« Dolphins RB competition needs improvement | Main | Cortland Finnegan is the nickel corner now »

Moore's uncertainty gives Philbin a chance to communicate

Amid much speculation about the Brady Quinn signing Monday, I told you this signing is mostly about Pat Devlin and shouldn't be considered a major challenge to Matt Moore's status as the Dolphins' backup quarterback.

All this assuming Moore does his work and isn't a disaster in the coming practices and preseason games.

But ...

When Moore came off the field after practice Tuesday he didn't sound exactly sure about his status. Not at all. Indeed, he sounded downright uncertain that he'll be on the team when the Sept. 7 opener kicks off.

"All I can control is what I can do and keep getting better and that's just how it is," said Moore who was then asked if his cap number ($5.5 million) might affect the team's decision to keep him or not. "They're going to do what they think they need to do. And all I can do is keep going and it really has no effect. If it does, I think I'm in trouble. Mentally, I just need to stay focused and continue to get better."

But here's the dilemma ...

The Dolphins haven't told Moore what his status is. They haven't told him he's their backup to Ryan Tannehill. They haven't told him Brady Quinn was brought in and could take his job.

They haven't said anything, Moore said.

"They told me, 'Hey we're bringing him in.' That's it. I said, 'cool,' " Moore said. 

 And that is somewhat understandable because, despite the fact Moore is most likely the backup for 2014, there is a caveat: What if Moore completely collapses during the preseason? What if Quinn suddenly finds a gear in his game he's never seemingly had before?

(Quinn didn't show that geat in practice Tuesday but it was his first day on the field with this team).

Anyway, Moore is in the dark.

Thus the relative insecurity.

Moore, who sat most of the last two weeks with a shoulder injury, said he's ready to compete now and expects to play on Saturday against Tampa Bay. Until then he understands his body of work in the offseason program and practices have to speak on his behalf. 

"I haven't played in a game yet so that's probably up in the air but I feel confident in what I've done, the body of work I put in during the spring," Moore said. "We got practices and preseason games coming up and I will have opportunities I imagine. You got to take full advantage of them."

Me? Why not spell things out for Moore?

Coach Joe Philbin has made a big deal about being more communicative with his players. Why doesn't the coach use his next bed check with Moore to simply lay out the facts?

If the Dolphins are eager to get rid of Moore for cap purposes -- not the case, folks, trust me on this -- the coach should spell it out to his veteran. Moore has earned that respect.

If Moore is on the bubble and has to not only play better than Quinn, which he should do, but play very well in the preseason to stay in Miami, then Philbin should tell him so. Why not? What harm would honest communication do?

Finally, if Moore just needs to keep his head down, grind, compete and not screw up, to keep his spot -- which I believe is the case -- then Philbin should tell Moore that, too.

Look, Matt Moore is a leader in the quarterback room. He is respected by veterans in the locker room. If Philbin wants to put action behind his promise of being more communicative with players then this is a good opportunity. 

Comments