Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – While much of the focus for Friday’s night Miami dolphins preseason game will be on rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill; the Dolphins have a starting quarterback who, at least in practice, looks like a winner.
Tannehill is the future of the Miami Dolphins quarterback position. But, the Dolphins won’t know exactly when the future turns into the present until Tannehill gets used to the speed of the NFL and can make his reads quickly as the pass rush is closing in on him.
The most telling aspect of where Tannehill is on the depth chart will come after starting quarterback David Garrard leaves the game. If Tannehill is the first quarterback into the game after that, then he still has a legitimate shot at starting.
However, if Matt Moore comes in second and plays against the number two defense of the Bucs, then Tannehill may not be progressing fast enough to have an impact this season for the Fins.
Still, it appears Garrard has almost entrenched himself as the starting quarterback for the Dolphins after spending a year out of football recovering from injuries. If Garrard can return to the form he had in 2007 and 2010, the Dolphins should at least be competitive this season.
In 2007, Garrard threw 18 touchdown passes to just three interceptions and led Jacksonville to a 9-3 record as a starter. In 2010, he threw 23 touchdown passes to just 15 interceptions and completed nearly 65 percent of his passes. Garrard also has a 1-1 record in the playoffs.
But, one thing the Fins offense will have to be careful of with Garrard under center is fumbles. From 2009-10, Garrard fumbled the ball 25 times and recovered just 5 of them. For a team without a lot of difference makers on offense, Garrard has to protect the football at all costs.
While Tannehill may be relegated to playing against a bunch of players who won’t be in the league in a few weeks; if he takes advantage of it and plays well, he could be in line to play earlier and more in the second preseason game.
And, with Garrard’s injury history, primarily his back, Tannehill and Moore are just one big hit from having to take the reins of the Dolphins at any time.
For the first time in a long time, the Dolphins have hope for their current quarterback and hope for the future at quarterback.