DAVIE (CBSMiami) – One of the biggest questions yet to be answered for the Miami Dolphins is who will be under center for the first game of the year. As of now, head coach Joe Philbin said the job remains wide open.
The best guess is veteran David Garrard will likely open up the regular season as the starter. But the Dolphins squad would love nothing more than to have rookie Ryan Tannehill outperform both Garrard and fellow veteran Matt Moore and take command of the position.
Early reports from reporters for CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald, and ones from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, have said Tannehill is making good progress and making throws other quarterbacks for the Dolphins either wouldn’t try, or couldn’t complete.
Tannehill is ahead of the rookie curve in one aspect as he already knows the majority of the playbook. What is yet to be answered is how he will respond when defenses unleash their full arsenal of blitz packages and the speed of the game increases.
So far though, Tannehill has handled himself fairly well.
“The one thing, it’s funny, and I’ve told this to [assistant quarterbacks coach] Zac [ Taylor] and [offensive coordinator] Mike [ Sherman], he’s so under control at times that he doesn’t look like he has the greatest urgency on occasion,” Philbin told the Miami Herald. “He’s kind of cool and collected.”
That’s both a good thing and a bad thing for the Dolphins. Former quarterback Chad Henne had a similar disposition that drew complaints from the media and some teammates. But, Tannehill has been receiving good reviews thus far.
Tannehill also has the plus that Garrard didn’t play in the NFL last season. So while Garrard has experience, he’s also rusty after spending a year completely out of football.
But, the bottom line is Garrard is the starter until Tannehill proves that he’s capable of leading the offense consistently. Coach Philbin told the Herald that he has a specific number of snaps planned for each quarterback on August 10th against the Buccaneers.
After that game, the competition is expected to come a little bit into focus better. The real tell will be who starts the third preseason game, which is considered a dress rehearsal for the regular season opener.