Quarterback David Fales is pushing to become Dolphins' top backup

Quarterback David Fales saw the Miami Dolphins safety creeping up and Jakeem Grant a step behind the cornerback defending him and let it fly.

The play wasn’t called for Grant during the team’s first 11-on-11 session, but Fales has been leaning heavily on the receiver who regularly brags about being the team’s fastest player, and Grant delivered yet again on a deep post route, catching a 45-yard touchdown pass that set the tone for the final practice of the team’s offseason work.

Miami’s offense dominated on the last day before summer break for the players and coaches, and Fales had plenty to do with that, considering he and Ryan Tannehill each threw impressive touchdown passes during the 11-on-11 action.

“He did a good job of reading the alert, saw the safety bite down and took it over the top,” head coach Adam Gase said referring to Fales, who worked on improving his arm mechanics this offseason.

Fales and Grant have hooked up five times for big plays during Miami’s offseason sessions, and their level of productivity has helped elevate both players’ status on the team, according to head coach Adam Gase.

“He gets the ball out. He’s doing a good job,” tight end MarQueis Gray said of Fales. “His deep ball has been remarkable this offseason. Him and Jakeem [Grant] and [Mike] Gesicki, they’ve been hooking up a lot. They’ve been getting open a lot.”

Fales, a former San Jose State standout who is playing on his third team since being selected in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL draft, entered OTAs viewed as the underdog in the battle to determine who would serve as Tannehill’s backup.

This offseason the Dolphins signed veteran quarterback Brock Osweiler, who has started 26 games in his six NFL seasons, and it was believed that Osweiler’s experience, size, athleticism, and history with Gase would make him the front-runner.

However, Fales has outperformed Osweiler in the six practices the South Florida media has watched.

Both quarterbacks split the second-team reps, and Gase said that rotation will continue through training camp, and possibly carry over to the preseason depending on how each player performs in practices and games.

This might be Fales’ best chance to become a team’s top backup because he has a solid grasp of Miami’s offense from his previous times working with Gase and offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains.

Fales was with Miami for all of training camp of 2017 before being released in late August. He got re-signed in October when Jay Cutler suffered a rib injury last season.

Fales completed 27 of 54 passes last preseason, throwing for 424 yards and five touchdowns in the exhibition season, but didn’t make it onto the 53-man roster because the Dolphins decided to only carry two quarterbacks.

He played in two games last season after being re-signed, and replaced Cutler after one series in Miami’s season-ending 22-16 loss to the Buffalo Bills. In that game Fales completed 29 of 42 passes for 265 yards and threw one touchdown and one interception. He also gained 8 yards and ran for a touchdown on his two carries against the Bills.

What Gase likes about Fales, who owns a 79.1 passer rating for the four seasons he’s spent in the NFL, is that he makes quick decisions and throws with accuracy.

While Gase has a favorable opinion of Osweiler, earlier this spring he admitted Miami’s front-office executives had to convince him to sign Osweiler, who spent the first three years of his career working under Gase in Denver, where Gase served as the quarterback coach and offensive coordinator.

“It’s going to be a good competition,” Gase about the quarterback battle, which also includes former Jets quarterback Bryce Petty, who Miami claimed off the waivers in May. “That’s what we’re going to be doing through training camp, let those guys compete and see how it plays out.”

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