Miami Dolphins Quarterback Battle: The Case for Moore, Garrard, and Tannehill

Connor McKnightSenior Analyst IAugust 10, 2012

Miami Dolphins Quarterback Battle: The Case for Moore, Garrard, and Tannehill

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    While the competition in NFL training camp heats up, the quarterback battle within the Miami Dolphins organization has seen the most media coverage.

    With this tough competition’s center stage appearance on HBO’s Hard Knocks, the player that will start under center in Week 1 for the Dolphins is as big a mystery as ever.

    The cast for this dramatic campaign is even more intriguing.

    There is Matt Moore, the MVP of the team last season, after taking the starting position from an injured Chad Henne and leading the Dolphins to a 6-6 record as a starter (after a 0-4 start to the season under Henne).

    Next in line is David Garrard, the veteran with nine seasons in a Jacksonville Jaguars uniform under his belt along with a career QB rating of 85.8 and 23 touchdown passes in the 2010-2011 season.

    But the golden boy of the Dolphins, Ryan Tannehill, who is the No. 8 pick in this year’s draft (and the first quarterback selected in the first round by the Dolphins since Dan Marino), continues to remain in the mix.

    In this slideshow are the cases for each quarterback. Feel free to comment your opinions below.

The Case for Matt Moore

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    Matt Moore was without a doubt a solid quarterback last season.

    After a shaky start under center with three straight losses and a total of one touchdown pass, Moore rebounded and led the Dolphins to a 6-3 record in the final nine games of the season.

    He seems incredibly composed at the position and even brilliant at times including two three-touchdown performances last season against division competitors who are also two teams in the AFC title hunt this season, the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots.

    However, Moore’s ability to hang onto the football has put his starting job in jeopardy for the upcoming season. As a starter, Moore fumbled 14 times last year. Although only six of them were actually lost, this is a facet of Moore’s game that really worries head coach Joe Philbin and the Miami Dolphins organization.

The Case for David Garrard

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    David Garrard steps into this quarterback battle as the only clear veteran.

    With nine seasons as a Jaguar, Garrard has seen the ups and downs of a struggling organization.

    He shined as a starter in 2007, when the Jaguars upset the Steelers in the Wild Card game in the playoffs before falling to the eventual AFC Champion New England patriots.

    In 2010, Garrard put up his best career stats as a quarterback in the NFL with 28 total touchdowns.

    Although he did not play last season, Garrard seems primed to return to a starting position. His rushing ability provides an additional dimension to his game, but his age and injury potential should be taken into account as well.

The Case for Ryan Tannehill

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    Ryan Tannehill is the dark horse in this quarterback battle. He is a young dark horse on top of that.

    The quarterback for the future for the Dolphins, Tannehill was expected to take a back seat for the upcoming season.

    That is, until he showed up to training camp with an incredible knowledge of the playbook and the personal drive to win himself a starting job.

    Playing under his offensive coordinator at Texas A&M (Mike Sherman), Tannehill will clearly start for the Dolphins in the near future. The question remains when.