Last weekend, CBS Sports' Pat Kirwan took a look at what it means to have depth in the NFL. To determine exactly what a team has to have on their roster to have "depth," as well as determine which teams have it, Kirwan developed 13 questions, looking at key positions on the field and who would fill in if needed. In the end, Kirwan found that the defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks and the Cincinnati Bengals best fit the idea of "depth" on a roster.
In his "honorable mention" list, Kirwan placed the Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins, and a "tossup" between the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers. Explaining how the Dolphins, and the other teams, landed on that list, Kirwan wrote, "they don't satisfy all the categories but they did better than most teams hitting on at least nine of the 13."
Which categories do the Dolphins satisfy? Over the next couple of weeks, we will take a look at all 13 of Kirwan's questions, and see how well Miami fits the category.
The first category, and the most important one that, in Kirwan's mind, a team must have filled in order to move on to the other 12 questions, is the backup quarterback. To explain what he is looking for in a backup quarterback, Kirwan wrote, "A capable backup QB that can go at least 2-2 in a four-game stretch qualifies as a good backup."
For the Dolphins, that answer is pretty easy. Sitting behind starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill is Matt Moore, a six-year veteran of the NFL. He is often listed among the best backup quarterbacks in the league, and has starting experience both with the Carolina Panthers and with Miami.
Moore has appeared in 38 games over the course of his career, with 25 starts, going 13-12 in those games. He has 5,321 career passing yards with a 58.9-percent completion rate and a 7.0-yards per attempt average. Moore has thrown 33 touchdowns in his career, with 28 interceptions. With the Dolphins, he has 16 appearances, with 12 starts, leading the team to a 6-6 record the second half of the 2011 season.
Moore's presence on the Dolphins roster clearly establishes the team's backup quarterback in the "good backup" category from Kirwan and allows Miami to move on to the next 12 questions. Which ones will the team meet, and where do they need work?