All offseason, the Miami Dolphins have routinely declared the quarterback situation an open competition between incumbent starter Matt Moore, free agent addition David Garrard, and eighth overall pick Ryan Tannehill. All three players have split time as the first team quarterback during the Dolphins' OTA and minicamp workouts, and head coach Joe Philbin has said he probably will not decide on a starter until after the second preseason game. But, according to Adam Schefter on ESPN's Sportscenter today, Garrard appears to have taken the lead in the competition.
"The more you hear, the more it sounds like David Garrard has really taken this opportunity to emerge as the favorite to be the starting quarterback down in Miami," said Schefter, via a report from NBC's Pro Football Talk and Rotoworld. "Very impressive, adept, good footwork. Matt Moore's been good, Ryan Tannehill's been good, but David Garrard has looked the most comfortable of any of the quarterbacks."
Garrard comes to Miami after sitting out the 2011 season due to a back injury, having surgery and rehabbing throughout the year. Prior to that, he spent nine seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, including the 2009 season in which he was selected to the Pro Bowl.
Interestingly, Garrard has never played in the offensive scheme Philbin and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman are emplacing in Miami. His comfort level this early in the process is surprising, although Moore has not been in this kind of system either. Tannehill played for Sherman at Texas A&M and is familiar with the playbook, but was thought to need more time to develop as a quarterback prior to his selection in April's draft, and has been described as being slow to make decisions as he faces the speed of an NFL defense in OTAs and minicamps.
The competition will not be decided until August, but, for now at least, Garrard appears to be the favorite. The Dolphins open training camp July 26. The team is being featured in HBO's Hard Knocks this August, with the debut on August 7, and the quarterback competition is expected to be front and center during the five episode TV season.