clean pocket all of the time. When you get it, you’ve got to take advantage of it and when you don’t, you can’t make stupid mistakes by trying to play hero ball. I did kind of a little bit of everything, so I’ve got a lot of film to watch. Just because like good plays gained yards doesn’t mean that the way we got that was like a sustainable way to do that in the future. So I think that like I said at the beginning, there’s good, bad and everything in between.”

If Rosen can eliminate some of the bad, then he can easily take the starting job away from Ryan Fitzpatrick. If he eliminates the everything in between and keeps only the good, then Miami will finally have their franchise quarterback in Josh Rosen. The sooner he learns those lessons, the better off everyone will be.

“I think that’s what this time is for, that’s what training camp is for.” Flores said. “It’s to develop these guys, help develop them, help work on their techniques, fundamentals, consistency. That’s what training camp is for. That’s why I got into coaching, that’s what I love about coaching. We want to win, there’s no doubt about that. But we’re going to try to develop these players as best we can and try to win at the same time. And I think development of players is something that’s ongoing.”

Header for defense versatility

Miami Dolphins coaches using versatility to define defense

Consider the New England Patriots. One of the things that makes their defense so formidable is that opposing teams can never be sure what they’re facing. Is there a blitz? Why are there are so many defensive backs? Are the linebackers blitzing or in coverage? It’s through reputation alone that they’re considered good, even when they’re objectively bad. They put together personnel groupings that throw offenses for a loop, make them think twice about what they should do. The versatility of their players is a big part of what makes that defense tick.

And that’s exactly what head coach Brian Flores is stressing as he installs his defense.

“I would say first and foremost, it’s in the kicking game for really anyone on the team. If you make plays in the kicking game, you make a name for yourself in the kicking game here in this organization, that means a lot to me. If guys want to impress me, do it in the kicking game.” Flores said on Wednesday. “That’s where I started in college, that’s how I got on the field at Boston College. That’s how I broke into coaching in the National Football League from working with guys like Brad Seeley and then Scott O’Brien.

“It’s a very important phase of the game to me, so if a guy wants to impress on this team, do it there, carve out a role there, and then if you’re at the game for the kicking game, we’ll find something for you to do offensively or defensively. The players know that. I think everyone in the league should know that. That’s a spot where you can definitely carve out a role, and then, that’s how your reps increase. If you do a good job in the kicking game, you get more offensive or defensive snaps. If you do a good job with those snaps, we’ll give you more, and that’s how guys evolve and grow in this profession.”

Already, training camp has consisted of players lining up where they normally wouldn’t. Reshad Jones, T.J. McDonald and Minkah Fitzpatrick are getting linebacker snaps. Bobby McCain is turning himself into a safety. Defensive linemen are lining up out wide, inside, and everywhere in-between.

Is Miami running a 4-3, or a 3-4? Maybe a 4-2-5?

“I don’t even know what that is.” defensive coordinator Patrick Graham said on Thursday. “People ask us, (and we) say, ‘I don’t know.’ You look out there, we can be 1-10 if you want us to be. We’ll figure out something. If it works, we’ll do it.”

So nothing is off the books when it comes to what the defense will do on any given play. Matchups decide who’s on the field at any given moment. The more players adapt to what’s thrown at them, the more they will get to play. Even if they don’t project to start over someone else.

Of course, this puts a mental strain on the players. They have to overcome it.

“It’s not more so the attacking defenses that I’ve been in, in the 4-3 systems that I’ve been accustomed to.” said veteran DT Akeem Spence. “In this defense, you’ve got to really learn a lot. It’s more so learning about more spots than positions and learning a new technique and what Coach Flores wants and Patrick Graham want and trying to go out and execute and compete.”

“It’s all about discipline. The biggest thing is everybody’s got – I mean, the coaches are going to put you in the best position to make plays, and I think that’s the biggest thing I keep in mind.” said pass rusher Charles Harris. “The number count isn’t the most important thing. When that game ends and you’re winning, that’s all that really matters. Like I’ve said before, one of the biggest things that we’ve got, one of the quotes that we’ve got coming is ‘get over yourselves.’ If I’m not getting that many plays, it might not be a week. We might have different schemes for different teams and stuff like that. You really don’t know.”

The Dolphins’ first preseason game draws ever closer, and after Saturday’s faux scrimmage, things are only going to ramp up from here. But more importantly, everyone will get a chance to see what this team can do in real action. True, it’s only the preseason. But considering what the expectations are for this team, how they do against other teams evaluating their depth will be telling.

Quickie Miami Dolphins training camp notes — Day 8

Day 8

– “My High School coach is here.”- Coach Flores
– Tomorrow’s Scrimmage will have a game day simulation “feel”- Coach Flores
– We are all in this thing together (on coaches running to T.N.T Wall)- Coach Flores
– “Defensive issue” yesterday cause Coach Flores to run to wall.
– Some praise for the Michael Dieter/ Shaq Calhoun starting guard duo- Coach Flores
– Its a walk through, so we are not allowed to tweet/write what “exactly” they are doing.
– Mostly Special Teams work to start practice. Guys in new spots as compared go last year.
– Hard to do reporting on what they are doing, but you are seeing many personnel sets, heavy subs on defense, and the use of 9 different skill guys in a set of play calls. Last year, you could go 3 quarters with just 7 skill guys seeing action. That seems to be a thing of the past. Maximum use of the roster and the talent on hand is the new norm. Good to see.
– There must be an NFL requirement for Special Teams Coordinators to be boisterous and use colorful language. Danny Crossman is cut from that same Darren Rizzi mold, in that regard.
– Walk through is complete, plenty of special teams work, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd teams run through their basic sets.
– Reggie McKenzie, Chris Grier, attended the walk through, and seemed to be engaged in conversation/evaluation.

Practice MVP: NONE
Struggled: NONE

Miami Dolphins

Dolphins coach Brian Flores fires his first

The Miami Dolphins still haven’t played their first preseason game under Brian Flores. But he’s already making it clear that he will not hesitate to make changes, even if they are changes to his original direction.

The first of note was today’s firing of offensive line coach Pat Flaherty.

Here’s how it played out on Twitter:

Here’s how our Chris Kouffman (@CKParrot) of Three Yards Per Carry viewed the move:

It should be noted that this came after a particularly brutal performance by the offensive line in practice. There’s not much talent there other than left tackle, so any coach will have trouble. But that group has been overmatched so far by another group (defensive line) that isn’t loaded with stars either.

How was it viewed elsewhere?

Accountability is key, apparently. What a welcome change.