Here were some of the postgame comments that stood out after the Dolphins’ 22-7 victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the third preseason game, along with some perspective:
“He played well, and that makes the decision harder. I think that’s pretty clear, clear and evident.”
— Quarterback Josh Rosen led the Dolphins to points on each of his two drives in the second half, including a 99-yard touchdown drive the first time he stepped on the field. It remains to be seen whether that ends up giving him the nod over Ryan Fitzpatrick as the starting quarterback at the start of the regular season, and Flores did not indicate a timetable for making that decision.
“We still have a long way to go, but we definitely took a step in the right direction today.”
— Linebacker Jerome Baker had another strong outing for the Dolphins defense, coming up with a game-high seven tackles, including one for loss, and a pass defensed — all in the first half. Baker likes what he’s seen from the defense so far in the preseason, at the same time understanding there’s still work to be done before the Sept. 8 season opener against the Baltimore Ravens.
“It’s what I’m here to do.”
— Defensive end Nate Orchard recorded two of the Dolphins’ three sacks against the Jaguars, dropping quarterback Gardner Minshew in the second and fourth quarters. Orchard, who joined the Dolphins in May, has demonstrated great pass-rushing ability in the past, recording 18.5 sacks for the University of Utah in 2014.
“You’ve just got to play fast. It comes natural. If you’re a football player, it’ll come naturally to you.”
— Chris Lammons had a big night on special teams with two big hits that stopped Jacksonville returners in their tracks. They were the kind of plays that make coaches take notice and can earn players a spot on the 53-man roster.
“I take every preseason game, regular season, postseason game, I have the same mind-set out there. I’m locked in. Whoever the opponent, whoever the receiver is, I’m all in.”
— Cornerback Eric Rowe recorded the Dolphins’ first interception of the preseason when he picked off Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles in the second quarter. Rowe was able to dive in front of the intended receiver as Foles threw in the face of pressure. Rowe appears to have the inside track as the starting cornerback opposite Pro Bowl selection Xavien Howard, and his performance Thursday certainly didn’t hurt his cause.
“I’ve really enjoyed being a Miami Dolphin, but there’s a lot of stuff that I need to work on and get better at, and that’s what this next week is for.”
— Running back Patrick Laird had another productive outing on offense, leading the team in rushing for a third consecutive game and scoring one of the Dolphins’ two touchdowns on the night. Laird has put himself in position to earn a spot on the 53-man roster, but he’s focusing solely these days on continuing to earn the respect of his coaches.