The decision by new Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores to start the season with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback is — surprise — good news for second-year quarterback Josh Rosen.
But it makes no sense for the Dolphins
Job No. 1 for Flores in his rookie season as a head coach is finding out whether Allen is his quarterback of the future or whether he needs to target one in the draft next year.
He is not to going to learn anything about Rosen while Rosen is sitting on the bench.
For Rosen, though, it may be to his benefit not to open the season as the starter. The Dolphins open the season hosting Baltimore and New England, and then go to Dallas and host the Los Angele Chargers before the bye.
The Dolphins figure to go something like 1-3 or 0-4 in those four games, then going to Rosen during the bye week would be a likely scenario.
But why not throw Rosen into the fire from the start to see how he handles it?
Flores probably thinks the veteran Fitzpatrick gives them a better chance to win at the start of the season.
“It is the best move for the team,” Flores said.
But what difference does it make if the Dolphins win a game with Fitzpatrick that they would have lost with Rosen?
They know Fitzpatrick is not their future. He is a classic journeyman whose main calling card is he played at Harvard. This is the eighth team he is starting for and the 20th quarterback to start for the Dolphins since Dan Marino retired.
Still, Fitzpatrick doesn’t lack confidence.
“I know I have more confidence in myself than anybody in the world,” he said. “Sometimes that’s a detriment, but a lot of times it works in my favor. I am always confident in who I am and what I am as a quarterback.”
Being from Harvard, he should be smart enough to know he is a journeyman who warms the seat until somebody better comes along.
Last year he opened the season starting at Tampa Bay because Jameis Winston was suspended. He led the Bucs to upset win over the New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles in the first two games but then became Fitzpatrick again and Winston got the job back. But he wasn’t much better, and Fitzpatrick got the job back in Week 9 as the Bucs wound up 5-11 and Dirk Koetter was fired and Fitzpatrick departed.
Now he is warming the seat for Rosen. The only question is when Rosen will take over. A first-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals last year, he started 13 games but was expendable after they drafted Kyler Murray.
Rosen knows he is likely to get a chance to start at some point.
“It is only a matter of time that this team is mine,” he said.
The question is how long it will be his.
Last year, the teams Rosen and Fitzpatrick played for both fired their coaches.
As a first-year coach, Flores will survive this season.
But there is also the question whether Flores has a long-term future in Miami.
He was a longtime assistant coach to Bill Belichick in New England, but Belichick’s former assistants have a history of failing as head coaches.
That’s because the coaches don’t make the difference in New England. The difference is Tom Brady.
Flores knows he is got to get the right quarterback if he is to beat the odds and become a successful head coach. If Rosen isn’t that QB, he needs to find another one next year.
Which brings us back full circle. It makes no sense to open the season with Rosen on the bench. Flores needs to be able to .evaluate him this year and find out if he is the long-term answer.