Brian Flores wasn't ready to commit to naming Ryan Fitzpatrick the Dolphins' starting quarterback for Sunday's upcoming game against the 49ers on Monday. On Tuesday, after Flores and his staff reviewed the film of Sunday's 31-23 loss to the Seahawks, the team announced that the 16-year veteran would continue to start over Tua Tagovailoa, the fifth overall pick in this year's draft.
Flores, who is in the midst of his second season as the Dolphins' coach, said Monday that he and his staff were evaluating each position on the roster ahead of Sunday's game in San Francisco. The Dolphins are currently 1-3 and in third place in the AFC East. This past Sunday, despite 415 yards of total offense, Miami fell at home to Russell Wilson and the undefeated Seattle Seahawks. While moving the ball against Seattle's defense wasn't an issue, Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins' offense was just 1-of-3 in the red zone.
Fitzpatrick, who completed 90% of his passes in Miami's Week 3 win over Jacksonville, also threw two interceptions in what was his worst performance since the Dolphins' season-opening loss to the Patriots.
"Red zone execution really falls on the quarterback," Fitzpatrick said after the game, via the Miami Herald. "So for me, I walk out of this game really feeling terrible because I felt a lot of the guys on our team played well enough to win and I, unfortunately, was not one of them.
"When that happens and your quarterback doesn't play up to his ability, you're not going win a lot of games."
Flores was asked Monday about Tagovailoa, who is still less than a year removed from surgery to repair his dislocated hip. Flores said that, while he believes that Tagovailoa is healthy enough to play, he does not want to rush his rookie quarterback into the starting lineup. Flores also said the success of Bengals rookie quarterback Joe Burrow and Chargers rookie Justin Herbert will not influence his decision as it relates to his rookie quarterback and when he should see the field.
"Look, the honest thing for me is what if it was my kid, and he had a serious injury like that, I wouldn't want his coach to be in a rush to throw him in there because of anything like that," Flores said, via the team's official website. "That's kind of how I approach this situation and really all situations with the players. They essentially are my kids. No one is going to pressure me into anything. When we feel like he is ready to go, we'll put him in."