Tannehill chosen as Dolphins' starting QBDAVIE, Fla. (AP) — Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill has won the Miami Dolphins’ starting job.
AP Sports Writer
DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill has won the Miami Dolphins’ starting job.
First-year coach Joe Philbin announced following practice Monday that Tannehill will start the Dolphins’ opener Sept. 9 at Houston.
Tannehill beat out Matt Moore, who finished last year as Miami's starter. Training camp began with a three-way competition for the job, but veteran David Garrard fell out of contention when he underwent minor knee surgery Aug. 11.
Tannehill, who played at Texas A&M, was drafted with the eighth overall pick, which made him the first quarterback taken in the opening round by the Dolphins since Dan Marino in 1983.
“We like a lot of things about him,” Philbin said. “He has a chance to be a very good player.”
Since Marino retired following the 1999 season, the Dolphins (No. 27 in the AP Pro32) have had more starting quarterbacks than any other team. Tannehill will become the 17th, and he'll be the first rookie to start an opener at QB for the Dolphins.
Neither of their Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterbacks — Marino or Bob Griese — can claim that achievement.
Tannehill started the Dolphins’ second exhibition game Friday at Carolina and went 11 for 23 for 100 yards in a 23-17 loss. After two preseason games, he's 25 for 47 for 267 yards and one score, while Moore is 12 for 27 for 136 yards and one interception.
Tannehill started just 19 games at A&M after switching from receiver to quarterback, and last year he threw 15 interceptions while going only 1-4 against Top 25 teams. But at 6-foot-4 and 222 pounds he wins raves for his size, arm strength, toughness, intelligence and overall athletic ability.
His progress in training camp was accelerated because the Dolphins’ new offensive coordinator is Mike Sherman, who was Tannehill's college coach and brought the A&M playbook with him.
The Dolphins drafted Tannehill after unsuccessfully courting Peyton Manning during the offseason. Now they'll see if the rookie was worth the investment.
“We didn't hand him anything,” Philbin said. “Nothing is forever in this league if a guy doesn't play well, at any position.”
Moore exceeded expectations starting the final 12 games last year, when Miami went 6-10, but has been mostly unimpressive in training camp. The offense has sputtered in the first two exhibition games, both losses.
“It was a close competition,” Philbin said. “But in the end, we feel that this is the best decision for our football team at the present time.”
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