Following training camp on Friday, Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores updated media and fans on the ongoing quarterback battle between Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen, as well as running backs Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage.
Earlier in the week, Flores made it clear that Fitzpatrick had a clear advantage to winning the starting role. Since, rumors have also surfaced that starting RB Drake is in jeopardy of losing his starting role.
Fitzpatrick, who is on to his eighth NFL team, signed a two-year contract in the offseason and has been in a starting battle with Rosen since who was dealt to the Dolphins during this year’s NFL draft.
“My hope is that he’s (Rosen) motivated every day regardless of what anyone says – me, the media, anyone. It doesn’t matter,” Flores said. “My dealings with Josh, and really everybody on this team, is they’re motivated internally. He’s (Rosen) a self-starter. He’s a guy who works hard, and he’s competitive. He’s a motivated individual, as well as are a lot of guys on this team.”
Despite his positivity about Rosen, Flores did not deny that Fitzpatrick has a clear advantage. He also did not comment on Fitzpatrick at all on Friday.
As for Drake and Ballage, Flores compared their strengths and confirmed that the starting spot is up for grabs.
“I think they’re both really good backs. I think they both can run with power. They both have speed. They both have good vision. I think they’re both explosive backs. I think they both do a good job in the pass game,” Flores said. “I think we learn something a little bit more every day – what guys can do, what they can’t do, what plays work better for some guys and don’t work as well for some other guys, what positions offensively, defensively, in the kicking game are the best fit.
Additionally, Flores is taking notes on how the backs work with others out on the field, especially the Dolphins’ offensive line.
“It also ties into the best groupings or pairs in some instances. I think it’s ongoing. I just think of something defensively. These two guys, they really do a good job of working games together, or this pair of offensive linemen do a good job of passing off games,” Flores said. “That’s an ongoing thing, and part of that is – we see it as coaches, but we need to see it on the field from a communication standpoint, from a fundamental standpoint. Both of those guys are good backs. We expect to see improvement and production from both guys.”
Miami will play in its first preseason game next Friday. As far as Flores is concerned, he’ll get a glimpse at just how well the RBs and QBs work together with the other position players. He will hope to get an idea of the direction he needs to go in naming the official starters.