By: Carl Mahler and Kayla Morton
The Miami Dolphins play their fourth and final preseason game tonight away against the New Orleans Saints. Questions still loom about the starting quarterback position and final 53-man roster spots, so Dolphins head coach Brian Flores has a lot to consider in his new team’s final showing ahead of the regular season opener against the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 8.
The biggest question for Miami tonight is really to lock down its starting QB. Many would argue that it’s clear based on preseason play who should be chosen. However, if it were truly clear, the Dolphins would have already announced their starter.
Josh Rosen will look to build on his overall solid performances in preseason. He saw the most time in game two against Tampa Bay, but has played multiple series in all preseason games. Rosen’s most memorable drive came last week however against the Jacksonville Jaguars, when he capped off a 99-yard touchdown drive that finished with running back Patrick Laird punching it in from five yards out. He also nicely set up a successful two-point conversion attempt with Laird, but it was called off due to offensive holding. With Miami tacking on 10 additional yards to their special teams try, it elected to kick the extra point instead of try again. Rosen finished the game going 5-for-7 with 59 yards (8.4-yard average).
Ryan Fitzpatrick started the Dolphins’ previous preseason game and played the entire first half. He went 12-for-18 with 126 yards (7-yard average) and had one TD. His biggest drive of the game came when he capped off a perfect 7-for-7 series for 93 yards and threw a TD to running back Mark Walton.
With game four against the Saints, both Fitzpatrick and Rosen have one final chance to show out and finish the preseason strong in order to win the starting job.
Big names headed out of Miami?
Additionally, with the 53-man roster deadline on Saturday, rumors have been swirling around the about Miami possibly trading away different big-name parts of the team. Most notable, linebacker Kiko Alonso is likely to be cut (multiple reports) and wide receiver Kenny Stills’ name has popped up on the trade block. However, for a rebuilding team under new management, one shouldn’t be surprised if any name is safe from the trade block.
For certain players looking to make the 53-man roster, tonight is the final opportunity to take advantage. Game three saw a make or break for two big-name players in safety T.J. McDonald and defensive tackle Akeem Spence. Both were thought to have clear starter or backup roles with the team.
With this season clearly trending to be a rebuilding year for Miami, young, energetic defensive players should also be one of the things the team looks at the most. Hopefully they can put some more pieces together tonight against the Saints and in the practice time ahead of hosting the Baltimore Ravens for opening weekend.