PHOENIX -- The Dolphins are making a ton of moves in free agency and have more to make, accoriding to general manager Jeff Ireland who today opened the door on more signings, trades and then the draft as serious possibilities for upgrading the team in the coming months.
But, let's face it, the Dolphins are going to be only as good as their quarterback.
It's on Ryan Tannehill to improve dramatcially on a 12-TD, 12-interceptions season for the Dolphins to be a playoff team in 2013.
But count club owner Stephen Ross as very excited about Tannehill's prospects. Indeed, Ross spent part of his time on his private jet to these annual meetings watch Tannehill play at Texas A&M -- as a wide receiver.
"This guy's an athlete and he's a very bright guy," Ross said in a meeting with the South Florida media. "You put those skills together, that's what really excited me about it. He as a person and what he's capable of, you put it as a package and people recognize this guy is winner. And complementing him with Matt Moore, I think we have as good a one-two punch at the quarterback position as anybody. He's going to get there. I feel confident."
Ireland wasn't ready to be quite so effusive but he didn't want to contradict his owner.
"I'm not going to put expectations on a young quarterback," Ireland said. "It's a continued development."
So I asked Ross if he really believes Tannehill and Moore as as good a combo as, say Tom Brady and Ryan Mallett. Are they as good as Alex Smith and Matt Cassel? Russell Wilson and Matt Flynn?
"I didn't say that. I said the comination," Ross said. "I don't know what they have behind [Brady] but the combination of working together and knowing we have depth and two fine young men, I'm very excited about that. Is that wrong?
"I said he's developing," Ross continued. "[Tannehill] is not there. It's only his second year. I see him doing it. I'm not saying he's going to be Tom Brady or Peyton Manning next year but he's developing."
Whatever he meant, it is clear the Dolphins are excited about the prospects of having Ryan Tannehill and Matt Moore back for 2013."