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Quarterbacks have A LOT to prove tonight

This is the first of multiple posts today, including a live blog tonight, so come back often.

Tonight's preseason-opener for the Dolphins is a time to unveil (sort of because they don't want to show too much) a new coach, a new staff, a new offense and defense, and a new philosophy. But let's not kid ourselves ...

Tonight against Tampa Bay and next week's preseason game at Carolina will be the main deciding factors as to which quarterback will win the starting job. (The Dolphins want a starter settled in by the third preseason game.)

So tonight is mostly about the quarterbacks.

And all four have something to prove, something to worry about, something to hang their hats on. All four have a chance to either improve or hurt their chances. All four will be under the microscope.

Breaking it down for all four:

David Garrard: He's leading the pack right now, but that doesn't mean his lead is insurmountable. Indeed, coach Joe Philbin named him first-string but declined to say he's start the game because the depth chart came out Monday and there practices Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and the coach said if someone had a better week of preparation, that player might start tonight. So while we expect Garrard to start, it is not absolutely certain right now to outsiders such as myself.

Wherever Garrard plays, his performance tonight is important because it can help solidify his status as the favorite to win the job or turn it into a major question. He's got to show that he's knocked the rust off after missing all of last season. He's got to show that he has command of the offense and respect of his teammates. He's got to show he can take a hit after missing last year with a back injury that required surgery.

"Yeah, I’m not even going to lie to you just because I haven’t been hit since then, but I feel great," Garrard said. "I don’t feel any different than before surgery. I should be fine. There shouldn’t be any issues."

Yes, that's what we heard from Daunte Culpepper in the 2006 preseason about his knee. So pardon me if I believe stuff when I see it.

Matt Moore: He's not a happy man right now -- understandably so. He came into this training camp knowing he'd be in a quarterback battle, but also recognized as the leading candidate to win the starting job based on his leadership, the respect he commands in the locker room, and the fact he was the starter at the end of last season. That is mostly gone now.

Moore's play wasn't as good as Garrard's (and I'd even say as good as rookie Ryan Tannehill). That's right. I think Tannehill has been better than Moore. So wasting that initial advantage has Moore frustrated.

"I’m the No. 2 like you said, so I guess it’s frustrating a little bit, but I’m not worried," Moore said. " I’m not overly concerned that it’s going to wreck my performance or wreck my play from here on out. We’re just competing and nothing’s changed in practice at all. I think they had to have a starting point and that’s how they went. That’s how this league works. Not everybody can play.”

I've heard a lot that Moore has struggled in practices because he's more of "a gamer." I've heard he's a lot better when the lights come up and the people are in the stands and the pressure is on. Even Moore has fed into that a bit.

“I think that’s when you need to be at your best and, playing in a game, that’s why you play this game," he said. "You love doing that. You love competing. It is one thing to do it out here, but you really got to step it up on game day. So I’m pumped."

Well, this is his chance to prove that. This thing they're playing tonight is called a game.

Ryan Tannehill: Did you read what I wrote above? I think he's the second-best quarterback in camp right now and the gap between him and Garrard isn't insurmountable that Tannehill cannot win the starting job this preseason.

Now, there are theories out that that state Tannehill is simply being groomed this preseason. That when it is all over, the plan is to have him sit for a while and marinate and get more mature and we'll get back to him later on when he's more ready to play.

That a bunch a hooey.

Coaches haven't decided Tannehill isn't going to start. They don't have some agenda to sit him no matter what. If he is the best QB in camp, he'll start. Coaches feel that way and Tannehill feels that way.

"I’m excited about where I’m at, I guess eight practices in now," Tannehill said. "(I’m) just trying to be the best quarterback that I can be. Obviously, as a competitor, I want to be the guy from Game One. It’s really up to the coaches to decide if they found the best guy for the team. I want the best guy that’s going to be able to lead this team to the most victories this year to be in there obviously. Hopefully, that’s me. I’m doing everything I can to be that guy, but, if not, then I’m just going to try and keep getting better every day."

 I believe his improvement has taken him past Moore already although the depth chart says otherwise. Can it take him past Garrard? Tonight's game will help us find out.

Pat Devlin: This kid is smart. He works hard. He has shown himself to be coachable. But ...

He's in a tough spot against either more talented competition or more experienced competition or both. Devlin cannot play himself into the Dolphins starting job, no matter what he does out there against third- and fourth-team players. It is simply not reality.

But he can play himself into a practice squad job. He can play himself perhaps into the coaching staff's confidence to the point where he might be the third quarterback and if one of the two vets are cut or traded.

And, of course, he can play himself into role on another team as I watched some games Thursday night and the backup QB play on some teams is atrocious. So Devlin has high stakes on the table. Not as high as the other three. But high nonetheless.

 

 

Comments

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First. Good luck to the 'Phins tonight. Guess most of us will have to wait until Sunday to see the game.

