The Miami Dolphins are currently holding a compeition between veteran quarterback Matt Moore and rookie Ryan Tannehill to grab the starting position heading into the 2012 regular season. Moore is having to fight for the job he held last year, a running theme in his career, and, according to an Adam H. Beasley report for the Miami Herald today, Moore realizes this season is just an audition for a new team in 2013.
"I'm never the guy until I absolutely have to be," Moore said according to the article. "I've had plenty of opportunities to play, and I've done pretty well in thos opportunities. It's been interesting how it's all shaken out."
Moore was listed as the second string quarterback earlier this preseason, but moved up into the number one position when David Garrard was lost for 2-4 weeks when it was discovered he had to have knee surgery. Moore's position atop the depth chart, however, is precarious at best. Tannehill is looking more and more ready to start after every practice, and could claim the position for himself.
"Maybe it's something organizations don't see in me," Moore told Beasley. "But, I have just enough to stay around. But, as a player, you want to be a starter, whether it's here or not."
Moore began his NFL career not being selected in the 2007 NFL Draft. After initially being signed by the Dallas Cowboys, Moore played with the Carolina Panthers his rookie year. Moore served as the backup with the Panthers that season, working behind David Carr and Vinny Testaverde, before getting his first career start late in the season.
After sitting out the entire 2008 campaign with a broken leg, Moore was once again relegated to the back of the depth chart, buried behind Jake Delhomme and Josh McCown. He eventually worked his way into the starting job, and performed well, starting five games, throwing for eight touchdowns, with just one interception, compiling a 4-1 record over those five games.
In 2010, Moore enetered the season as the Panthers' starter, but watched as the Panthers selected rookie Jimmy Clausen in the second round of the draft. The Panthers seemed trigger happy that season, repeatedly changing quarterbacks throughout the year, never letting either player, nor the offense, get into any sort of rhythm. Moore would eventually end up in injured reserve atfer suffering a shoulder injury in Week 9.
After the season, the Panthers allowed Moore to leave the team via free agency. He signed with the Dolphins to serve as the backup to Chad Henne, but was pushed back into a starting role when Henne was injured, and lost for the season, in Week 4. Moore finished the 2011 campaign 6-6, throwing for 2,497 yards on 60.% completions, with 16 touchdowns to 9 interceptions.
Moore was rewarded with the Dolphins signing free agent Garrard - who had been out all of 2011 with a back injury - and drafting Tannehill. Now, he is once again fighting against a highly drafted rookie.
Of Moore, head coach Joe Philbin recently said, "I love the guy. The guy is a competitor. I like being around him every day. I'm glad he's on our team right now."
That "right now" is the part that may mean Moore is on his way out the door in Miami.