Many Miami Dolphins fans disapproved of the move to sign 34-year-old quarterback David Garrard. After missing all of 2011, the former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback was brought in to compete with Matt Moore for the starting job in training camp.
Most would peg Moore as the favorite to be under center in Week 1 for Miami. But an optimistic Garrard likes his chances and is ready to compete.
"I feel great. I'm 100 percent ready to roll. I feel like I'm back to myself if not better," Garrard said this week. "I'm excited to be back in the game and get back on the field.
"They said it was going to be a competition. A healthy competition is great for everybody. That's what was presented to me. I wouldn't expect anything else."
Garrard said he also garnered interest from the St. Louis Rams, but "the Rams kind of have a guy already in place" with Sam Bradford. An opportunity to win a starting job is Garrard's main motivation to come to Miami.
At one point, Garrard was one of the NFL's upper-level quarterbacks. The former Pro Bowler also led Jacksonville to the playoffs.
The question now is what does Garrard have left in the tank? He's coming off a back injury that kept him out all last year. He has to learn a new offense under Miami rookie coach Joe Philbin, and no one has seen him throw in a game since 2010.
In some ways, Garrard has to prove himself all over again.
"I think I've proved a lot of things as a starting quarterback, but I just want to go further than I've gone before," Garrard said. "I want to go deeper in the playoffs, get a taste, a shot at winning a championship. So those are things I want to prove to myself.
"I want to make sure that when my career is done that I poured everything I had into it. That was one thing I was thinking about all season last year when I was sitting home on the couch. Not knowing if I’ll get a chance to play again that I really didn't empty my tank. I have a number of years of football left in me."