Brian Flores defends playing Fitzpatrick over Rosen

Brian Flores isn't interested in evaluating the quarterback position in Week 16, he's playing the QB that gives him the best chance to win.

Sitting at 3-11, the Miami Dolphins coach was peppered with questions Wednesday about why he's sticking with 37-year-old journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick instead of getting another look at 22-year-old Josh Rosen.

The main answer from Flores was that he must look at his players in the eye and tell them he's doing everything he can to get his team a victory. Fitzpatrick gives Miami the best chance at a W.

"I think it's easy for people to sit and say you should do this or that," Flores said, via the Palm Beach Post. "I don't think those same people would stand in front of that group and say, 'Hey, this is in the best interest of the team, for us to win this week.' And that's no knock on Josh. Maybe you think that's in the best interest. But you're not in front of this team every day. You're not in the trenches. And a lot of people aren't."

Players in the locker room know who the better player is. Fitzpatrick isn't a perfect quarterback, but he's far from the reason the Dolphins have lost games this season. With zero running game, a porous offensive line, and an up-and-down pass-catching crew, Fitzmagic has been the main reason Miami hasn't been a pushover the past month.

Rosen performed terribly when given a chance, displaying poor pocket mobility, missing too many throws and failing to move the offense with any regularity at all as the Dolphins consistently got blown out of the water. Flores going back to Fitzpatrick in Week 7 probably saved his locker room and helped propel Miami from laughingstock to three wins. They could make it four Sunday against the one-win Bengals.

Even though he's playing the clearly better quarterback, Flores was required to parry questions about giving Rosen one more shot to close the season for evaluation purposes.

"I think Josh has done a lot of good things in practice," Flores said. "He really has. He's thrown the ball well. He's making good decisions. He's throwing with more accuracy. At the end of the day, Fitz has played well also. And he's got rapport with the team. Not that Josh doesn't. He's building from that standpoint."

Here is the question for the Dolphins brass: Is there more to evaluate on Rosen?

The young quarterback clearly wasn't the answer behind a porous offensive line. That O-line certainly isn't changing this year. What would tossing him out there twice more prove? Of course, young players grow and can improve with seasoning, but is the team's mind already made up on Rosen's future in Miami? If so, playing Rosen would likely only signal to the locker room the team is back in obvious tank-mode.

Flores noted that his goal of building confidence and trust with his players might be different than the objective others have for the final two weeks.

"I think that is in the best interest of this team," Flores said of starting Fitzpatrick. "So I think this is, philosophically, I think people are going to feel differently about it."

Disagree with Flores if you'd like, but given what he's done with a roster that has shed talent faster than a snake molting its skin, the coach has earned the benefit of the doubt.

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