Reporting Tim Kephart
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PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins have tried to wine and dine Peyton Manning, Matt Flynn, and Alex Smith to get them to sign here to play quarterback. But after losing out on all three, the Fins are right back where they started with Matt Moore set to be the team’s starting quarterback.
Moore will have to battle with veteran David Garrard, who hasn’t played in the NFL since 2010. There’s also a chance the Fins could draft a quarterback early in round one, but Moore will still be set up to be the starter in week one, and that’s fine with head coach Joe Philbin.
“He and I had a great conversation last Thursday or Friday when the dust settled,” Philbin told ESPN.com. “We talked and he sounds very excited and very optimistic. He’s anxious and can’t wait to compete for a job. We talked about how I envision that position moving forward and he was all on board.”
Before Miami rescued Moore, he was being run out of town by the Carolina Panthers after the team selected Cam Newton who immediately became the starter. Moore has a good arm and can move the ball down the field and has good enough feet to get out danger when the pocket collapses.
Still, Philbin likes to use the West Coast offense that relies on quick decisions and accurate throws into small windows.
“He’s not necessarily a ‘by the book’ quarterback, but he was very productive,” Philbin told ESPN. “He has good arm strength, and he kind of has that knack. He has the ability to move the team.”
Moore did rescue Miami from the threat of going 0-16 and actually led the team to a 6-3 record as the team’s starter in 2011. But, he also had a solid number one receiver in Brandon Marshall to help him, along with a strong running game from Reggie Bush.
Marshall is now gone and Bush’s history of injuries leaves some wondering if it’s just a matter of time before he’s knocked out for a significant period of time with the Fins.
The tight end position could use a lift as well, but the best tight end in the NFL Draft likely won’t make it to the second round when Miami uses their second pick of the draft.
The Dolphins still have plenty of questions to answer, but for now, Coach Philbin is content with his quarterback corps, though that will likely change before the season begins.