It is important, under any aspect, to see how Tannehill performs, either tonight or later on. He's going in practice against what seems to be a pretty tough front 4, so, according to his performance and in a way, Miami's D will be graded also.

if you are playing fantasy football i wouldnt use any dolphins

Did anyone catch Tom Brady getting blasted on by the NO Saints DLinemen, that OL of the Pats arent looking to good. I cant wait till the Dolphins Dline get after that pretty boy.

A live Blog tonight......you have your glasses ready?

Keep it up Devlin!

..Tonights game will certainly met with over-reaction by the fan base. If the Phins play well, or a few players in particlar..Philbin for President..We are the new Miami Dolphins..America F@#k Yeah! If we play poorly or god forbid Tannehill look like a rookie..I can only imagine the nonesense that will fill these pages.

It is preseason game 1. The offense may play a quarter at the most(first team). So can we adequetly give fair evaluations to the other players once the first teams are out? Is it fair to a guy like Tannehill that he may be playing behind the third string offensive line? Sure he will be playing the other teams scrubs. So again, if he does well. should we rejoice, and hold hands. Or if he falter should we sick the dog on the mailman.

Imo as important as the preseason games are to the evaluation process. The practices have just as much if not more bearing on the decisions of the first teamers.

Tannehill will be going against 3rd stringers and borderline players tonite. So he should look decent.

Tannehill is going to win the QB battle, in my opinion. The toughest decision the Fins are going to have to make is which veteran QB to jettison.

I've got nothing against Garrard, but the man is just not exciting to watch. Reading War & Peace is more exciting that watching that guy play. Can he win games though, absolutely. That's the quandry.

We know what we've got with Matt Moore. He's not going to set the world on fire, but he really impressed me last season. However, even with that, the team still felt the need to draft a QB with the first pick, and that, my friends, tells the whole story.

My pick for the starting job, will be Tannehill. Let's see if I'm wrong.

i like joe philbin so far. but it looks like the cupboard is bare again in terms of difference makers. irelands been looking in later rounds where they dont exist;clyde gates has speed but not much else. on defense, safety will be an issue yet again. chris clemons has 3 paases defensed in 3 years!

I think physically talented wise it's not even close with Tannehill having all the tools to succeed as a very good QB. Now all the tools in the world doesn't always work because there are more bust then not and particularly at the QB position.

I want Tannehill to start because that means the future is now and the lumps he takes as a rookie progresses his learning curve. In the same breath that learning curve sometimes works against you if you're getting killed which I don't see being the case with what seems to be a good O-line taking shape but who is he going to throw the ball to? I for one am not drinking the Chad Johnson Kool-Aid. He is 34, never was sure handed and was always over rated IMO. He was good to very good at one time but never elite. Then after that it's Nanee and Bess in the slot and no names.

For that reason alone it's hard but I think I'm leaning on Tannehill starting his career on the sidelines. I don't care who wins out of Garrard or Moore because it's for one year only.

Wish I could watch the game on TV.

This is a Team Game and Tannehill is only a part of It. Who can win more games for us? That One will be kept and the rest will fall by the wayside.

The Dolphins threw in the towel on this season when they traded Brandon Marshall. But why keep Ireland for another rebuild? And why have 35 yr olds at QB and WR?

Big night for Ryam Mallet last night.....8-19 for 89 yards and an INT. Tom Brady must realize his days are numbered as the starter.

Are you kidding me? If this guy was a Dolphin most on here who already be calling him a 'bust'. 'Can't believe Ireland traded three picks for this guys....blah blah blah'........

Andy, you can watch the game online, not sure what website though, Im sure some nerd in here knows

Can we move on from Brandon Marshall, If your pissed about it you are a fan of him. If you are more a fan of the team you can see the guy is a time bomb head case, will not change, will not mesh into other types of offense. He is not the ruight fit for a NEW COACH and NEW ROOKIE QB. There is no possible way of making new progress with a guy like him.

Talent wise he is a beast, WHEN HE IS HAPPY AND WHERE HE WANTS TO BE! THAT WAS NOT MIAMI! Please recognize this.

Clue,

I usually just come to the blog around game time and there is usually a link up of the game. The game is also on the NFL network Sunday at 730 am. My son gets up around 630 so I'll be up.

Sorry but garrard will out play hennehill and moore. The job is his to lose!

Tanne: 4/8, 37 yds, 0/0, sacked once

Dolphin 77,

I respect your opinion but not so sure about that. Garrard seems to have hit his ceiling as a player IMO and how good was that? He had some good seasons but consistently? No. I just think he was an average starting QB and at best with one year out of football is still that.

Tannehill on the other hand knows the offense and is obviously more physically gifted then either more or Garrard.

All in all in the end Garrard will probably play better and be the starter week 1 which I'm on the fence with as a fan.

With the Dolphins playing their first preseason game, football gambling fans can finally have some action on the Dolphins. Check out Jimmy's wagering pick for the game.
http://phinsnews.com/phins-news-picks/

With the Dolphins playing their first preseason game, football gambling fans can finally have some action on the Dolphins. Check out Jimmy's wagering pick for the game.
http://phinsnews.com/phins-news-picks/

Henne looked like a perenial pro bowler last night anyone caught it

Football gambling Fans? They must be out of reality. You should only gamble in a game where you know more than your opponent. Probably like the Stock Market.

oscar, betting against the dolphins has been money in the bank

Yeah, I like to see Philbin's sideline coaching tonight.

