Rosen earns coach’s praise
Flores lauds young QB, who keeps plugging away in practice
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.”
Miami Dolphins quarterback Josh Rosen throws against the Washington Redskins during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on Oct. 13.