The fact that Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has taken the early lead in the competition to become the Week One starter means a lot, but it also doesn’t mean very much at all.
It doesn’t mean much because, indeed, it’s early. It also doesn’t mean much because we’ve seen this movie before, throughout the many-years career of part-Fitzmagic, part-Fitztragic. When we expect nothing, he plays well. After he plays well enough to raise expectations, he stumbles off a cliff. Thus, regardless of how long Fitzpatrick holds the top spot, he’s destined to eventually surrender it.
That said, it means a lot because it gives the Dolphins a chance to monitor the manner in which Josh Rosen deals with disappointment. It’s one thing to watch him from afar as the Cardinals jerk him around before drafting Kyler Murray. It’s another thing to watch him up close as he processes failing to fulfill the presumption that he’ll be the starter.
It’s tempting to wonder whether the Dolphins are simply testing Rosen. At some point during a football season, he’s going to face real adversity. Why not throw some adversity in his face right out of the gates?
Whether planned or not, that’s where Rosen is. How he handles it will shed plenty of light on whether he’ll be the long-term answer in Miami.