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After the Dolphins selected Ryan Tannehill in round one, I had this to say:
Tannehill will likely sit on the bench for his first year in Miami, meaning he won't provide an immediate impact. For first round picks, it is imperative that they do just that.
I still firmly believe every single word I said in those two sentences. What reason do I have not to believe any of it? It's only confirmed by this conversation between Miami Herald columnist Barry Jackson and Dolphins running back Reggie Bush:
Look for a tight competition between David Garrard and Matt Moore for the starting job, with Ryan Tannehill likely to begin the season on the bench.
“I would probably agree with you on that,” Reggie Bush told me. “Ryan can watch the veterans and learn. When he gets the call, he’ll be ready.”
Tannehill will be ready when he gets the call, but that call won't come on September 9th against Houston. Instead, expect David Garrard to get the call to start for the Dolphins over incumbent Matt Moore.
Why Garrard despite the fact that he missed all of last season after being released from Jacksonville?
The same article mentioned above explains it well:
Philbin speaks well of Moore, but his praise of Garrard has been more extensive and effusive the past three months.
“Garrard’s impressive,” Philbin said. “He looks you in the eye, shakes your hand and you feel good about the guy. He can still move well. He throws the ball with a lot of velocity and his accuracy has been good. His command of the offense is good.”
What about Moore? “I like the way he caught onto the system,” Philbin said. “He’s doing well.”
When a coach praises one guy's full abilities then remarks about the other guy about liking "the way he caught onto the system", I'm going to bet the guy whose abilities are being raved about by the coach is the leader.
However the test will come in training camp and during the preseason for all of the world to see. While I see Moore catching up during Miami's preseason games against Tampa Bay, Carolina, Atlanta and Dallas (Moore is a better player during the game than he is in practice), I see Garrard as the starter in Week 1 against Houston not only because of his abilities, but also due to familiarity (at least with their Week 1 opponent).
Garrard is 6-4 all time against Houston, which you might recall is six more wins than the Miami Dolphins franchise has over the Texans. In those 10 games, Garrard threw for 2,091 yards, nine touchdowns and five interceptions with a completion percentage of 62.9 percent and an overall quarterback rating of 90.6.
The Texans won't be the only team that Garrard is more familiar with—the Dolphins also have meetings against his former team the Jaguars (which will be a fun game to predict), as well as games against the Colts and Titans.
You know, teams Garrard would know very well.
That, plus the fact that Garrard is more talented than Moore (despite being seven years older than him) and I feel confident in predicting that the former Jags Pro Bowl quarterback will be Miami's opening day quarterback.