The Miami Dolphins are holding a three way quarterback competition with two clear front runners. Veterans Matt Moore and David Garrard are in the lead, alternating days as the top quarterback on the roster, with one of them most likely to claim the starter's role heading into the season. Rookie Ryan Tannehill seems to be falling into the third QB slot as the only one of the three who has to "earn" his snaps with the first team; but, Tannehill doesn't seem resigned to be the team's clipboard holder.
And, for some reason, this stunning turn of events seems like breaking news around multiple media sources overnight. Some how, it's becoming a stunning turn-of-events that a rookie quarterback, drafted with the eighth overall pick in the draft, wants to be a starting quarterback in the league.
Why? Isn't that what he should be saying? Isn't that what every player should be saying?
Here's the quote that has lead to so much discussion on the internet since yesterday's practice:
(On why it's important for him to work with the starters) - "Well, I want to be the guy. You don't want to be a backup. It's not a goal to be a backup. I want to play and I want to get in there. The more reps I can get with the ones, I feel like that's more like a game situation as much as you're going to get in practice."
Personally, I want Tannehill sayings like "I want to be the guy." I want Pat Devlin, who seems to have a less than zero percent chance of getting any playing time this year, to want to be "the guy." If you don't want to be "the guy," why are you playing football?
Chad Johnson wants to be "the guy" he was in Cincinnati. Reggie Bush wants to be "the guy" who leads the league in rushing. Vontae Davis and Sean Smith want to be "the guys" named the best corner duo in the NFL.
So, why's it a surprise if Tannehill wants to be "the guy?"
Tannehill continued to say during his post-practice comments:
(On if it helps with his confidence when Coach Philbin allows him to practice with the starters) - "Yeah, I think so. I think I need to improve, learn from the mistakes I made today in practice, not make them again, but I think that going up there is a good thing."
(On if practicing with the starters fires him up) - "Yeah, it's exciting. I love to go with the ones. I love the competition up there. The defense is better. The offensive guys are obviously the starting guys, so they're a little bit better. It's competitive and that's what I like about it."
(On what it's like working in the huddle with the starters, especially with someone vocal like wide receiver Chad Johnson) - "He's entertaining. He's always open, at least he says he is (laughing). It's just a matter of balancing personalities and having fun with it."
Tannehill clearly wants to be the starting quarterback for the Dolphins in 2012, but also realizes he has to improve and learn as well. But, as Shane Falco and Jimmy McGinty discussed in the movie The Replacements:
Falco: "I want the ball."
McGinty: "Winners always do."
I would hope Tannehill wants the ball.