Tannehill Impresses as QB Battle Moves to Sun Life


The Miami Dolphins still have a three horse race for the starting quarterback job.  Rookie Ryan Tannehill, who the Dolphins selected with the 8th pick overall in the first round, faces off against two veterans – Matt Moore, who played efficiently last year with the Dolphins, particularly late in the season, and David Garrard, who sat out last season with injuries following a successful run in Jacksonville.

It’s still anyone’s guess, although Garrard has been getting more snaps with the first team offense.  But that doesn’t mean much this early in camp, and nobody is telegraphing anything.  “I haven’t been told anything, I haven’t been leaked anything, nobody’s come to me,” Garrard said. “So I’m just going to keep working, let it play out, and hopefully my game shows up.”

Rookie Ryan Tannehill is looking sharp in training camp

Still, Tannehill has looked impressive as well, particularly for a rookie.  On Friday’s practice, he looked sharp and actually put up the best numbers of the three quarterbacks.  Tannehill was 10 of 13 for 114 yards and a touchdown.  And while head coach Joe Philbin isn’t tipping his hand on who’s leading for the starting job, he did seem to be relatively happy with what he’s seen.

“You’ve got to believe in your players,” Philbin said.  “So if this guy is going to be playing for us, he’s going to be the future potentially at some point in time or whoever our quarterback is you’ve got to have faith.”  That clears it up, right?

On one play, Tannehill rolled out and floated a perfect pass on the run for a touchdown to Anthony Fasano.  That play drew some praise, even from Philbin.

“I was yelling on the touchdown pass, ‘Run, run, run,’ and then he threw a touchdown,” Philbin said. “I thought he looked natural out there. It wasn’t too big for him.”

Fasano, who was on the receiving end of the TD, was a little more free with his praise, saying, “I’ve said it all along, and I think everyone has said it – he doesn’t really play like a rookie quarterback.”

For Tannehill, it was good to finally got on the field at Sun Life Stadium, and to throw a touchdown in something a little closer to game conditions.

“I threw a touchdown, my first touchdown really in (Sun Life) Stadium,” Tannehill said.  “It’s fun you know. Like I said the first scrimmage, I guess atmosphere, we had a lot of fans that came out and it was a fun thing to do for us to have live action.”

Even Tannehill is cautious in his self-evaluation, and focused on continuing to get better.  There’s still a big difference between practice and game speed against a hostile opponent defense.

“I definitely have some things to improve,” Tannehill said.  “I dropped a snap on a third down play when we had a great chance to get a first down. I can’t do that obviously, but it was fun. It was a good first real scrimmage action and to get out there, get the tempo of the game, the flow of the game and have a good drive, so I really had fun.”

The quarterback duel continues, but if the Dolphins truly see Tannehill as their quarterback of the future, they will want to get him in the game as early as possible this season.  Garrard definitely has the most seasoning and Moore has the most experience with this offense.  So, while the week one starter is still anyone’s guess, it’s a safe bet for Tannehill to earn the job before mid-season.

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