Dolfans, it’s incredibly early to tell who will win the Miami Dolphins three team (three horse) race.
There are three possibilities at the QB position that vye for a chance to be the starting quarterback.
First there is Matt Moore, who took over in week 4 due to an injury to Chad Henne. While Moore showed early on that he could move outside of the pocket and make plays, he did not start off well. It wasn’t for a lack of trying and the pivotal KC game in week 9 after going bonkers and showing all of Dolfan Nation what the Dolphins had at QB and that Jeff Ireland was a genius. Truly, Matt Moore had an incredible run and his final 6 games going 4-2 was something that should be commended for at least a start openning weekend in Houston. Matt Moore in most situations around the NFL he would be the starter. This situation proves interesting since the Dolphins have been wanting to replace him. They went after every QB that had a big name. Manning and then Alex Smith. Matt Moore quietly worked in Davie while the Dolphins wanted to replace him. What does that say about Moore? It says that he’s unflappable. However, Moore needs to improve his footwork, his anticipation of defensive coverages, and make sure he catches the ball in the shotgun.
Next we have a proven veteran QB in David Garrard. David Garrard was the prized QB signing by Jeff Ireland. However, it was not the fan’s choice as many fans, including myself wanted Alex Smith or Matt Flynn if Peyton Manning was not available. David Garrard brings that “kill” instinct that Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel raves about. He has won games in the final seconds with a QB Draw versus Pittsburgh in the playoffs, a last second bomb to short Mike Thomas, and has shown that he can command a locker room and an offense. Garrard has some serious issues that have plagued him in his career. One, overcoming Crohn’s disease which is managable and his recent back injury. If he shows that he is healthy enough, his pocket prescence, ability to scramble for yardage, and quick release could allow him an opportunity to be the starter.
Last, the Dolphins in April drafted Ryan Tannehill with the 8th pick overall. Ryan Tannehill comes to the Dolphins at the right time when a new coaching staff is looking to right the ship and navigate their way to get back on top of the AFC East. Ryan Tannehill brings a ton of athleticism, command of a locker room, a team player attitude, and an ability to get rid of the ball. He projects to have better than average accuracy, but does have smaller hands than most QBs. What Tannehill does bring is a new hope or dream to this lackluster offense. What Tannehill does not have is known weapons. Weapons in wide receivers and tight ends that look good on paper. Instead, Tannehill inherits Davone Bess, Brian Hartline, Clyde Gates, and Roberto Wallace. However, Tannehill can be an Aaron Rodgers type QB, limited collegiate experience, but with a high degree of upside with practice and development. I predict that Tannehill can win the job, but he will have to play extremely well with limited repetitions in practice and have only the pre season to show for his improvements that could prove difficult. Some experts have noted (Omar Kelly via the Sun Sentinel) that Tannehill struggled during OTAs with his decision making. However, it can be empahasized that practices that are involuntary and not mandatory do not include any press coverage. Maybe Tannehill has a chance to turn some heads if he is signed by minicamp. This much is true, Philbin constantly provides sound bites that would lead Dolfans to believe that Tannehill is the guy. Not to mention, embattled GM Jeff Ireland mentioned on draft day that he was drafted 8th and should be expected to play.
This QB race will be and should be entertaining. It’s difficult to know the exact pecking order of Philbin’s preferences of QBs. However, if Matt Moore shows command of the offense and the Dolphins can win with Matt Moore today, it might be Tannehill who will be waiting in the wings until the first of many interceptions are thrown by either Moore or Garrard.
Please continue to follow @DolphinMick @PhinsDaniel and our site as more writers come on board! Happy Dolphins Offseason!