May 22, 2012; Davie, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) drops back to pass during organized team activities at the Dolphins training facility. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
In case you had not heard, there's a quarterback competition happening with the Miami Dolphins this offseason. I know, I know - it's a shock, right? Well, apparently it's true. The Miami Dolphins are letting their four quarterbacks (yes, I am including Pat Devlin in that number, at least for the number's sake) decide with their practice and on-field performance which one of them deserves to be the starter for the 2012 season.
After a week of hearing about how owner Stephen Ross was over-stepping his bounds by saying he believed Matt Moore would win the compeition, despite David Garrard and Ryan Tannehill also being in contention (and, now I'm ruling out Pat Devlin), it was time to hear from head coach Joe Philbin. Philbin appeared on ESPN's NFL 32 yesterday to talk about the quarterbacks.
"We're really pleased with the room that we have," Philbin said. "David Garrard is a proven player. Matt Moore did an exceptional job last year in Miami. We think Ryan Tannehill has a lot of promise for the future. And we've got a young man named Pat Devlin who's worked extremely hard as well."
Philbin was asked when he thinks he will make a decision on a starter.
"Hopefully, as we move through the OTAs and a portion of training camp and the preseason we can get a good feel as to who has the best leadership quality and who's the best fit for the team moving forward," he said. "You'd love to have it done by after the second preseason game. Your third preseason game is when your first unit is going to get the vast majority of the snaps in terms of their preseason allocation. If it's clear earlier we'll make a decision at that point in time, but I'd say by the third preseason game we'd like to have a unit established."
Early returns at the first OTA for the Dolphins placed Garrard, a free agent acquisition for the Dolphins after the quarterback sat out last seaosn with a herniated disc in his back, as the sharpest of the three candidates for the starters role. Garrard responded to Ross' assumption that Moore would win the starting role this season:
"That's just more fuel for me. It's somebody else I have to try and prove wrong. The owner is the owner. He can make all of the comments that he wants. I am never going to dispute him, but I'll just let my play on the field go out and show for it."
No matter how the Dolphins' competition plays out, Tannehill will get his chance at some point. The rookie, who was the eighth overall pick in last month's draft, is believed to have all the tools jto be a successful NFL quarterback, but needs time to develop. At some point this season, or by the start of next season at the latest, Tannehill should overtake the two veterans and find himself starting under center for Miami. But fo now, the competition will continue.