Veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was given the nod by Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores on Tuesday as the team’s starter heading into its first preseason game on Thursday against the Atlanta Falcons.
The 15-year veteran beat out second-year QB Josh Rosen in the early stages of training camp gearing up for the preseason games. However, Rosen is also expected to play Thursday.
“There’s no ‘(these are) your three plays and then you’re out.’ There’s no set parameters as far as the substitution process from that standpoint. I think they all know that it could be three plays, it could be 30 plays, it could be 50 plays,” Flores said. “If you slate somebody for three plays and they have three mental errors, I don’t think it’s time for that person to come out. Maybe they’re slated for 15 snaps and three look so bad that I don’t want to see it anymore.”
Flores and the coaching staff are meeting tonight to talk about which QB will work with the starting groups during Thursday’s game. Right now Fitzpatrick is confirmed to play with the first team. This includes both running backs Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage, as both are expected to bring a committee approach to Thursday’s contest.
“I would see ‘Fitz’ (Fitzpatrick) going with the ones as we’ve done, really the entire training camp. He (has) done a good job. Josh has done a good job. Again, the preseason games will tell us. It’s just another part of the evaluation,” Flores said.
Flores talked about how Fitzpatrick’s leadership on a play-by-play basis helped confirm his decision to name him as the preseason starter. He also said Fitzpatrick holds teammates accountable for good, bad and plays all around. Flores also emphasized that coaches can’t always be the ones to give positive or negative criticism, and players who hold their own teammates accountable in the appropriate ways stand apart from those who do not.
“I think it happens really on a play-to-play basis. If a guy makes a good catch, there’s a little interaction. If a guy misses a side adjust or a hot (route), there’s a little interaction. If a guy makes a good block that springs a run, there’s a good interaction. If a guy misses a block, there’s a not-so-good interaction,” Flores said. “As you grow as a team, you’ll start to see the leaders on the team holding guys accountable the way – and maybe even more so – than the coaches do.”
Fitzpatrick will lead Miami at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday in the first preseason game of the year.