DAVIE (AP) — Josh Rosen is starting to look like a backup, and the perennial problem of bad blocking has prompted a coaching staff change less than a week into training camp. Otherwise, the Miami Dolphins’ offense is taking shape nicely.
Rosen joined the Dolphins in April as their latest hope to become a franchise quarterback, but on Tuesday, coach Brian Flores said journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick has emerged as the front-runner for the starting job.
“Ryan Fitzpatrick is leading the way,” Flores said. “He has been more productive. He runs the offense very efficiently. He has great rapport with the entire team; he has a lot of leadership ability. “It’s still a competition. But as we stand today, Ryan has done a really good job.”
Fitzpatrick has practiced well while working behind a patchwork line with four positions open. The situation up front became more unsettled Monday when Flores fired offensive line coach Pat Flaherty and replaced him with Dave DeGuglielmo, who had been an analyst for the coaching staff.
“Gug is a very good coach,” Flores said. “I saw him as a better fit within the coaching staff and with the team. I went with my gut.”
It will be DeGuglielmo’s third stint as Miami’s offensive line coach. He held the job in 2009-11 and for part of 2017, and last year was offensive line coach for the Indianapolis Colts.
The Dolphins have ranked 24th or worse in yardage each of the past four seasons, with blocking the primary problem. Left tackle Laremy Tunsil ranks among the NFL’s best left tackles, but the other four starting jobs are open.
There were several changes in the depth chart up front for Tuesday’s practice.
“That unit is so vital to the success of this team, and we need to get that right,” Flores said.
The first-year coach is now without the two top assistants he hired after taking the job in February. Earlier this month, assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell took a leave of absence to address health issues.
While the outlook with the line remains muddled, the quarterback situation has gained clarity, increasing the likelihood Miami will still be in the market for a long-term solution next offseason. The Dolphins began camp without Ryan Tannehill for the first time since 2011, and Fitzpatrick is a stopgap option entering his 15th NFL season.
Fitzpatrick worked with the first team throughout offseason drills and in most practices has looked better than Rosen, who endured a rocky rookie season last year after being drafted in the first round by Arizona.
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