Rosenfels, Sage : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Rosenfels, Sage

After an outstanding college career at Iowa State University -- where Rosenfels led the Cyclones to their first-ever bowl victory -- Sage was selected by the Washington Redskins in the fourth round of the 2001 NFL Draft. Traded to the Miami Dolphins prior to the 2002 campaign, he was a backup quarterback for Miami. For years (though the 2004 season) the Miami quarterback he backed up was the only other Jewish quarterback in the NFL, Dartmouth grad Jay Fiedler.

In Miami's last game of the 2004 season, Sage started his first game for the Dolphins with both Fiedler and quarterback A.J. Feeley injured. Rosenfels launched his first NFL start in grand style, throwing a 76-yard touchdown pass to Chris Chambers on his initial play. For the game, Rosenfels went 16-for-38 for 264 yards and three interceptions as Baltimore edged Miami 30-23.

Prior to the 2006 season, Sage became a free agent and signed to be a quarterback for the Houston Texans.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. March 6, 1978

Career Highlights:
An excellent all-around athlete, Sage played football, basketball, baseball, tennis, and track and field in high school. Redshirted as a freshman at Iowa State in 1996, Rosenfels saw limited action in a combined 6 games during the 1997 and 1998 seasons. In 1999, he became the Cyclones starting quarterback and made his presence felt immediately. Although the team had a record of 4-7-0, Rosenfels was outstanding, with 1,781 passing yards (127-235) and 10 touchdowns. He also ran 80 times for 225 yards and 4 touchdowns, and his 2,006 yards of total offense was the tenth best single-season mark in school history. A marketing major, Sage was named second team Academic All Big 12, and received Iowa State's Academic Achievement Award.

In 2000, Rosenfels was named Iowa State's team captain, and led the Cyclones to one of their best seasons in history. He completed 172 of 323 passes for 2,298 yards (third all-time in school history), with 8 touchdowns. Selected as ISU's offensive MVP and honorable mention All-Big 12, Sage also ran for 10 touchdowns, and led the team to a 8-3-0 regular season record and a berth in the Bowl. In the bowl game, their first since 1978, Rosenfels threw for 308 yards and 2 TDs on 23-34 passing as the Cyclones defeated Pittsburgh, 37-29, for the school's first-ever bowl victory. Sage was named offensive player of the game, and said following the bowl win, "It was a great feeling to be part of such a special team. We didn't do anything pretty this year, but we found a way to win." The Cyclones finished with the school's first 9-win season since 1906, and were ranked in the nation's top 25 teams by both the AP and USA Today/ESPN final polls.

Sage finished his career among the school's all-time leaders in passing yards (4,164 -- third all-time) and total offense (4,824 -- second). Although he played in a run-oriented offense, Sage's passing, speed, and overall athleticism drew the interest of NFL teams. In the 2001 NFL Draft, he was selected by the Washington Redskins in the fourth round, and was the team's third-string quarterback during the 2001 season, during which he did not play in a game. The Redskins finished the year with a record of 8-8; they were the first team in NFL history to win 5 consecutive games after beginning the season 0-5.

Under new head coach Steve Spurrier, Sage was the starter on August 2, 2002, in Washington's first exhibition game, played against the San Francisco 49ers in Osaka, Japan. Spurrier gave the nod to Rosenfels because he was the only incumbent from the 2001 season. After a rough start (two incompletions and an interception in his first three attempts), Sage settled down and played the entire first half, finishing 10-20 for 172 yards and two touchdowns as the Redskins walloped the 49ers, 38-7. Rosenfels, who has admitted he has never seen anything like Spurrier's offense, said after the game, "I was a little nervous when I started out there, but think I responded well. I don't have that much experience, so it took me a little while to get comfortable." Sage was traded to the Miami Dolphins prior to the 2002 regular season.

When Miami starter Jay Fielder broke his thumb in the Dolphins' 24-22 win over Denver on October 13, 2002, backup Ray Lucas was promoted to starter, and Rosenfels rose to second-string quarterback. On November 4, Lucas was injured toward the end of the first half against the Green Bay Packers (a 24-10 loss), and Rosenfels made his first appearance in an NFL game when he replaced Lucas. Sage played five plays at the end of the half before Lucas returned after halftime to finish the game. The Dolphins finished the season 9-7 and tied for first in the AFC East, but missed the playoffs due to tiebreakers.

Miami's personnel chief observed that, "Sage is a young kid who has a lot of upside. The biggest knock on him coming out of college was if he had enough arm strength. He has proven in preseason and since he has been here that he has more than enough arm strength to do what he needs to do."

Maquoketa, Iowa

Career Dates:
Rosenfels played quarterback at Iowa State University from 1997-2000. He played for the Washington Redskins in 2001, and was traded to the Miami Dolphins in 2002, where he currently remains.

Physical description:
6'4", 220 pounds

Career Statistics:
In the NFL (through the 2004 season):
Games: 9 (one start)

Passes completed: 20
Passes attempted: 48
Passing percentage: 41.7
Passing yards: 314
Passing touchdowns: 2
Interceptions thrown: 3
Quarterback rating: 51.9

Rushing attempts: 3
Rushing yards: -10
Rushing average: -3.3
Rushing touchdowns: 0

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Jewish Sports Review, September/October 2001 issue (Volume 3, No. 3, Issue 27)