Yeah, in the very good film-noir movie The Grifters you can see how these lowlife bookies used to cover their bets, among other "beauties".

Looking forward to seeing how the right side of the O-line fares, whether it's Hicks at RG and Martin at RT, or Steinbach and McDonald, or any combination of the 4. We need that right side fixed already.

Devlin must really have improved. Heard lots of good things about him.

Devlin supposedly has worked very hard on improving his arm strength. If Devlin is solid, it's going to be difficult to keep both Moore and Garrard.

Hey imposter ray!!

I don't know what game you was watching but HENNE didn't play last nite!
Oh I know now my bad, their were a lot of HENNE'S Look a like playing last nite, poor QB play! I agree!

Tannehill, Lamar Miller, Michael Egnew, Olivier Vernon and Legedu Naanee are some of the other players I want to see tonight.

According to Bob Griese, Ryan Tannehill's the real deal. I'll take Griese's word for it.

If Gizzard was "all that", I dont believe Jacksonville would have let him go. training camp is easy going for QBs, not being hit, so tonight will be real test.

I haven't been pumped for a preseason game in a long time!!

First thing is let's stay healthy!!

Second, let's go Ryan!!!

Look this is how it's going to work.If one of these QB's thouroghly out-plays the others (thru week 3 preseason) he will be the starter in Houston to start the season. As the season goes on Ryan Tannehill will be working 40% of the snaps against the 1st team defense in all the practices until he starts playing better than the current starter.If Tannehill dosen't continue to play well against our 1st team defense in practice & keep progressing he would then be demoted to 3rd string playing against second stringers(which is what you DON"T WANT).Furthermore if NO ONE plays clear cut better Miami WILL GO WITH A VETERAN TO OPEN THE SEASON.

All that said, I would love for Tannehill to play like a franchise QB right away to win the starter job,because if he does then he will clearly be a franchise QB.

Gosh, without Marshall, where will we find a WR who will step out of bounds on the way to the end zone without a single defender near him?

That guy is a basket case. Good riddance.

I agree with starting the guy who's playing the best, but unless its very clear cut (which it sounds like it is), I'd start Moore......Garrard can't show us anything we haven't seen, guy is 34 on a 1 yr deal so obviously not here for any length of time--Moore looked decent last year and is still young, so start the guy and see how he looks, start him Week 1 too and at least we can see a larger body of work--Tanny is the future but Moore is young enough that he could make it interesting at least.....not so w/ Garrard. I just don't see the point giving Garrard valuable starts/time.

Matt Moore got his two head coaches fired in consecutive years (John Fox & Tony Soprano).
Matt Moore has never beaten a team with a winning record.
Other than Mando, Odin & Kris no one was impressed.
He went 6-7 with a 1,000 year rusher (Bush) and the leagues All-Pro MVP WR (Marshall).
Matt Moore never WON a starting job in camp, in fact he never even was drafted.
Just another acorn we picked up after every team in the league passed on him and he was essentially out of football for 6 months.

Matt Moore has never even thrown for 300 yards in a game.
Ever.

MooreisLess--I hear you, and agree.....both of these guys though are simply keeping the seat warm for Tannehill, so Moore is at least in a position (age-wise, i.e. he's still young) to be able to improve....not saying he will, doubt it, but he's at least in that situation.....thats all I'm saying--what good does it do us to play Garrard? Its possible that Moore can be our backup QB for quite a few years, which wouldn't be terrible.....why give those reps to Garrard, thats all.....doesnt make sense, regardless of whether Moore is great or not.

give the reps to the 26 yr old QB who could improve and has some potential at least.....and not the 34 yr old, who wont improve, won't be here long term and is likely on the decline at that age--its pretty simple.

Check out NFL.COM. You may be able to watch the game there. They have pre-season live that is 19.99 and plays all the games. Not sure if it is blacked out in local area or not. I had it last year and live in the Tampa market but am a Fin fan. I was able to watch Buc's pre-season games live on line.

Big night for Ryam Mallet last night.....8-19 for 89 yards and an INT. Tom Brady must realize his days are numbered as the starter.
Are you kidding me? If this guy was a Dolphin most on here who already be calling him a 'bust'. 'Can't believe Ireland traded three picks for this guys....blah blah blah'........

Posted by: Craig M | August 10, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Seriously dude? Go F*ck yourself.

Your contributions to this blog, if you wanna call em that, are nothing more than you stroking you own ego.

YEA WE KNOW YOU TOLD US MALLET STUNK 2 YEARS AGO BLAH BLAH BLAH

You are validated by a preseason game. HA!

By Craig M's Demented logic, Drew Brees' job is in jeopardy.

He went 1-4 for a whopping 4 yards in a PRESEASON GAME.

Luke Mccown is chomping at the bit.

Profootball talk is reporting that Garrard will be out for a while due to knee surgery... Get on the Job Mando!

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