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Dolphins release depth chart: Garrard happy, Jerry not

David Garrard is your starting quarterback today. One of your starting cornerbacks is Richard Marshall, who is listed ahead of Vontae Davis on first-team. And offensive lineman John Jerry seems to be in trouble.

Those are some highlights -- some expected, some not -- from today's release of the preseason's first Dolphins depth chart.

It should come as no surprise that Garrard is listed with the starters. He's been the most consistent quarterback in camp. And although coach Joe Philbin said putting him on first team is no guarantee he'll start Friday's preseason-opner versus Tampa Bay, it would take a mighty collapse in practice for that to change.

Matt Moore is listed as the second-team QB while rookie Ryan Tannehill is listed as the third-teamer. Pat Devlin is listed fourth-team.

"I'm confident we're going to get good quarterback play out of that group," coach Joe Philbin said. "I could not be happier about the four men in that room. I told them this is a starting point. This is what we're going to do right now -- today. It's a fluid situation and things could change. But this is what we're going to do today."

Davis, who has been a starter most of the last three seasons, is behind Marshall at this point. That's a surprise if you haven't been paying attention but the truth is Davis needs to get more serious about his craft because while he is more gifted than Marshall, he hasn't been getting consistently better results.

Understand: Marshall hasn't won the job. And Davis hasn't lost it. But this seems like a competition the coaches are intent on letting play out -- with hopes either Davis elevates with the challenge or Marshall rewards them for giving him the opportunity.

Either way, the team is better for it.

Davis is not in the doghouse. The Dolphins want him to succeed. And it must be said he has played better lately, including today when he picked off a David Garrard pass in the end zone on goal-line repetitions.

"I think he's actually practiced well the last couple of days, he made a couple of plays again today," Philbin said. "But there's good competition there. That's a good thing right now. It's early, but I don't anybody should be concerned. The whole ballclub needs to show a lot of improvment and he's no different right now."

Right guard John Jerry is going in the wrong direction on the depth chart -- sliding instead of improving with each practice.

He was vying for the starting job in the offseason, then started this training camp with the second unit. Today he slipped to third team behind Nate Garner and Philbin explained what Jerry needs to improve on to reverse the trend.

"Consistency in sustaining blocks whether it be run or pass, finishing on an aiming point in the running game," Philbin said. "Pass protection is pretty simple ... Our completion percentage increases if (defenders) are far away from our quarterbacks. So whether it's in the running game -- staying on his feet, finishing on an aiming point -- or the passing game -- handling those twists and being able to redirect against second moves or the defender and being able to keep his body in front -- those are the areas we're looking at right now."

So basically Jerry is having trouble staying on his feet and properly identifying the rusher he's supposed to block. That is some seriously fundamental stuff right there. Terrible.

Other nuggets from the depth chart release:

  • Marcus Thigpen is listed as the first-team kick returner, ahead of Lamar Miller, Steve Slaton and finally Clyde Gates, who did the job last year.
  • Davone Bess is the first-team punt returner ahead of Thigpen, Gates and Rishard Matthews.
  • Chris Clemons is ahead of Jimmy Wilson at safety.
  • Roberto Wallace is listed fourth-team right now.
  • Jorvorskie Lane is listed first-team fullback.
  • The starting wide receivers are Legedu Naanee and Chad Johnson.
  • Jamaal Westerman, something of a (some) media darling, is listed third-team behind Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon.

It is interesting perhaps only to me that Brian Hartline is listed second team despite practicing only a couple of times this training camp after he suffered a calf injury. He did not practice today, either. I reported on my twitter feed, Hartline's calf injury is truly day-to-day. There is a chance he could try to practice this week but more likely next week.