Rookie Ryan Tannehill may still be third out of three quarterbacks in the chase for the starting job, but the men contending for the right to be the first one benched apparently aren’t separated by much daylight.
In an appearance on NFL Network’s NFLAM, coach Joe Philbin said it’s a “very close competition.”
Which means, in our view, that Tannehill eventually will win it.
“We’ve been pleased with all three of those individuals,” Philbin said. “We’re really pleased, number one, from a talent standpoint we’ve got excellent candidates at that position. They all possess a strong arm, they’ve displayed good accuracy at times. They have good mobility in the pocket.
“But the thing we’re really pleased about [with] the quarterback room as it stands right now is these guys are true professionals, they’re men of outstanding character, they’re very supportive of one another, they know it’s an open competition, they all want to win the job, and it’s going to be interesting here in the next couple of weeks as this thing plays itself out. Up to this point in time, we’ve had eight good practices so far, and it’s a very close competition.”
With the five-year plan giving way to a three-year plan giving way to a one-year plan (just ask Cam Cameron), the Dolphins can’t afford to put Tannehill on ice, or the Philbin-Ireland regime may never get to use the eighth overall pick in round one.
And so, as we’ve believed since reports that Tannehill is in third place first surfaced, the Dolphins hope to build the kid’s confidence by creating the sense that he has accomplished something by leapfrogging David Garrard and Matt Moore.
Or, as the case may be, to avoid having his confidence shattered by his failure to fend off a pair of journeymen, despite Tannehill’s inside knowledge of the offense his college coach brought to Miami from Texas A&M.