Josh Rosen was obviously disappointed when he heard the news from head coach Brian Flores that Ryan Fitzpatrick was named the Miami Dolphins starting quarterback, but you wouldn't know it from listening to him speak. Wiser than his experience in the league suggests, Rosen acknowledged the quarterback competition is far from over.
"I think I've just got to play football like I know how to play football. In our discussion when (Coach Flores) told me 'Fitz' (Fitzpatrick) was going to get the job, he told me that I've made a lot of really good, steady upward progress," Rosen said after Thursday night's preseason finale versus the Saints. "I think it's only time that this team is mine, but until then I'm going to be as supportive a backup as I can, and like I said, push him every single day."
The quarterback battle was so close between Rosen and Fitzpatrick it took Flores four preseason games to name the starter. Based on the preseason numbers, Rosen appeared to have the edge over Fitzpatrick. Rosen completed 62.2% of his passes (28 of 45) for 352 yards and interception while Fitzpatrick completed 53.1 of his passes (17 for 32) for 166 yards and a touchdown.
In the third preseason game, Rosen led the Dolphins on a 13 play, 99 yard drive that showed the progress he made over the past month. That helped stall Flores's decision for a week, which helped Rosen in his quest for the job.
"I think I'm in a pretty good spot. It's not the spot I'd prefer to be in at the moment, but it doesn't change my progression as a quarterback," Rosen said. "That's why I'm really focusing on what I can do day-to-day. In terms of my progression as a quarterback, I think I'm substantially better a quarterback now than I was three weeks ago and a way better quarterback than I was a year ago. On this progression, I think the future is pretty bright. I'm excited. I wouldn't say it's a setback, but the temporary – it's not even a hurdle to cross over; it's part of the journey."
The Dolphins face four of the league's best defenses in the first four weeks before the bye in Week 5. Miami opens up the season at home against the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots, followed by a road trip to the Dallas Cowboys than a home game against the Los Angeles Chargers. All four defenses finished in the top-10 in points allowed per game while three of the four finished 2018 in yards allowed per game.
Fitzpatrick is one play away from the Dolphins turning to Rosen for good.
"The battle and competition never stops. I'll push him every single day for him to get better, and if he doesn't get better, I'll hopefully surpass him at some point," Rosen said. "We're teammates. We're both Dolphins, and I'm rooting for him as hard as anyone because I think – as I said before – a rising tide raises all ships. I think our quarterback room has a lot of good talent and I think it's making me better as well."