Philbin: Dolphins new QB should emerge by week 3 of preseason

The Miami Dolphins are expecting an exciting quarterback competition this summer.  Matt Moore did a solid job in Miami last year, going 6-6, but helped the Dolphins finish the season winning 6 of their final 9 games…..David Garrard, who missed the 2011 season because of an injury, has experience in the west coast offense and earned a Pro Bowl trip in 2010…..Ryan Tannehill was the Dolphins 1st quarterback taken in the draft’s first round since Dan Marino, and Tannehill in-depth knowledge of the Dolphins new offense.  All three quarterbacks have their advantages in this race and all three have disadvantages.

Matt Moore is familiar with more of his Dolphins teammates than the other two quarterbacks.  He was voted the Dolphins 2011 MVP last week, so we know that the players respect and appreciate what he did for the team last season.  However, last year, the Dolphins offense was tailored to fit Moore’s skill set.  This year, the Dolphins new coaching staff installing their version of the west coast offense…an offense MUCH different than the one the Dolphins ran last year.

David Garrard was voted to the Pro Bowl in his last full season of play, in 2010.  Garrard has talent and has played in a west coast offense before.  Garrard is reliable for the short and intermediate throws, but he lacks consistency with throwing the long ball.  Although he is familiar with the concepts of the west coast offense, this offense is different than others he’s been around.  Garrard is also facing the challenge of coming to a new team and trying to win the starting job.  He must adjust to new players and a new offensive system with the Dolphins.

Ryan Tannehill was drafted by the Dolphins to be their quarterback of the future.  Matt Moore and David Garrard are in the Dolphins plans for 2012, but are both set to become free agents after this season.  The question is when, not if Tannehill will get an opportunity to start for the Dolphins.  Will it be 2012?  2013?  We won’t know until the QB competition kicks into high gear in the preseason.  Tannehill knows the offensive playbook better than any player on the Dolphins right now…he should, it’s VERY similar to the playbook he used in college at Texas A&M.  While this is an advantage for Tannehill, he still must learn the other side of the ball in the NFL….opposing defenses.  The pace at which Tannehill learns the intricacies of NFL defenses and the speed of the NFL game, will determine how quickly he plays this season.

According to ProFootballTalk.com, Joe Philbin believes that by week 3 of the preseason, the Dolphins should have a pretty good idea as to who their starting QB will be week 1, versus the Texans.  This really isn’t much of a surprise, as the 3rd preseason game is generally the one where the starters play the most time (usually about 3 quarters).  What will be interesting is how the Dolphins divide up the reps with their quarterbacks.  It’s obviously going to be difficult to install a new offense AND ensure that all 3 QBs get enough reps so the coaches can make a decision on who the best QB is.  Getting reps is one thing, but the Dolphins also want to be sure that they get the QBs’ reps with the first team offense against the first team defense.  The QB competition started this week in the Dolphins OTA and will continue into the summer.  Week 3 in the preseason is about 3 months away, so Joe Philbin and his staff have plenty of time to make the most important decision they’ll make this season: Which QB will be taking snaps in Houston in early September?

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