Rest assured, both Fitzpatrick and Rosen want to be lining up behind center for that first offensive snap Sept. 8 at Hard Rock Stadium when the Baltimore Ravens come to town for the regular season opener.
But the focus for each is on himself.
“I’m not focusing on the competition at all,” Rosen said after practice Tuesday. “I obviously care about playing and all this, but in terms of where I stand, I really couldn’t care less about the whole competition. I’m really just trying to be the best that I can be. Fitz is trying to be the best that he can be. We’re trying to help each other. A rising tide raises all ships. Either one of us that proves worthy to rise the tide the most, I guess, will be the guy. But it’s about becoming the best quarterback that you can be. It’s not about just kind of one-upping the guy next to you because that sort of defeats the purpose of being a teammate in the first place.”
Fitzpatrick, heading into his 15th NFL season, is no stranger to starting battles.
He said there’s nothing different about this particular one.
“It really is just another day,” Fitzpatrick said. “It’s just another day in the life for me. Like I’ve told you guys a million times already — I hate repeating myself — but I try to be the best person I can be, the best player I can be. Usually for me, throughout my career, things have fallen into place when that happens.”
Head Coach Brian Flores once again addressed the QB battle when he spoke to the media Tuesday and said it would not be accurate to suggest that whoever has the best performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night will be the starter for the regular season opener.
“There’s been a lot of practice reps, game reps, from the spring to training camp to games to our practices last week with Tampa, for it to come down to one game, no, I don’t think it’s that,” Flores said. “I think as a staff, we’ve talked about this position — as well as every other position on this team — a lot. We’ve spent a lot of time on it. We’ll make the decision we feel is best for this team and this organization.”
Having been around as long as he has, Fitzpatrick has simple goals when it comes to preseason, mainly to have good communication in and out of the huddle, be efficient, and get hit.
Yes, get hit.
That explains his decision to take on Tampa Bay safety Darian Stewart in the middle of the field at the end of a scramble Friday night instead of the customary quarterback slide.
“Since growing up, I know that the quarterback has a certain aura to it or whatever it is, but I’ve always been a football player,” Fitzpatrick said. “That’s something that even though I’m old and getting gray hairs in my beard now and stuff, that’s never going to go away. I’m a competitor and I like to consider myself a football player, at least a little bit. (laughter)”
The move was a big hit — pardon the pun — with Fitzpatrick’s two oldest kids, two football-playing sons who always like to ask questions.
“Last week the main question was about me hitting that guy,” Fitzpatrick said. "They liked that one. (laughter) … Every preseason, like I said, I like to get hit once or twice. That was just a good one to make sure that everything was in place and still worked and then I can move on from it.”
Rookie first-round pick Christian Wilkins recorded 10.5 sacks the past two seasons at Clemson, so he’s got some pass-rushing ability and he showed a glimpse in the preseason game against Tampa Bay with his first NFL sack.
Wilkins brought down quarterback Blaine Gabbert on a third-and-goal from the 6-yard line to force Tampa Bay to settle for a field goal after the Bucs had a first-and-goal from the 5.
“That was pretty cool,” Wilkins said. “Hopefully there’s many more to come. I’ll keep working hard, so I could get a few more of those because it felt good and I like that feeling. The biggest thing is not just for my own gratification or anything like that, I just love being able to help the team as much as I can. If I’m doing that, then I’m helping the team win.”
Hard Knocks watch
The Oakland Raiders are the team featured this year on HBO’s annual training camp reality television show “Hard Knocks.”
The Raiders roster features three rookies from Clemson — defensive end Clelin Ferrell, cornerback Trayvon Mullen and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow. Those three players helped Wilkins win two national titles the past three years.
So, not surprisingly, Wilkins has been watching “Hard Knocks,” whose third of four episodes is scheduled for Tuesday night.
“Of course,” Wilkins said. “Watching Clelin, Renfrow, Treyvon Mullen, all my guys. I’m just sitting back down laughing because they’re getting Cle at his finest.
“I’ve been able to keep up with my guys because Cle was my brother on the D-line, one of my best friends. Renfrow, again one of my best friends. Mullen, a great teammate of mine. They actually don’t get enough TV time. I want it to be strictly them so I can watch my guys and keep up with them.”
Sign of appreciation
The Dolphins stepped up in a big way last month to help out the Miami Edison High football team after a fire at the school destroyed pretty much all of its equipment.
Now, Edison football coach Luther Campbell is showing his gratitude after the Dolphins rode down to the school to donate a truck full of equipment and supplies.
Campbell posted a picture on Twitter on Tuesday displaying a new banner on the fence at the school, which features the Dolphins logo and the message: “Thank you for your support in Miami Edison’s time of need!”
Wide receiver Allen Hurns was back at practice after sitting out Monday.
The list of players sitting out practice Tuesday included S T.J. McDonald, LB Raekwon McMillan, WR DeVante Parker, RB Kenyan Drake, LB Andrew Van Ginkel, LB Kiko Alonso, LB Chase Allen, S Walt Aikens and WR Albert Wilson.