I can't help but see it playing out this way. I sure hope I'm wrong. But here it is...
1) Garrard wins the starting job to open the season. He's been a pro-bowler, fits perfectly into a west-coast system, has the most experience, has something to prove, and has led his previous team to playoff victories. Matt Moore reportedly doesn't perform consistently in practices. And this coaching staff, with so many new players and a totally new coaching staff and system, have to evaluate how a QB is performing within the current system. I think Matt Moore earned the starting job with his performance last year. But the coaches this year have no way to evaluate how well he will adapt to the new system other than in practice. And that's why I think Garrard wins the starting job.
2) Garrard performs well, wins some games, puts up good numbers - and then, hey - Go Dolphins! But then, just our luck, he gets injured. He's up there in age and back injuries are serious. I think there's a good chance he misses some games next year.
3) Fret not, Dolphin fans - we have one of the best backups in the league. Matt Moore comes in to save the day just like last year. Plays great and leads us to the playoffs. Maybe we win a playoff game or two.
4) Season ends. Moore's contract is up. The Dolphins decide to let Moore go in free agency. Why? Because they have to. He'll now be a proven starter/leader and will demand a Matt Flynn level contract. Plus they've already invested a number 8 pick (ooooohhhhh) on Tannehill. So ready or not Tannehill has to be the guy.
5) Tannehill starts the 2013 season and is weak. He turns out to be a bust. But we're committed. He's got to be the guy. We follow him to a losing season. Eventually they roll back to Garrard (who will have been re-signed to be T-Hill's backup/mentor). But it's too late. The season is lost.
6) Excuses are made for Tannehill and he's given the keys again for the 2014 season. But they bring a new backup veteran re-tread for insurance after Garrard retires. Probably Orton since that would be just our luck (and it would just be funny). Tannehill's still a bust. Orton takes over. Orton sucks because, well, Orton sucks***.
7) Meanwhile the nucleus of the rest of the team has aged and grown frustrated/jaded or moved on in free agency. What was once a top-tier defense has now withered away. Meanwhile Pat Devlin has been picked up by another team and turns out to be pretty darn good because, well, that would be just our luck. Matt Moore and Chad Henne both lead their new teams to the playoffs because, well, that would be just our luck.
8) Ireland is finally fired (and maybe Philbin too) since the Tannehill experiment failed. The Dolphins draft a new QB with a top-ten pick and announce they are officially rebuilding. Since they don't have a better option, they start the rookie right away in 2015. He gets mowed down and develops bad habits. Maybe he would have been good, but we'll never know because he's traumatized for life by getting sacked 9 times per game in his first season.
ok - maybe I'm going too far into the future here (just a little bit). Point is - Tannehill scares me. He's a good athlete, good looking guy, and has what people tell me is a hot girlfriend (...she's not that hot. Skinny - yes. Blonde - yes. But that doesn't automatically make you hott as far as I'm concerned.) But Tannehill strikes me as a guy who just doesn't have that leadership quality that Brady, Brees, and Manning have. He reminds me too much of say.... Chad Henne. Now - I think Chad Henne (despite not having a "leader" personality) will do well for two reasons - 1) That'd be just our luck, and 2) because he was so unfairly maligned while he was the starter down here that he's bound to use that as motivation to really stick it to the Miami "fans" one day. I digress. Back to T-Hill - Chances are a little too good that he's a bust. After all - every quarterback class has at least one. And Luck and Griffen are both as close to sure-things as you can get. And Weeden, unlike T-Hill and Henne, (to me at least) really does seem to have that "leaderhip it-facter". You hear those guys talk and you can imagine yourself in the huddle - and you're like, "I believe we can win with this guy." With guys like T-Hill and Henne, it's like - "[sigh]Oh boy - here we go - shrug..." Everything about T-Hill says he's bound for bust-hood.
But, then again, maybe I'm just doing to Tannehill what other less patient fans did with Henne. Maybe I'm condemning him before he's even had a chance (in fact, that's exactly what I'm doing.) So I hope I'm wrong. But I just have this feeling...
It doesn't look good.
Prove me wrong, T-Hill!
***I don't actually think Orton sucks. He's fine. I actually hate when "fans" say a player "sucks". He's in the NFL for goodness-sake. You don't make it that far unless you're F-ing awesome! Period. Unless you're an all-pro or hall of famer, you have no right saying anyone in the NFL sucks. But for the purposes of this post, it seemed appropriate to frame it that way. For the record, if Orton sucks, then I suck a thousand times more. I didn't even make the high school team.