Entering day 3 of padded training camp, the Miami Dolphins remain enthusiastic about its quarterback competition.
Leaving the door open for their trio of signal-callers — Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh Rosen, Tua Tagovailoa — head coach Brian Flores gave no indications that the job has been handed to anyone as of now.
“I think all three guys are really competing,” Flores told reporters prior to Wednesday’s practice. “
Still, the priority seems to currently spotlight Miami’s two experienced pro’s, as the Miami Herald claims that Fitzpatrick and Rosen served more “of a prominent role” than that of Tagovailoa in day 3 of camp.
The Alabama rookie was handed fewer snaps on team drills Wednesday, where he allegedly threw an impressive ball to undrafted receiver Kirk Merritt, along with other short and accurate passes.
While the reasoning for limiting Tagovailoa is unknown, a viable option could be load-management, especially with there still being time left to evaluate him.
At the end of the day, Miami’s main priority with Tagovailoa is to nurture him for the long-run while keeping him healthy and comfortable, considering that he comes off a season-ending hip injury at Alabama.
“Obviously he’s coming off the hip [injury], I think he’s looked good thus far from that standpoint,” coach Flores said on his No. 5 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
As for the possibility of restraining Tagovailoa during training camp following Dolphins linebacker Vince Biegel’s injury, Flores considers the circumstance “case by case.”
Biegel, who was competing to be a starting linebacker, suffered a torn left Achilles tendon during Tuesday’s practice, which likely keeps him out for the season.
“If guys can go and they’re feeling good and we revisit it really on a daily basis, again case by case, [then they won’t face load-management],” he said.
On a brighter note, coach Flores gave his take on the rookie’s performance prior to day 3, noting the positives and what he has to continue developing.
“Some good, some bad, a lot to improve upon. Some good throws, some good decisions, some throws that aren’t so good, some not so good decisions.”
As for the other two quarterbacks, while it’ll be an interesting competition, the heavy favorite remains Ryan Fitzpatrick, who started 13 games for the Dolphins last season.
According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Flores plans to start the 37 -year-old for Week 1 against the New England Patriots, pointing out that Fitzpatrick has worked with Miami’s new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey on two different occasions (Buffalo Bills, New York Jets) and have a solid understanding of each other.
“It’s less a health thing with Tua, it’s more, he’s going to have to beat out Ryan Fitzpatrick,” Garafolo said. “It’s not going to be about the hip, it’s not going to be, we’re going to redshirt this guy because he’s not ready to go physically. It’s really going to be about, let’s give him the time to develop if he’s not at the point to where he can beat out Fitzpatrick.”
Still, there’s no reason not to keep an eye on Josh Rosen, who’ll likely sit behind Fitzpatrick in 2020.
Entering training camp underlooked, Rosen has quickly impressed Dolphins players and coaches, with reporters attending fall camp noting strives in his game that’s helping him stand out over Fitzpatrick and Tagovailoa.
Regardless of who’s got the upper edge as of now, coach Flores is committed on getting all three of his guys a grip on Miami’s new style of play.
“It’s a new offense, so in terminology, on cadences. I think they’re all kind of picking it up quickly, making good decisions, for the most part, I think that’s something that we’ve kind of harped on is constantly making good decisions, smart decisions, whether it’s throwing the ball downfield or checking the ball down, picking up the third, picking up for first down.
“We get into our two-minute situations, getting us completions, getting us into field goal range rather than going for the big throw. But at the same time, we don’t want to be a check down team for the entire season either. There’s a lot that goes into it, from communication, getting guys lined up, in and out of the huddle, leadership standpoint.
“I think all three guys are coming along fairly well. And hopefully, we just continue on that trajectory.”