One of my favorite features on Twitter is being able to see some of the interesting news and hot takes that I missed from the day before. However, with the good comes the bad. And there was a LOT of bad after Miami’s second day of June mini-camps.
Yesterday, my timeline was littered with terrible takes regarding the Dolphins way-too-early quarterback competition. Some believe because Josh Rosen is not taking first team reps, that this makes him a bust, un-coachable and lost beyond return. To those people I say….
I’ve been one of (if not) the biggest Rosen stans dating back to pre-draft 2018. At the time, I believed he was the most NFL ready quarterback in the draft. Furthermore, I believed him to have the skill-set and potential to be a franchise altering signal caller. Obviously, this did not happen in Arizona. And by many accounts, it has yet to happen (in the month) he’s been with his new team.
So why are so many people surprised? Why would we expect a 22-year old QB who just arrived in Miami a month ago, to beat out a 15-year veteran, who already had the inside track to the starting job? Why would we expect this to go any different? Worst of all, why are we so quick to discredit what Rosen has done all offseason? After all, by most accounts he’s playing good football. The problem, however, is that Fitzpatrick is playing magical.
I don’t have the answer to any of these questions, but I do have a healthy alternative:
Everyone needs to calm down.
Because whether or not you believe there should be a fair QB competition. Or that Rosen should be handed the keys to Chad O’Shea’s Lamborghini it is still extremely early on in the offseason. And between now and the time meaningful football is played – a lot will change. That means that whether you believe it or not, Rosen could come back from this ‘down time’ firing on all cylinders. It is possible that after several weeks with the playbook and time to work with the wide receivers, he proves that he is ‘the man’ in Miami.
And then again, maybe not.
If Fitzpatrick continues to play at the high level many saw during OTAs, he could be named the week 1 starter sooner rather than later. Because whether or not we want to admit it. A 36-year old QB with 15 years of NFL experience, clearly has an advantage over the younger player. But don’t take anything away from Fitzpatrick. He may have pin-balled from one team to another, without ever having a legit chance to be a starting quarterback. For the first time in a long time, he has that opportunity. And will likely do whatever it takes to ‘seize the moment’.
There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding this quarterback competition and a lot of people want to speculate on how it’s going to end. For instance, the national media takes every opportunity they can to make it seem as though the 22-year old QB has been dreadful this offseason. They make it seem as though he’s being significantly outplayed by the older, more experienced veteran. Personally, I can’t say one way or the other. But several beat writers have stated that Rosen has played very well. Unfortunately for him, #FitzMagic is playing that much better.
We've watched this 50 times already… What about you?
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) June 6, 2019
In the end, the 2019 season was supposed to be a wash. No one expects the Dolphins to do much of anything. And prior to the season, most fans were in full tank mode. Sure, that may have changed drastically over the last several weeks. But make no mistake about it, the 2019 Miami Dolphins are not going to be good. Heck, they might be historically bad. Or maybe, they fall into five or six wins and compromise any chance they had at drafting Tua Tagovailoa. No one knows. But what we do know, is that Brian Flores and his coaching staff are all about fairness and competition. So like many other uncertainties to the roster and upcoming camp battles – the best man will play.
So why care that Fitzpatrick is the team’s starting quarterback at the conclusion of OTAs? Truth is, we’ve seen how good Fitzpatrick can be in spurts. We know that with the good, will eventually come the bad. I just don’t think we’ll see enough of that player during training camp, to change the narrative of this QB competition. And that’s okay. Because at some point, the magic will wear off with #FitzMagic.
Looking over the schedule, maybe it’s better if the 15 year veteran begins the season as the #1. Maybe it’s best, that he takes the beatings from Baltimore, New England, Los Angeles, and Dallas. After all, the odds of Miami putting up a fight against four teams, that all made the playoffs in 2018, is very slim. So let Fitzpatrick be the team’s starting quarterback heading into the season. Let him take the abuse that those four teams will inevitable bestow upon the lowly Dolphins. And then take the bye week to get Rosen ready. Because those final 12 games will be his best chance he has, at proving to the organization that he is the future in Miami.
It has a been a long time since the Dolphins have had a legit quarterback competition. And regardless of which quarterback you hitch your saddle to, the results this early in the offseason – means NOTHING. These last few weeks of OTAs and mini-camps, have been nothing more than an amuse bouche. The entree, is on it’s way.
This article was written by Josh Houtz (@houtz) he is a Dolphins’ fan that blindly supports Josh Rosen, because they share the same birth name or something like that.