2005 Position Review: QB

With the Dolphins having completed their 2005 season, we break down the team by position with a look back at each player's performance as well as a look ahead to the offseason and next season. Today we take a look at the quarterbacks.

Who finished the season on the roster: Starter -- Gus Frerotte; backups -- Sage Rosenfels, Cleo Lemon

How they did: Frerotte won the starting job after beating out A.J. Feeley in training camp, even though neither had played well in the preseason games. Frerotte had his moments in 2005, but he was very inconsistent. His final completion percentage of 52.0 is way below par and his passer rating also was a mediocre 71.9. He had big games, such as the opener against Denver and the first New England game, but also missed too many passes. Rosenfels appeared in four games, the first coming when he threw one pass in mop-up duty against Kansas City and hit Chris Chambers for a long touchdown. That prompted calls for Rosenfels to replace Frerotte in the starting lineup, but those pleas ended after Rosenfels started at Cleveland with Frerotte injured and totally stunk up the joint. Rosenfels redeemed himself, however, with a brilliant performance in relief of an injured Frerotte when he brought the Dolphins back from a 23-3 deficit against Buffalo. As for Lemon, he was the third quarterback every week after being acquired in the Feeley trade with San Diego.

What's ahead: Coach Nick Saban said after the season that quarterback is a position the Dolphins need to look at, which means bad news for Frerotte and Rosenfels. The Dolphins will do whatever they can to acquire a veteran quarterback or draft a QB, perhaps both. Among the NFL options are potential free agent Josh McCown of Arizona, again starters who could be released such as Brett Favre of Steve McNair, or potential trade possibilities such as Washington's Patrick Ramsey, Minnesota's Daunte Culpepper or San Diego's Philip Rivers -- although Drew Brees' shoulder injury in the season finale might make the Chargers think twice about dealing a quarterback. Drafting 16th in the first round, the Dolphins can forget about getting Matt Leinart unless they trade up and there's now talk that Texas' Vince Young will go back to school for his senior. Vanderbilt's Jay Cutler could be a possibility in the first round, and the same goes for Notre Dame's Brady Quinn, should he decide to bypass his senior year of eligibility. Rosenfels will be an unrestricted free agent come March, and it's highly unlikely he'll return. Frerotte is signed through next year, but his return might depend on what the Dolphins can do in terms of acquiring a veteran. He certainly helped his cause with a strong finish. As for Lemon, he probably will be brought back although he remains a developmental project.

The bottom line: The quarterback play improved tremendously in 2005, but that's only because it was so bad in 2004. The reality is the Dolphins again need to get better at this position.


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