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Ryan Tannehill could start this week, paving the way

Matt Moore, Ryan Tannehill AP

A Dolphins quarterback competition that looked so tight so recently may be reaching its inevitable conclusion sooner than anyone expected.

With presumptive placeholder David Garrard out after knee surgery, the Dolphins may go ahead and start rookie Ryan Tannehill in their next preseason game Friday at Carolina.

Via the Palm Beach Post, Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said he “wouldn’t rule out,” that possibility, if Tannehill outperforms Matt Moore in practice this week.

Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman called the competition between his former starter at Texas A&M and Matt Moore as fairly even.

“Both guys have been doing extremely well,” Sherman said. “I’m just anxious to let it play out, and we’ll get that person the reps they need to play.”

Reps are going to be the key, especially since Philbin has said he wants to decide on a starter before the third preseason game. That means Moore has a week to impress, or this thing’s headed the direction it was probably going anyway.

Still, Philbin said: “I’m going to remain flexible, evaluate the position, and decide what’s best for the football team to win.”

Tannehill led the Dolphins only touchdown in last weekend’s loss to the Bucs, on a pass to tight end Charles Clay. And when Clay was asked about the rookie, he said perhaps the most important thing.

“As far as the talent, I wasn’t surprised at all, because we’ve seen that out here all along,” Clay said. “But as far as the poise, sitting in the pocket, things like that, I was surprised at that. I thought he might get some happy feet back there, but he was calm.”

“(Those) can be real momentum changers on either side of the ball. So before you put a quarterback out there, you’d better have a level of confidence he’s prepared for those situations.”

The reality is, even if Tannehill performs the way they hope, it’s going to be hard for the Dolphins to excel this year with the parts they have around him on offense. When Chad Johnson was viewed as the best receiver in camp by some, it says more about the camp than Chad. Now he’s gone, and the Dolphins lack firepower, so they might as well start the Tannehill era now rather than putting it off.

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5 Responses to “Ryan Tannehill could start this week, paving the way”
  1. phinfan says: Aug 13, 2012 8:15 AM

    Lets keep this article ‘real’ and evaluate the situation. 1.) Philbin said he was giving each QB a chance at 1st team. It just so happens its now down to 2 qbs. Moore started last week, so naturally David or tannehill would this week. 2.) It still doesn’t mean Moore is outta the running… PFT will probably launch an article next week saying Ryan lost the starting position because Moore will start next week (see step 1).

    People Philbin has not made up his mind – relax.

  2. bobappraisals says: Aug 13, 2012 9:05 AM

    Wrong “phinfan”…his mind is clearly made up once they drafted him. His same coach as college,they have no talent to compete this year and they are rebuilding. It’s Ryans to lose and Ryans only. Why start anybody else? They are building for two years from now, no matter what they say.

  3. smartanis says: Aug 13, 2012 10:22 AM

    Poor supporting cast, shaky options around Tannehill (including David Garrard), let’s go ahead and start him now. Hmmm, where have I seen that approach ruin a quarterback before?

    Oh, right. Blaine Gabbert, 2011. Here’s an idea: let Garrard or Matt Moore throw 20 INTs and be repeatedly turned into a lawn ornament, and let Tannehill sit and learn from their greasy spots in the turf.

  4. finsbooyah says: Aug 13, 2012 10:49 AM

    I’m torn on this one. The plan was to bring Tannehill along slowly while Moore or Garrard (I was hoping it was Moore because he deserved a shot after what he did at the end of last season) started this season.

    I still stand by this strategy today. But Tannehill looked damn good in his preseason debut, so if he ends up getting the nod, it would be hard for me to argue with that.

  5. driftinscotty says: Aug 13, 2012 8:17 PM

    Agree with finsbooyah (quite a handle, that). Ideally, Tannehill would sit and learn for at least the better part of this year, to iron out some of the flaws in his game. He did look solid last week, and I’m intrigued to see how he does against a starting defense.

    Still, I’m not expecting a lot from this team in 2012. I expect to see Moore or Garrard make them competitive, but I have no illusions – the playoffs are a pipedream, unless a LOT of things go right. Tannehill can hang as a backup, no pressure, and improve his reads and progressions without getting pounded into the dirt any earlier than necessary.

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