According to reports, the Miami Dolphins will indeed start Ryan Tannehill at quarterback tonight against the Panthers. The Dolphins have not confirmed this report, but it’s only a matter of time. Word of Tannehill starting tonight for the Dolphins, broke a few moments ago on Twitter after Dick Stockton did a radio interview with Zaslow and Hoch. Stockton stated that Ryan Tannehill will indeed be the starter for the Dolphins tonight.
The Dolphins want to see Tannehill perform against an opposing 1st team defense. Tonight, he’ll get his chance since the Panthers are expected to play their starters until halftime. It remains unclear just how long Tannehill will play, but I would imagine he’d at least play a quarter and a half, with Matt Moore coming out of the bullpen. Tannehill had a strong week at practice and many (including me), thought he should get the start tonight to see what he can do.
If Tannehill plays well tonight, I would think he would get the start in the all-so-important 3rd preseason game. Remember, the 3rd preseason game is the dress rehearsal for the regular season. Team’s usually game plan against their opponent and play their starters through 3 quarters. Logically, whichever QB (Moore or Tannehill) starts the 3rd preseason game, will be the Dolphins starter against the Texans on September 9th.
Now, just because Tannehill is starting, does not mean that he has been declared the winner of the QB competition….well, unless Philbin makes a liar out of me and says so later today! He needs to play well tonight against the Panthers 1st team defense. If he struggles and Matt Moore does well in relief, we will have a lot more questions than answers! I hope he does well and I think he will. He looked very sharp against the Bucs 2nd and 3rd team defense last week. Can he keep the momentum going?
Remember though, that he is a rookie and he will make rookie mistakes. It’s more a matter of when, not if. Matt Moore is not a star, but he is still a very serviceable QB in the NFL. He did lead the Dolphins to 6 wins after the team started 0-7 last year. Moore could still end up being the Dolphins starter, if they feel that Tannehill isn’t quite ready yet. There is no need to rush him and Moore may buy the Dolphins time while David Garrard heals.
Tonight at 8pm. Dolphins at Panthers. Tannehill to start. This is now the most eagerly anticipated preseason game that I can remember. Get you’re popcorn ready!