Philbin says quarterback competition is “very close”


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.

9 responses to “Philbin says quarterback competition is “very close”

  1. I was at the scrimmage on Saturday, and Ryan looked just as good as Gerrard. With some more polishing, he should start to stand out in the pre-season.

    Go Phins!

  2. As many have said, if it is close then Tannehill should be the starter in order to gain the experience necessary to be successful. As long as the O-line is decent and the kid is not in danger of crushing his confidence there should be no reason to sit him if the other QBs have not played better than he.

  3. By “very close” Philbin means “I can’t figure out yet who is the least terrible of the three.”

  4. You are reading way too much into Philbin’s comments (as you have from day one). You’re talking about an athlete so talented, he is in the running for one of 32 jobs in the world. Moreover when his playing career is over he will be attending medical school, to become an orthopedic surgeon.

    This natural born leader is way above having his “confidence shattered” if things don’t immediately go his way. And he certainly does not require any added confidence or motivation.

    He is well aware of the dedication, hard work, and sacrifice it is going to take to succeed at this level. No kid gloves needed!

    I, for one, hope the quarterback search in Miami is finally over for the next decade or so…

  5. @fintastic13, great commentary regarding this young man. I also appreciate that you are looking long term as a fan as well.

    Tannehill, in my opinion, should start Week 1. What do the Fins have to lose? Nothing. This offense that is coming in does not fit Matt Moore’s style at all. Matt pieced together a solid season last year, but this is a whole new system. If every one has to learn from scratch, why not give the kid a chance?

    The league has seen recent success from rookie starters (e.g., AndyDalton, Joe Flacco, Roethlisberger, Cam Newton, Phillip Rivers, Matt Ryan). If the expectation is that they are not going to win the SuperBowl this year, let’s see what the kid has.

    I have become a huge Ryan supporter over the past few months. I have not been this excited about Dolphin football in a long time. I can see Tannehill and Garrard putting together a very nice season for us fans.

  6. It annoys me when people say Dolphins have the worst quarterbacks. What makes the rest of the QBs so good? PLENTY of teams have QB problems. Why are the Phins always under microscope? If you’re not Tom Brady, Big Ben, A Rogers, Eli Manning, P Manning, or Drew Brees sorry you are an average to above average QB. Meaning their are plenty of QBs throwing the ball great but they aren’t winning SuperBowls! Since Tannehill got drafted he already has more haters and people wanting to see him fail than any other player (the next big thing). Keep working hard and prove everyone wrong Ryan.
    Go Phins!

  7. Great comments. @fintastic13 said it well. Our #1 draft pick Ryan Tannehill will be just fine and doesn’t need training wheels. I live in Jacksonville and already know RT will out perform David Gerrard in the pre season just like he did in the scrimmage. He is going to make these out of work GMs like Lombardi drink some Hater-Aid when he has the best year of the QBs drafted in 2012. A QB with a skill set like that has to be on the field.

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