The Miami Dolphins quarterback race was once a 3 man competition. However, I think Ryan Tannehill has done enough to prove to the Dolphins coaches that he should be the Dolphins starting quarterback on September 9th against the Texans. I know, I know, the scouting report on Tannehill was that he should sit and learn for a certain period of time. BUT, the truth is, Tannehill needs to adjust to the speed of the NFL and the only way to do that is by playing in games. He already knows the system and honestly he’s the best HEALTHY quarterback the Dolphins have right now. Tannehill gives the Dolphins their best chance to win right now, so he should be the starter in week 1.
David Garrard? He’s out for at least another 2 weeks. Quite frankly, I don’t expect Garrard to be on the Dolphins when they trim the roster to 53 players. Garrard’s contract becomes guaranteed if he’s on the week 1 roster. The Dolphins can save $2+ million by cutting him and negotiating an injury settlement. Garrard was the #1 QB when he got hurt, but the Dolphins have no assurances that he will be healthy enough to play all season. PLUS, he hasn’t played in a preseason game, so he hasn’t been hit, which is important because he sat out all of last year with a back injury! There is a chance the Dolphins could cut Garrard and resign him after week 1 IF he proves he’s healthy. But, unless Tannehill is REALLY struggling, I don’t see Garrard unseating him so he would most likely be the backup QB (making Moore expendable).
Pat Devlin? He’s looked much improved from last year. He has better arm strength and almost led the Dolphins all the way back against the Panthers. Realistically, Devlin will probably make the team as the #3 quarterback. He COULD be the long term backup QB for Ryan Tannehill. If the Dolphins decide to keep Garrard, they can try to slip Devlin through waivers and back onto the practice squad. However, any other NFL would be able to put in a claim for him, which means the Dolphins would lose him.
Tannehill has better statistics than Matt Moore, going 25 of 44 for 267 yards and 1 TD. The funny thing is, the stats don’t tell the whole story about Tannehill. Watching the film, you can see that he’s going through his progressions and looking at his 2nd and 3rd options. This is important because it’s something that young QBs struggle with. Tannehill’s stats weren’t eye-popping against the Panthers, but he didn’t get much help. The offensive line almost got him killed and the running game did nothing to help create favorable down and distance situations. Tannehill faced far too many 3rd and longs, which have a low success rate.
I’m sure the Dolphins are holding offensive meetings about how to handle the QB competition from here on out. They were hoping to have this competition settled by the 3rd preseason game because it is the most regular season type game in the preseason. If the Dolphins plan on starting Tannehill opening weekend, they should let him start and play at least a half against the Falcons on Friday night.