Miami, FL (CBS 4)- The 2019 NFL season was always likely to be a long one for the Miami Dolphins. They entered the year with a first-time head coach, an uncertain quarterback position and a roster that appeared to be below average when compared with the rest of the league. So, the expectations for the team from the fan base were tempered.
But who thought it would be this bad?
Through six weeks of the season, the team is win-less and ranks either last or second to last in most categories both on offense and defense. There have been flashes of solid play at times, but they have largely been followed by miscommunications and breakdowns leading to lopsided scores. It has been tough for fans to watch, and it has already led to one player requesting and receiving a trade. Minkah Fitzpatrick was shipped off to Pittsburgh.
As for the players and coaches remaining, NFL on CBS sideline reporter Evan Washburn notes that they’re still giving all they can to go out and win games. But the organization’s approach has left most in a spot where they are just hoping to put together some good plays on tape.
“I think the players are going to do their best to set themselves up for success in the future of that organization or just put good tape on record heading into an offseason and finding a new home. That’s the reality,” said Washburn.
In a season like this, the organization seems to be figuring out which players it wants to keep for the long haul. The guy that has drawn the most questions in that regard is quarterback Josh Rosen, who the team acquired from the Arizona Cardinals in the offseason, just one year removed from being selected 10th overall. While Rosen has flashed at times this season, it doesn’t appear that he has shown the coaching staff enough for them to stick with him.
He was replaced by veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick in last week’s game against the Washington Redskins and the veteran has been named the starter for this week’s contest against the Buffalo Bills. It would seem unlikely, based on the way that the year has gone to this point, that Rosen will be the franchise’s long-term answer at quarterback, particularly considering the upcoming draft class of prospects.
Washburn agrees that it’s hard to see a scenario where the team doesn’t select a quarterback at the top of next year’s draft, but he still believes that, given time to work through things, Rosen can be a useful quarterback option.
“Josh Rosen still has the ability and just needs a stretch year, to try and work through what the rest of the quarterbacks in his draft class have had an opportunity to work through, whether that’s Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield. Those guys have all had their ups and their downs,” said Washburn. “And the reason they’ve been able to have both peaks and valleys is based off of time served. And he’s just not getting that time served. I hope it happens over the remaining 10 games of the season, even though it feels like the tug of Ryan Fitzpatrick giving Brian Flores and his staff the better chance to maybe grab a win here or there is too enticing in the third quarter, when Rosen has been ineffective.”
Giving Rosen the chance to continue to work through those struggles the rest of the year would give the organization a better idea of what they have in the 23-year-old, similar to much of the rest of the roster. But, with the news of Fitzpatrick starting this week, it doesn’t appear Rosen will have that consistent chance. Though, with the team set to go up against a Buffalo defense that, according to Washburn, frustrated Tom Brady more than any team in “a number of years, probably going back to a Denver AFC Championship game they lost in 2015”, it might be a good thing that Rosen isn’t starting.
Entering Sunday, the Dolphins are 17-point underdogs in Buffalo against the Bills. Kickoff for the game is set for 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time on CBS.