We are just six weeks into the 2019 NFL campaign, and some are already calling for Brian Flores’ head.
The Miami Dolphins hired Flores, a former New England Patriots defensive coordinator, during the offseason with the hope that he would bring that Patriot way to South Beach, but he has done anything but the sort thus far.
The Dolphins have gotten off to an 0-5 start, a start that wouldn’t look as inauspicious if it seemed like the franchise knew what the heck it was doing or had any concrete direction.
We all knew that Miami was going to be bad coming into this season. Just about everyone had the Dolphins pegged as the NFL’s worst team, and even if the Cincinnati Bengals and Washington Redskins may have something to say about it, it seems pretty clear that Miami is at the bottom of the barrel.
So when the Dolphins entered the year with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen jockeying for the starting quarterback role, everyone kind of assumed that Fitzpatrick would win the opening day job before eventually being replaced by Rosen.
And that was what happened early on.
Fitzpatrick started in Weeks 1 and 2, but after a couple of miserable performances, Rosen took over under center in Week 3, and the general consensus was that the second-year signal-caller would remain the starter for the rest of the year.
Not so fast.
Flores pulled Rosen midway through Miami’s loss to the Redskins this past Sunday and re-inserted Fitzpatrick. Now, it’s looking like Fitzpatrick has won his job back.
You have to ask: why?
Ryan Fitzpatrick is Ryan Fitzpatrick for a reason. No disrespect to Fitz, who is a great guy and is a perfectly capable backup, but the man turns 37 years old in November and has been a journeyman since entering the league in 2005.
By the time the Dolphins are ready to win, Fitzpatrick is likely going to be retired. He is not going to be a part of Miami for the long haul, and even if he were 10 years younger, you still would not want him as your quarterback going forward.
Meanwhile, Rosen is just 22. The jury is obviously still out on him, and there is a chance he never becomes a good NFL quarterback. He had a poor rookie year with the Arizona Cardinals, and he did not look good in any of his first three starts in South Beach.
But what did you expect?
There is virtually no talent around him. The Dolphins don’t have a good offensive line. They don’t have a good running game. They don’t have any reliable weapons in the aerial attack outside of DeVante Parker. They are bereft of good players, in general.
So benching Rosen because he is not performing well with a horrendous team around him is not a good look.
If Flores was going to do this, then he should have just stuck with Fitzpatrick as the quarterback for this season and either inserted Rosen late in the year or waited until the team could put more talent on the roster during the offseason.
By starting him and then benching him, you are risking destroying the kid’s confidence, and you are sending the wrong message to the rest of the team.
Once Flores handed Rosen the starting job, there should have been no turning back. That should have been it.
But apparently, Flores and Miami’s organization has no problem playing around and risking ruining its potential franchise quarterback.