Josh Rosen has acquitted himself well in his first starting opportunity for Miami, completing 10-of-18 passes for 102 yards in a solid first-half effort against Tampa Bay. After Ryan Fitzpatrick sat atop the depth chart all week, head coach Brian Flores went with the former Cardinals first-rounder just an hour before kickoff.
Rosen also ate two sacks for a total loss of 13 yards. He led a last-minute drive that led to field goal and a 6-3 lead heading into halftime. If he plays in the second half, his stats will be updated.
While he only generated six points in the first 30 minutes, the former UCLA star avoided turnovers unlike in his preseason debut last week against the Falcons. He connected on 13-of-20 passes for 191 yards, but notched an interception in the 34-27 victory over Atlanta.
Rosen, the No. 10 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, struggled mightily with a dreadful Arizona team last season. He put up just 2,278 passing yards, 11 touchdowns and 14 picks for the 3-13 Cardinals.
With new head coach Kliff Kingsbury coming onboard in the offseason, Rosen was traded to South Beach to make room for No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray out of Oklahoma. While many came out of 2018 thinking Rosen wasn’t ready for live NFL action, Cardinals general manager Steve Keim just preferred Murray.
“You have to make the tough decisions and avoid the outside noise— ‘Why’d you give up on this guy? Why would you trade this guy?’…It’s unprecedented. I took (Rosen) in the top 10,” Keim said according to Dolphins Wire. “I just felt that (Murray) was a generational talent that I just couldn’t pass up.”
Murray is also adjusting to life at the professional level. After a solid first game, he regressed in his followup Thursday night in the loss to the Raiders. The 5-foot-10 Murray completed just 3-of-8 passes for 12 yards, adding a four-yard rush in the process. He was also sacked twice, including once for a safety.
Rosen or Fitzpatrick for Week One?
According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, Rosen started seeing reps with the first-team as early as Wednesday this week. However, he stresses that Fitzpatrick has the edge due to “body language.”
Flores raised the issue of “body language” on Tuesday. The coach spoke of how important it is to see the right body language from his players and coaches and added body language will be judged in the quarterback competition.
And while Flores made it clear Rosen needs to improve in that area, he didn’t really include Fitzpatrick as needing similar work. That’s because Fitzpatrick is the total package in that area.
“I think it’s always good,” Dolphins coach Brian Flores said of Fitzpatrick’s body language. “This is a guy who’s upbeat, who works hard. Football is very important to him. I think it’s good. He’s a leader on this team. He does a lot of really good things. I love having him.”
Rosen has sometimes given off an image of himself that some in the media have interpreted as a lack of focus. Flores is currently in the process of making sure this isn’t the case.
“From the naked eye, I think he has to do a better job getting guys in and out of the huddle, his communication, body language,” Flores said. “There were some plays there he didn’t like and we just have to move onto the next play.”
With a solid, albeit unspectacular effort on Friday night, the jury may still be out.