Dolphins’ quarterback battle between Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen is heating up, but Brian Flores is challenging Rosen for more
TAMPA — Josh Rosen struck DeVante Parker on a deep pass near the left sideline, highlighting a Dolphins joint scrimmage with the Bucs on Tuesday.
"DeVante is a special player," Rosen said. "Any time you get 1-on-1, you’ve kind of got to take it. He had a really good release, looked off the line, I tried to hold the safety a little bit, threw a ball up he ended up chasing down."
That Rosen was playing with Parker is your first clue that, yes, Rosen was granted a handful of reps with Miami’s projected starters on Tuesday.
"The more reps you get with anyone the better the chemistry," Rosen said. "I would agree with that."
Rosen showed off his strong arm and is demonstrating clear improvement over the last two weeks of training camp. But Dolphins coach Brian Flores wants to see more.
"I thought he practiced OK," Flores said. "I think he's got to do a better job of getting guys in and out of the huddle, his communication, body language. There were some plays there he didn't like and we've just got to move on to the next play."
Rosen worked on body language both at UCLA and in Arizona.
"The quarterback position, they're all looking at you," Flores said. "That's something they have to be conscious of."
Rosen sees Ryan Fitzpatrick modeling a steady ship and positive energy.
"I think especially when you get into competitive environments I tend to be very critical of myself," Rosen said. "I’m very competitive, so I have always worked that throughout my entire athletic career, since I’ve been a young kid."
Said Fitzpatrick, when speaking generally about leadership: "Guys are looking for you from something as little as the play call, to demeanor, in and out of the huddle. Bad plays, looking at you, to see how you're going to react. Good plays, looking at you, to see how you're going to react."
Neither Rosen nor Fitzpatrick was dominant in the joint practice, mainly because Miami’s offensive line struggled against the Bucs, placing them under consistent duress.
For Fitzpatrick, who started 10 games for the Bucs over the last two seasons, Tuesday was a homecoming. Last season, Fitzpatrick mentored Jameis Winston, and after practice, the two chatted about fatherhood.
Rosen is embracing Fitzpatrick as a father figure, too.
"He’s been unbelievably helpful," Rosen said. "He’s probably one of the best mentors I’ve had in the sport. He’s been an unbelievable teammate and very selfless in helping me so much."
Rosen believes in his arm talent and accuracy. He believes in his intelligence. He also acknowledges certain aspect of his game, notably identifying defenses and leadership are still a work in progress.
"I think I have a special skill set that when I put those two together, it could be special," Rosen said. "But it’s going to be a long road. A lot of film. A lot of studying."
Fitzpatrick, who has started games for eight NFL teams, despite being drafted in the seventh round in 2005, knows intangibles are as important as talent for a quarterback.
"I mean if being a quarterback was all based on speed, height, weight, arm talent, then I wouldn't be in the NFL," Fitzpatrick said.