- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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It's rare for a member of the media to suggest someone should stop doing interviews. But for the betterment of the Miami Dolphins, now is probably a good time for owner Stephen Ross to tone down the rhetoric.
Ross' latest statement is a perfect example. He told NFL.com he expects Matt Moore to be the starter in Week 1. This one statement, in essence, undermines everything Miami's coaching staff and front office have preached to the team and the public this offseason.
"I don't think they're going to rush (Ryan Tannehill) into anything. He's going to have to win the starting job," Ross said. "I think Matt Moore will probably be the starter, and I wish him the best."
Ross' public endorsement of Moore -- (wish him the best?) -- is not a good look.
The team has said over and over that veteran David Garrard will get a fair shot. Some in Miami think Garrard could actually be the favorite, because his style better fits the West Coast system. Head coach Joe Philbin and general manager Jeff Ireland also haven't ruled out Tannehill, although the expectation is that Tannehill will hold a clipboard as a rookie.
So, what if Garrard beats out Moore in training camp? Is Garrard the quarterback the owner didn't want or expect to start? If Garrard struggles early, would the owner push the coaching staff to insert Moore, who Ross projected to win the job in the first place? It's an unneeded controversy waiting to happen.
Ross' statement goes in the same bin with other offseason classics, such as wanting to hire a young Don Shula (Philbin is 50) and saying he hopes to retire Tannehill's jersey someday before the rookie's introductory news conference. Those are things you just shouldn't say publicly as the owner of a sports team.
Football season is upon us, and Ross is not a "football guy."
For the Dolphins' sake, it's time for Ross to stop making football statements.
3dField Yates and Rich Cimini