Not yet 23 years old, second-year quarterback Josh Rosen hopes to be the starter for the Miami Dolphins when the season opens against the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 8. Online sportsbooks do not like the Dolphins odds because of that this season.
The 10th overall pick by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2018 NFL Draft, Rosen underwhelmed as a rookie, throwing for less than 2,300 yards and 11 touchdowns with 14 interceptions. There’s no denying Rosen’s potential and to this point in a young preseason, the UCLA product has been Miami’s best quarterback.
Rosen is battling with veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick for the starting job. Should he emerge, Rosen would become the youngest quarterback to start on Opening Day in franchise history. Here’s a look at the five youngest to do so for the Dolphins as it currently stands:
Age: 25 years, two months
After starting 13 games for an injured Chad Pennington in 2009, Chad Henne was tabbed to lead the Dolphins into the 2010 season. Henne would start 14 games that year and would open the 2011 season as the team’s starter. Henne lasted just four games before a season-ending injury and would make the trip slightly north to start the 2012 campaign with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
4. Ryan Tannehill (2012)
Age: 24 years, two months
The first Miami Dolphins’ quarterback drafted in the first round in 29 years, Ryan Tannehill wasted no time assuming the role of starter. Tannehill made his first start in Week 1 of the 2012 season against the Houston Texans. It was a rocky start as the Texas A&M product was picked off three times in a 30-10 loss. Tannehill would spend six years as the starting quarterback for the Dolphins, but went just 42-46 in 88 starts.
After starting every game in each of his first four years with the Dolphins, Tannehill led Miami to an 8-5 start in 2016 before going down with a season-ending knee injury. Tannehill re-injured the knee prior to the start of the 2017 campaign and missed the entire year. Although Tannehill certainly deserves a lot of credit for Miami’s success in 2016, it should be noted that he never appeared in a playoff game.
3. Bob Griese (1968)
Age: 23 years, seven months
A 2-time Super Bowl champion in Miami, Bob Griese threw for 192 yards and two touchdowns in a win over the Denver Broncos in the 1967 opener, but it was actually John Stofa who made the start. Griese’s first opening day start came in 1968 in a 24-10 loss to the Houston Oilers. Griese was intercepted three times in the defeat, but when all was said and done, Griese would start 151 games for Miami. Griese made six Pro Bowls in 14 years with the Dolphins and started in the franchise’s only two Super Bowl victories.
Age: 22 years, 352 days
After going 7-2 in nine starts in 1983, Dan Marino would make his first Week 1 start to kick off the 1984 season and what a performance it was. Marino finished the day 21-for-28 passing for 311 yards and five touchdowns in a 38-21 victory over the Washington Redskins. That year, Marino would rewrite the NFL record books with then records of 5,084 yards passing and 48 touchdown passes while leading Miami to the Super Bowl. Marino would start the next 15 openers for Miami and would retire following the 1999 season as the NFL’s all-time leading passer.
Age: 22 years, 10 months
The youngest quarterback in Miami Dolphins’ history to start on Opening Day happened to be Dan Marino’s predecessor. David Woodley was two months from his 23rd birthday when he quarterbacked Miami to a 20-7 Week 1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals to open the 1981 season. Known largely as a game manager for the Dolphins and for splitting time with Don Strock, Woodley passed for 178 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the victory over the Cardinals. It would be Woodley’s first of three straight Opening Day starts.
Mike Ferguson is a contributor for The Grueling Truth, covering Florida sports and sports history. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeWFerguson. To keep up with all of his work, like his Facebook page.