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Miami Head Coach Joe Philbin Leaves Door Open to Ryan Tannehill Starting

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26:  Ryan Tannehill from Texas A&M holds up a jersey as he stands on stage after he was selected #8 overall by the Miami Dolphins in the first round of during the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images
Sigmund BloomNFL Draft Lead WriterApril 30, 2012

Sports Illustrated's Peter King has a very interesting item in his Monday Morning Quarterback column today about his prospects for the 2012 season. Most considered Tannehill far from ready to play because he only had 19 starts, but Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin isn't so sure:

In his office Friday afternoon, Philbin pointed to the practice fields outside and said: "Out there is where we're going to find out about Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore and David Garrard. I don't remember a master plan that said, 'Here's when Ryan's going to play.' If there is one, I was never told about it. We'll let them come to work, and the best man will win.''

Reading between lines, it's clear that if Tannehill outperforms Garrard and Moore in camp, he'll start. He even has a bit of a head-start, coming from the Texas A&M college program run by his now offensive coordinator, Mike Sherman. 

GM Jeff Ireland also revealed part of his mindset that should help quiet the doubters of Tannehill, for now:

One of Ireland's points to me about Tannehill, and why he feels so good about the pick, is he put a grade on the quarterback in December and it never changed, all the way up to draft day. 

So there you have it. Maybe Ireland is lying, but if you believe him, he has always had Tannehill worth this pick. Perhaps the Dolphins didn't feel painted into a corner by missing on Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn. Instead, we need to acknowledge that they might not have come correct to land the services of either of those QBs, because the plan was always to build around Ryan Tannehill in the draft.

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