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Signs Pointing To Tannehill Starting Against Panthers

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Ryan Tannehill

DAVIE, FL – MAY 4: Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Miami Dolphins throws the ball during the rookie minicamp on May 4, 2012 at the Miami Dolphins training facility in Davie, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

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DAVIE (CBSMiami) – Now that the dust has settled from the failed Chad Johnson experiment, Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin still has the unfinished business of who will start at quarterback for this week’s game against the Carolina Panthers.

Reports from Dolphins beat writers are that rookie Ryan Tannehill has looked great during practice this week. Tannehill is competing with Matt Moore to win the starting quarterback position heading into the regular season.

Coach Philbin has been cautious about who will be the starter for Week 2.

“We’re meeting today, tonight actually as a staff and we will go over our play time,” Philbin said Wednesday. “As I’ve said to you guys before, we have a number of snaps designated at this point, but again we have to adjust it and make sure we have the right plan going forward.”

Philbin was asked specifically whether Tannehill would play against the Panthers’ number one defense and his answer probably pulls the curtain back on who will start Friday night.

“There’s a good possibility, absolutely,” Philbin said. “He’s going to at some point in the preseason, there’s no question about that. Whether it’s against Carolina or not remains to be seen, but he will get some reps with the ones against the one defense.”

The danger Philbin faces with Tannehill is that once he commits to having Tannehill as his starter, it’s a position he can’t really go back from. Tannehill is the future and if he’s the starter in Week 1 and then three weeks later gets benched, it could kill his confidence and development.

Philbin is aware of the excitement from the fans for Tannehill, and even said “Maybe I should be a little more aware of some of that stuff,” when asked about the needs to lower the expectations for the rookie quarterback.

“I can’t really control the expectations of the fans, but whoever our quarterback is September 9th, we’re going to expect that player to play well,” Philbin said. “It doesn’t matter if he’s played 12 years in the league or your first game, you can’t, there’s no mulligans out there. We’ve got have a guy play well, whoever that may be.”

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