Predicting the Miami Dolphins' Quarterback Battle
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There are a lot of positional battles going on in Miami this season, with the Dolphins transitioning to a hybrid style of defense and to a West Coast style of offense.
While the different battles comprise a good undercard, the main event will be the battle at quarterback. As of now, the matchup is scheduled to be a triple-threat match between David Garrard, Matt Moore and Ryan Tannehill.
Don't count the kid out, but he's already at a disadvantage up against the seasoned vets who, with years of study, know the ropes of an NFL offense like a devout knows his scripture.
Moore, on the other hand, has only won a starting job in training camp once in his career—when he beat out Jimmy Clausen in Carolina in 2009. Every other time, he's been forced into a starting role by injury or awful quarterback play.
Take nothing away from his performance for the Dolphins; he played well enough down the stretch to help the Dolphins to a 6-3 record. That's to say, he didn't lead his team to victory, but he didn't steer the Dolphins to defeat, either.
Throughout his career to this point, though, Moore has been a backup.
What's more, the Dolphins must remember that, while Moore played very well down the stretch, he also had Brandon Marshall to throw to. Marshall had 43 receptions for 676 yards and five touchdowns in the final nine games of the season.
To give you an idea of how much of a security blanket Marshall was for Moore, the wideout accounted for one-third of Moore's yards and touchdowns in that nine-game stretch and just over 30 percent of his completions.
Despite that, Garrard has been more consistently efficient of the two from a statistical standpoint; his lows have not been as low as Matt Moore's.
Neither sounds too enticing in the long term. No wonder the Dolphins drafted a quarterback in the first round.
I reiterate: don't count Tannehill out. In fact, trends among quarterbacks taken in the top half of the first round indicate that the majority of them are Week 1 starters.
Ultimately, it should still come down to who's the best fit, and the Dolphins wouldn't have drafted him No. 8 overall if they didn't project him as a fit into their offense. Tannehill has already said that there's a lot of carry-over from offensive coordinator Mike Sherman's offense at Texas A&M.
The Aggies may have blown four late leads, but the offense was hardly ever the problem in those games; they averaged 34.7 points per game on offense.
As mentioned earlier, though, the consensus is that he'll need some time to develop; if that's the case, look for an exciting battle between two short-term solutions at quarterback.
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