Dolphins' Brian Flores: Ryan Fitzpatrick starting Thursday doesn't mean he'll start Week 1

Yahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports

Among the 32 NFL teams, there is arguably only one that has anything resembling a quarterback battle: the Miami Dolphins.

(Unless the Washington Redskins surprisingly decide rookie Dwayne Haskins should be the starter, which, it’s Washington and anything is possible.)

The Dolphins signed veteran journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick in March, but then traded for 2018 first-round pick Josh Rosen during the draft.

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Fitzpatrick has seemed to have the upper hand as the Week 1 starter, but on Monday, coach Brian Flores indicated that may not be the case.

‘I wouldn’t say that’s accurate’

Miami Dolphins Josh Rosen, left, and Ryan Fitzpatrick represent about the only quarterback battle in the NFL this summer.
Miami Dolphins Josh Rosen, left, and Ryan Fitzpatrick represent about the only quarterback battle in the NFL this summer.

Meeting with media before practice, Flores was asked if it’s accurate to say that because Fitzpatrick is starting this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars that he’ll be the starter for the regular-season opener against the Baltimore Ravens next month.

“I wouldn’t say that’s accurate,” Flores said. “I would say we go into every game trying to evaluate every player on the team. Obviously this is the third preseason game and the thought is, ‘ok, this is the dress rehearsal for regular season game No. 1’.

“In a lot of ways it is that, but every game is important to me. Every time we step out there against another opponent it’s a great evaluation for everyone on the team. This week’s no different. That’s what I would say about that.”

Switching quarterbacks on a week-to-week basis is rarely a formula for success, but Flores said Miami will go with whoever — and however many quarterbacks — give the team the best chance to win.

“The guy who will help us win, who we feel will give us the best chance to win games,” he said. “If that’s one quarterback, if that’s four quarterbacks. In a best case scenario, it is one person. But things happen; we have to be ready to adapt, guys go down at all positions, we have to be ready to adapt and have the next man up mentality.”

‘We need to see improvement’

Rosen is in a tough situation. Drafted 10th overall last year by the Arizona Cardinals, he played under two offensive coordinators and behind one bad offensive line. Now he’s had to learn a different system in a shorter amount of time than Fitzpatrick has had.

But Flores seemingly opened the door a bit, and was asked what Rosen has to do to get the job as starter.

“We need to see improvement. He can’t take as many sacks as he’s taken,” Flores said. “He’s got to get command of the offense and get the ball out quicker. ...

Sometimes taking the sack is the right play. Sometimes you have to get the ball out quicker.”

Rosen started against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday night and completed 10-of-18 passes for 102 yards; he was sacked three times.

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