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Philbin, Dolphins make the right call on Tannehill

Ryan Tannehill is the Dolphins starting quarterback for the regular-season opener on Sept. 9, coach Joe Philbin announced this afternoon.

And after the coach talked about it being a "close" call and saying it was made based on tape study and gut and discussions among, coaches Philbin did not take a bow.

But he should have.

The Dolphins coach made a hard decision. Made a timely decision. And, most importantly, made the right decision.

In choosing Tannehill over Moore, Philbin picked the quarterback of the future to take over now. So that's good. The future -- meaning whatever Tannehill will ultimately become as a player -- will get here sooner, we all expect. Furthermore, Philbin made the right call for now in that he picked the better player now.

That's right, if you've been following along on this blog or on my twitter handle or on TV, you've heard me make the point that Tannehill has outplayed Moore since he arrived for training camp.

I recognize this decision is not a slam dunk. Tannehill, as rookies often do, might struggle and the cynics will make it seem as if it was wrong to pick the rookie. But that would be the short-sighted view.

Understand that this season is not about Tannehill taking the Dolphins to the playoffs. This season is aobut making Tannehill better, giving him the experience to ultimately succeed in the future.

Peyton Manning didn't light it up as a rookie. Neither did Steve Young or Brett Favre. But they laid a foundation for what they ultimately became in their rookie years. If the Dolphins had waited until next year with Tannehill, we'd be a year behind where we're likely to find ourselves by the end of this year.

So get on with it, I say.

And a warning: When Tannehill struggles and he will, manage your expectations. Manage your commentary. He's a rookie. He started 19 games in college. He's got a lot to learn, even by his own admission.

So understand the circumstances. This is not Tannehill's make or break year. This is, however, his foundation laying year.