With the hope for the Miami Dolphins franchise at an all time high, there is one player who has all but been cast aside. Former first round pick Josh Rosen. Although many do not believe him to be the future in Miami, with a QB likely being selected in the first round for the Phins, there have been indications that the team is not completely giving up on the 23 year old.
Firstly, context is key here as in most everything. Not only was Rosen in a system which did not translate well to the pro’s at UCLA, his first two seasons in the NFL did not prepare him for success. When he was selected as a Cardinal one spot before Miami in 2018, he went to a franchise which did not know up from down. His offensive line was worst in the league and his Head Coach was fired before the season even ended. The team had no semblance of balance, as their stars were an injured David Johnson and an aged Larry Fitzgerald.
Rosen was thrust into the starting role, and despite some horrific numbers, he did flash ability to thrive at the next level. As we all know, the Cards selected Kyler Murray and dealt the former Bruin to the Phins for a second round pick. The move was a good one for both sides. The Dolphins got to work with a talented prospect who needed serious refinement while the Cardinals dumped a potentially toxic situation in their QB room for both youngsters.
We all know the result. Rosen was eventually handed the reigns for Miami, but following some rough showings Coach Flores pulled the second year signal caller in favor of Fitzmagic. In terms of building a winning culture the move was essential. Fitzy gave the team hope and rallied them to a 5-4 finish down the stretch, something seemingly unimaginable in early November. With the season leaving Rosen behind, and the national media as well, where does the kid from Cali and a rocket arm go?
Let’s be clear. The Dolphins will play the best man available. And right now, regardless if it is Herbert, Tua, Fitzpatrick, or Rosen, the one who shows the most consistency in the offseason will be given the reigns to start. Is Rosen in the long term plans for Miami? Barring something amazing that is in serious doubt… but not impossible.
Rosen was given something that had never happened prior. Time to sit and learn. Absorb the NFL game from the sidelines, taking mental reps and seeing first hand how a professional should operate. Fitzpatrick took the 23-year old under his wing and there is no doubt that Rosen should be improved. His issues were never arm strength or accuracy, it was processing and decision making. These are things which can be learned and #3 never gave the coaching staff a reason to think he could not. In fact, the staff has only been positive on Rosen’s growth.
Flores spoke about his young QB in December stating:
“I think Josh has done a lot of good things in practice. He really has. He’s throwing the ball well, he’s making good decisions, he’s throwing with more accuracy. At the end of the day, ‘Fitz’ has played well also and he has a rapport with the team. Not that Josh doesn’t – Josh does as well and he’s building from that standpoint…you can see the improvement. But we just feel like going with ‘Fitz’ is the best thing for us to win the game or to try to win the game on Sunday.”
It is clear that the the coaches have been up front inside and outside of the building in terms of what they want to see from Rosen. Flores continued:
“From meetings to walkthroughs to all of the preparation, as a coaching staff we’re with them on a daily basis and I think we have a good feel for what that is. To answer your question, for Josh and the steps he’s got to take, I think he’s taken those steps. I think in due time, he’ll get his opportunity.”
Now whether that opportunity is in aqua and orange or elsewhere, the fact that Flores spoke about improvement is key. Although it appears the Dolphins are all in on a quarterback, one thing is clear: this regime will not be pressured into anything. If a team behind them makes a move with Detroit to nab Tua, do not expect the Dolphins to give up a ransom as well. It is not in their DNA. Instead, the team will use those picks to build a strong overall roster, something that is more important to a team’s success long term. If the offensive line is bolstered, then the entire offense will improve. The team could very well go into 2020 with only Fitz and Rosen, and although many scoff, the talent Rosen has once refined can lead to victory. He has shown it before, and giving up on a talented 23 year old who has been given no shot to succeed is frankly asinine.
If the team feels there is a better option then so be it, but this is not the end of Rosen’s career by any stretch. He has shown far too much to be considered a bust at this point in time. Maybe just maybe, he is in Miami’s plans far more than people assume.
What do you think of Rosen? Is he done in the NFL? Miami? Or do you think there is a potential fit long term with this regime? Let us know in the comments below.