The best man should be the Dolphins’ QB

One of the first things head coach Brian Flores established when he took command of the Miami Dolphins is that no one on the roster is truly safe.

“I think everyone’s got to work to start in this league and on this team.” Flores said during OTAs. “I think there’s no doubt about that. I would say there’s no sacred cows, not in this game. I think you have to earn what you get. That’s the case for everyone on the team.”

Yet as training camp draws closer, the consensus is that Josh Rosen should start the season regardless of the circumstances. On the surface, it makes complete sense; Ryan Fitzpatrick is obviously not the future of the franchise, and yet throughout the offseason program, all reports indicated that Fitzpatrick was ahead of Rosen by leaps and bounds.

So why, given Flores’ comments, would it be acceptable to name Rosen the starter if everyone knows that Fitzpatrick is outplaying him?

Simple answer. It’s not.


Flores has a unique opportunity here in Miami. There is no established starter at quarterback, for the first time since Ryan Tannehill was drafted back in 2012, there is a legitimate competition to determine who will be throwing the football in 2019.

It behooves any coach to stay true to his word, particularly when he’s first starting out. If he says that all positions are up for grabs, then he must follow through on that statement, especially regarding the most important position on the team. It does not matter that Rosen is younger and has potential to be a franchise QB, it does not matter that the aging Fitzpatrick won’t be here beyond 2020 at the latest. Whoever wins the competition, regardless of the circumstances, should start the season.

That sends a message to the rest of the locker room: no position is above scrutiny. If you perform, you play. If you don’t, you’re benched. Players respect that when even QB is included.

And that is where Josh Rosen could see his chance. If he loses the competition, but Fitzpatrick starts to struggle during the season, Flores gets to keep his word and still let Rosen play and be evaluated.

If Rosen is truly franchise worthy, he won’t need all 16 games to be evaluated. He’ll make it known very quickly that he’s the man. So may the best man win.

 

Luis Sung (@LuisDSung) has written for Dolphins Wire and several other outlets. Photo by Tony Capobianco.

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