Rosen earns coach’s praise

Flores lauds young QB, who keeps plug­ging away in prac­tice

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS WEEKEND - By Omar Kelly

DAVIE — There’s a Cal­i­for­nia cool that comes with Josh Rosen, which ex­plains why he isn’t stress­ing his sec­ond pro­fes­sional sea­son, with his sec­ond NFL team.

The Mi­ami Dol­phins quar­ter­back, who won and then lost the start­ing spot to Ryan Fitz­patrick ear­lier this sea­son, is qui­etly work­ing. He’s hon­ing his craft, push­ing to be­come the best ver­sion of him­self on and off the field.

In Rosen’s mind, what comes from that is what was meant to be.

Rosen called the last few weeks “en­cour­ag­ing” be­cause he knows his grasp of the Dol­phins of­fense, and play­book has dras­ti­cally im­proved.

“I’m just con­tin­u­ing to study and shad­ow­ing Fitz, and watch­ing our of­fense in more games to see how ev­ery­thing plays out,” Rosen said. “I’m find­ing all kinds of ways to im­prove, whether it be [run­ning] scout team cards, or in the film room watch­ing our of­fense on the field.”

Rosen’s pri­mary fo­cus has been on get­ting the ball out quicker be­cause de­fenses “get to you re­ally quickly” in the NFL.

While Dol­phins coach Brian Flores has been non­com­mit­tal about whether Rosen, a 2018 first-round pick whom the Dol­phins traded a 2019 sec­ond and 2020 fifth-round se­lec­tion to Ari­zona to ac­quire, will start an­other game this sea­son, Flores ac­knowl­edges the 22-year-old is im­prov­ing.

This week Flores praised Rosen for the job he did im­i­tat­ing Ea­gles quar­ter­back Car­son Wentz, ex­e­cut­ing Philadel­phia’s of­fense to get the Dol­phins first-team de­fense pre­pared for Sun­day’s game.

That a role Rosen ad­mits he’s em­braced since the de­mo­tion.

“He’s mak­ing progress. He’s in early. He’s study­ing. He’s go­ing through his prac­tice clips, his prac­tice plays, go­ing through his pro­gres­sion,” Flores said. “[He’s] try­ing to get the ball out quickly, try­ing to make the right reads. Tak­ing shots [down­field] when he can take shots.”

Rosen pos­sesses a 52.0 passer rat­ing for the 109 passes he’s at­tempted this sea­son. That’s the low­est passer rat­ing for any quar­ter­back who has at­tempted at least 10 passes in 2019, and his 53.2 com­ple­tion per­cent­age is the third low­est in the NFL for quar­ter­back who have at­tempted at least 10 passes.

Only Den­ver’s Bran­don Allen (46.4) and Cincin­nati’s Ryan Fin­ley (47.1), have been worse.

Rosen would cer­tainly like an op­por­tu­nity to re­deem him­self, but he’s not cer­tain that one will come and clearly isn’t lob­by­ing for it.

“I don’t know,” Rosen re­sponded when asked if he’d be dis­ap­pointed if he didn’t start an­other game this sea­son. “I’m re­serv­ing judg­ment. It’s not re­ally my call. What­ever he asks me to do, I’ll do.”

Rosen de­liv­ered three unim­pres­sive per­for­mances in his starts this sea­son, and his strug­gles in a 17-16 loss to the Wash­ing­ton Red­skins, a game where Fitz­patrick ral­lied the team back from be­hind be­fore the of­fense failed to con­vert on a two-point con­ver­sa­tion that would have de­liv­ered a win, got him de­moted. And with the ex­cep­tion of one se­ries against the Colts we haven’t seen Rosen on the field since.

With five games left in the 2019 sea­son it would be ideal for the Dol­phins to given Rosen an­other op­por­tu­nity to lead the of­fense.

Rosen en­tered the first two games of the sea­son late in the fourth quar­ter as a backup to fin­ish out blowout losses, and it is pos­si­ble he can re­turn to do­ing so in the sea­son’s fi­nal months.

It’s also pos­si­ble Mi­ami could swap out start­ing quar­ter­backs, giv­ing Rosen a chance to start the sea­son’s fi­nal few con­tests, which fea­tures three road games against the Jets, Gi­ants and Pa­tri­ots, and a crit­i­cal Dec. 22 home game against the Cincin­nati Ben­gals.

The three-game stretch that fol­lows Sun­day’s game against the Ea­gles will likely hold draft day ram­i­fi­ca­tions be­cause the Gi­ants (Dec. 15) and Ben­gals (Dec. 22) presently sit ahead of Mi­ami in the pro­jected draft or­der, which is based on record, and each team’s strength of sched­ule.

Fin­ish­ing the 2019 with five straight losses, which would pro­duce a 2-14 record, could help the Dol­phins se­cure one of the top three draft spots, which would be enough to land Ohio State pass rusher Chase Young, LSU quar­ter­back Joe Bur­row and Alabama quar­ter­back Tua Tago­v­ailoa.

The Dol­phins are al­ready ex­per­i­ment­ing with young, de­vel­op­men­tal of­fen­sive line­men, start­ing Julien Daven­port at left tackle and Shaq Cal­houn at right guard, so why not give Rosen an­other test drive to see the im­prove­ments he’s made.

“[There’s] al­ways room for im­prove­ment. Room for a lot of im­prove­ment con­sid­er­ing the cir­cum­stances,” Rosen said. “What­ever he wants me to do I’ll do this year, and next year. That has yet to be ad­dressed.”

JOHN MCCALL/SUN SENTINEL

Mi­ami Dol­phins quar­ter­back Josh Rosen throws against the Wash­ing­ton Red­skins dur­ing the first half at Hard Rock Sta­dium in Mi­ami Gar­dens on Oct. 13.

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