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Training Camp Positional Preview: Quarterback

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It's time to start preparing for training camp. And what better way to do that than by breaking down each position. We'll get this thing started by looking at the most important position in the game: quarterback.

Trent Green: 6'3, 217, 14th year
His anticipated arrival certainy created quite a buzz amongst Dolphin fans this past offseason. Then, once he was finally acquired on June 6, the buzz grew even more. Some fans loved the move while others hated it. However, the bottom line here is that he was brought in because coach Cam Cameron believes Green can effectively run his offense. That's the bottom line, so deal with it.

Green will be the team's starting QB for at least this year. In Green, the Dolphins have an extremely smart and accurate quarterback. In fact, despite 2006 being a down year for Green (thanks in large part to the concussion), he still completed 61% of his passes. And if you look at his previous 5 seasons, Green has completed 63% of his passes and has 101 touchdown passes to just 61 interceptions. That just shows you how accurate he is passing the football and how much of a smart decision maker he is, which is a far cry from some of the other QBs that we've had to suffer through since #13 retired. I don't know about any of you, but for the first time in a while, I'm not worrying about the team's starting quarterback...and that feels so damn good.

John Beck: 6'2, 216, rookie
As we approached the 2007 NFL Draft, every Dolphin fan was wondering which QB the Dolphins will take. Many thought Brady Quinn would be the guy. Then when Miami passed on Quinn for Ted Ginn, a firestorm of hate headed in the direction of Cam Cameron and Randy Mueller. Little did we all know that they had their eyes on another QB to be this team's franchise quarterback. Then, in the second round, the Dolphins selected John Beck out of BYU. Over the next few days, we all had our opinions of the pick. But after doing some serious research, I know that I personally was a HUGE fan of the pick.

Why? Beck is smart. He's tough. He's very accurate and, despite what some people say, he has a very strong arm. And if you want to know more about how I feel about Beck, check out this article I wrote on him.

As for this season, it's likely Beck won't see much playing time, if any at all. Instead, he will likely spend this year learning the offensive system and watching Trent Green closely, picking his brain to understand what reads Green is making and why he makes the decisions that he does. Personally, I look for Beck to battle Green for the starting spot in 2008 (and I think Beck will win that battle, too).

Cleo Lemon: 6'2, 215, 4th year
Lemon is entering his 3rd season in Miami and is reunited with his former offensive coordinator in San Diego (Cameron). Last season, Lemon saw action in 4 games, completing 56% of his passes with 2 TDs and just 1 INT. In his lone start week 17 against Indy, Lemon was 18 for 36 for 210 yards and he threw one touchdown and one interception.

Following the season, some people thought that Lemon could be given a shot to be the team's starting QB for 2007. Then when Cameron was brought in and we all found out that Daunte Culpepper wasn't his guy, even more people began thinking about the possibility that Lemon could be given a shot at winning the starting gig. However, the Dolphins then drafted John Beck and traded for Trent Green. What this likely means for Lemon is that he'll battle Beck for the backup job to Green.

As for Lemon's strengths, he's got a very powerful arm and moves around well in the pocket. He also is familar with Cameron's system, which will likely give him an edge over Beck entering camp. However, Lemon goes get lazy with his mechanics and will make some bad decisions and inaccurate throws. So in my opinion, Lemon is destined to be a career backup. I think that, come 3 years down the road, Lemon will be the team's backup while Beck is the starter and Green is either retired or playing elsewhere. And, in my opinion, I'm fully confident that Lemon can develop into a solid #2 quarterback, thanks in large part to being reunited with Cameron and having the opportunity to work with QB coach Terry Shea.

Gibran Hamdan: 6'4, 220, 3rd year
Hamdan is an Indiana alum who has thrown just 2 passes in the NFL. They came back in his rookie season in 2003 with the Redskins, where he was 1 for 2 for 7 yards. That's basically the extent of his experience. However, it seems that some scouts inside the Dolphins organization are rather high on Hamdan. I guess he may have the raw talent to someday develop into a guy who can provide depth at the QB position. As for this year, look for Hamdan to survive in camp for some time before he either gets cut or placed on th practice squad.

My Take
I will certainly be paying close attention to the QB position in camp for 3 reasons. One, I want to see how Green looks running this offense. Two, I want to keep a close eye on the development of rookie John Beck. And three, I'm curious to see who wins the back-up QB job. I got a feeling that Beck may see quite a few reps with the second team, but will be relegated to third team once the season comes around, making Lemon Trent's primary back-up while Beck watches and learns. Then, only if the season is winding down and the Dolphins are clearly out of palyoff contention, will John Beck see any action. That's how I see this playing out.

Predicted Depth Chart

1st Team 2nd Team 3rd Team
Trent Green Cleo Lemon John Beck