The Miami Dolphins' Next Starting Quarterback: Part I

The PhinisherCorrespondent IAugust 4, 2008

It’s the same thing as always. For eight years, the Dolphins have drifted through life like a depressed lover whose true love is gone. Sure, you go out on the scene, take new people into your life, but never do they replace the gaping hole in your soul left by that one true love.

You see them occasionally, in all-too-brief two-minute glimpses here and there on the TV. Making fun of Boomer Esiason. Trying to find something nice to say about Miami. Breaking down the adjustments the Browns will have to make at halftime.

You catch a torturous minute of what once was at a celebrity game of flag football, closing down the storied Orange Bowl. Dan Marino, rocketing passes at receivers scared more of dropping the ball than of getting crushed by the safety.

Sure, it’s hyperbole. We’re talking quarterback competitions here, and nothing less than the most extreme comparisons will do.

There is a reality though, to this little fable. The Dolphins, every year, have a new answer at quarterback. Then that supposed answer finishes the year as a giant question mark. 12 quarterbacks have started since St. Dan Marino, hallowed be thy name, retired.

The next guy, if other than John Beck, will be the 13th. 13 quarterbacks since No. 13 holstered his sidearm.

This is all well documented. Every game the Dolphins happen to get on national TV (few to none this year) will at some point contain a depressing montage of those meager offerings since Dan.

There is often a lurid drawing of all of them together, throwing interceptions and fumbling the ball. Chewing with their mouth open at a nice restaurant. Talking too much about their college sorority.

It’s all very clownish. Sad clowns though...the kind that make you want to leave the circus immediately and do something fun.

On Aug. 2, 2008 the Dolphins had their first intrasquad scrimmage. The three quarterbacks now on the roster, only Beck remaining from last year, suited up and did battle to gain the starting position. What happened wasn’t very good.

None of them displayed clear ability to be an NFL starter.

John Beck got the start. The “Stormin’ Mormon” (as I was so ready to dub him) went 9-18 and failed to engineer a scoring drive. Those are the same numbers as his first NFL start, which was against the Eagles.

Last year, he went downhill from there (a total freefall containing bloopers so funny you could pee your pants laughing) and eventually was pulled for Cleo Lemon’s triumphant return.

You have no idea how much this pains me.

Journeyman Josh McCown brought his country-boy moxie onto the field next. He went 7-22 with an interception. Good stuff. He did get the ball in the end zone twice.

Dan Marino was at the scrimmage Saturday. He and Bill Parcells were seen talking on the sideline, smiling and laughing together easily. While the two were reminiscing about olden times, the Dolphins' current quarterbacks went 2-22.

Could there have been contract talk? I would understand that it is a crazy thing to do, but...Maybe?

Rookie Chad Henne faired best of all. Chad is quickly becoming the hope of the Dolphins' QB position (in the harsh light of reality). In camp, he has flashed actual competence and displayed an ability to grasp things quickly. Henne went 10 for 19 and got a touchdown.

Not quite Colt Brennan numbers, but hey, who wants 9-10 with 123 yards and two touchdowns in his first preseason game?

So, as this Monday morning’s practices have closed and the QBs have bounced back somewhat, particularly John Beck, who looked sharp Monday, things are still in the air. This coming Saturday is the Dolphins' first preseason game. At home, against a very good Buccaneers defense. That will be the first true gauging of the 2008 Dolphins quarterbacks.

By the way, Chad Henne is from Pennsylvania. Dan Marino is from Pennsylvania. Maybe...

Joking aside, the Dolphins QB situation is clearly murky from a standpoint of results. I don’t think it’s murky from a deductive standpoint. I think things are relatively clear once reason and logic are utilized. I think I already know who will be starting and if not, why.

Follow me, Watson, and we’ll get to the bottom of this yet.

Part I of II
Link to Part II of II

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