Finally, we arrive to the most important position on the football field, the quarterback! There is little question that the play of the quarterback determines the success of the offense and his play usually decides the outcome of most wins and losses. Training Camp 2012 for the Miami Dolphins will hopefully decide whom the triggerman will be moving forward for Miami. This player must orchestrate Head Coach Joe Philbin’s new West Coast offense with crisp execution and consistent precision! Here’s a long look at the men that will have the opportunity to lead the Dolphins in week one on the road at the Houston Texans.
-Matt Moore: If there’s a quarterback on this roster that should enter the 2012 season with confidence in his abilities is Matt Moore! Moore came to the Dolphins last season during training camp almost as an afterthought, and ended the season as a leader and someone the Dolphins could count on! The numbers show that Moore was one of the top signal callers in the league from the middle of the season until week 17. His 88.7 passer rating from October 17th (vs. the New York Jets) showed his consistency, and finished tied for sixth in the league with 24 plays of 25 yards plus. His 147.5 quarterback rating at Kansas City (November 6th) was the fourth highest by a NFL quarterback last season. Moore passed for three touchdowns in that contest (also three touchdowns against the Bills on 11/20 and thePatriots on 12/24) and his 16 touchdowns to nine interceptions was a respectable ratio for the season. Moore must display his hot finish on day one of this quarterback competition in training camp to emerge behind center against the Texans on September 9th!
-David Garrard: This is where the quarterback competition gets interesting! There is no denying that when healthy, Garrard has proven that he can play this position at a high level. In 2010, David led the Jacksonville Jaguars to an 8-8 record narrowly missing a playoff spot. He also threw for 23 touchdowns and 2,734 yards earning a Pro Bowl selection! His quarterback rating of 91 showed his ability to protect the football and consistently put his team in winning situations. Joining the Dolphins this off-season, Garrard looked 100 percent healthy in mini-camp after surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back. He showed the ability in those workouts to throw with accuracy and the velocity needed to compete for the starting position! Garrard has always relied on his ability to move, rushing for 1,746 yards in his career and 17 touchdowns. It will be interesting to see who emerges as the starting quarterback for Miami this season, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Garrard is the last man standing when September rolls around!
-Ryan Tannehill: The Dolphins showed confidence and resolve by selecting Tannehill with the eighth overall selection in this year’s draft. General Manager Jeff Ireland displayed confidence in Ryan’s ability to lead and perform at a level to be the starting quarterback now or in the future for this storied franchise. His transition from college to the NFL will be aided by the understanding of this offense because of his experience playing for offensive coordinator Mike Sherman’s offense at Texas A&M. Watching Tannehill’s strong right arm and command at the line of scrimmage throughout OTA’s and mini-camp will give him a chance to compete from day one of training camp. The challenge that all rookie quarterbacks face is the recognition of pro defenses and the multiple fronts and coverages. Add that to the speed of the game at the next level is the biggest hurdle he must adjust and adapt to right away. It always difficult for fans to have patience with a young quarterback, and Tannehill’s success shouldn’t be determined by starting week one, but rather putting himself in position to play at some point this season is where the focus of this organization might reside.
-Pat Devlin: It’s always difficult when there’s a quarterback competition, and your name isn’t mentioned among the front-runners, but that is the reality for Devlin in 2012. Pat is a young talent that has potential to make a roster in the NFL, but it might not be this season with Miami. He was activated from the Dolphins practice squad last December and just might be targeted for the same duties in the upcoming season.
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.