AFC East: John Beck

DAVIE, Fla. -- There is no bigger boom-or-bust prospect in the 2012 draft than former Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Is he the next prolific NFL quarterback, or simply a product of pre-draft hype that led to becoming a top-10 pick?

Opinions vary. But the Miami Dolphins believe they have the answers to the Tannehill question. Miami has more inside knowledge on Tannehill than any other team and drafted its quarterback of the future with the No. 8 overall pick Thursday night.

Tannehill will rejoin Dolphins offensive coordinator and former Aggies coach Mike Sherman, who says Tannehill is a star in the making. There are many critics who believe Tannehill is fool's gold, but the Dolphins are very confident they made the right choice.

"This was an all-in decision," Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland said firmly. "From the football side, our scouts, our coaches ... we all felt very, very good about it."

Ireland hit the nail on the head. The Dolphins are betting the foreseeable future of the franchise on Tannehill -- for better or for worse.

If Tannehill develops into an upper-echelon quarterback, the Dolphins finally have the biggest piece to change their misfortunes. If Tannehill is a bust, it will set Miami back another three or four years.

"We're excited and thrilled," Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said of their first-round pick. "I've always said you need to be strong at the quarterback position, and now that's one of the strengths of this team. So I couldn't be happier."

The pick doesn't come without pressure. It's been 29 years since the Dolphins drafted a quarterback in the first round: Dan Marino in 1983. Those are some big shoes to fill.

It's also no coincidence Miami hasn't had a legitimate, franchise quarterback since Marino retired in 2000. The list of mediocre starting quarterbacks since included Cleo Lemon, Joey Harrington, Trent Green, Jay Fiedler, A.J. Feeley, John Beck and most recently Chad Henne. Tannehill will try to avoid being the next name on this infamous list.

Tannehill had only 19 career starts in college. There is a learning curve with Tannehill that isn't as steep for other top quarterback prospects like Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, who went No. 1 and No. 2 to the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins, respectively.

The good news is Tannehill is not expected to play in 2012. Barring unexpected injuries to Miami veteran quarterbacks Matt Moore and David Garrard, Tannehill probably will hold a clipboard next season. This will provide Tannehill ample time to learn the NFL game.

[+] EnlargeMike Sherman & Ryan Tannehill
Icon SMIRyan Tannehill will be reunited with former Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman.
Dolphins rookie head coach and former Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin kept Aaron Rodgers on the bench for several years before he became a starter and it worked out fine. But that wasn’t what Tannehill wanted to hear on draft day.

"I want to compete, that's just the competitor in me," Tannehill said in a conference call with the South Florida media. "Obviously with competition comes learning. It doesn't have to be a hostile competition. It's just competing."

Ireland said he’s going to leave Tannehill's playing time next season up to the coaching staff. But chances are, we won't know much about Tannehill until 2013. The boom-or-bust talk will have to wait for at least a year.

But Tannehill's ceiling is high if things go right in Miami. It also doesn't hurt that the quarterback competition in the AFC East is not very stout. It's pretty much Tom Brady, and then there's everyone else.

Tannehill has the physical ability to potentially rise above the struggling quarterback pile in the division that includes Mark Sanchez, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tim Tebow. If Tannehill becomes the second-best quarterback in the AFC East over the next two or three years, that's a huge advantage for the rebuilding Dolphins.

Remember this day, Dolphins fans. Tannehill is the draft pick that will either change Miami's misfortunes or extend the team's misery for several more years. The Tannehill mystery won't be solved overnight, but Miami feels it found the piece to eventually build this struggling franchise into a winner.

"I don't know if this energizes the fan base. What energizes the fan base is winning," Ross said. "I'm looking to field a winning team, because energizing a fan base only lasts a very short period of time.

"We're talking about winning in the long haul."

Dolphins should avoid second-round QBs

February, 22, 2012
Here is a memo to the Miami Dolphins: Avoid drafting quarterbacks in the second round this year.

I'm not very superstitious, but I know a trend when I see one. For Miami, picking three quarterbacks in the second round since 2007 has been nothing short of disastrous.

Lets start in '07 with the first second-round pick: John Beck. This was former Dolphins head coach Cam Cameron's quarterback of the future. Beck was taken in the second round (No. 40 overall) out of BYU and showed nothing in his two years in Miami. He threw one touchdown, three interceptions and had a 62.0 passer rating before being traded to Baltimore, where Cameron landed after getting fired in Miami after one season.

The next year, new head coach Tony Sparano was looking for his long-term solution at quarterback. In '08 the Dolphins selected Chad Henne in the second round (No. 57 overall). Sparano backed Henne all the way to the bitter end, when Sparano was fired in 2011 and Henne suffered a season-ending injury. Henne will be let go by Miami this offseason.

Finally, in '09 Miami drafted Pat White in the second round (No. 44 overall) with hopes of adding a dynamic element to the Wildcat offense. The Dolphins were criticized for this pick, because it was clear that White would struggle in the NFL as a conventional quarterback. His only potential impact would be for gimmick plays, and Miami wasted a second-round choice on that possibility. White made just five pass attempts in his one year in the NFL.

It's no secret the Dolphins will look at free-agent options first, such as Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn. But when it comes to the draft, they should avoid second-round quarterbacks. They simply don't pan out in Miami.

Wrap-up: Dolphins 20, Redskins 9

November, 13, 2011

Here are some thoughts on the Miami Dolphins' 20-9 victory against the Washington Redskins:

What it means: After an awful 0-7 start, the Dolphins have won two straight. The victory against the Redskins also was Miami's first home win at Sun Life Stadium this season. The Dolphins are playing hard in the second half of the season under embattled head coach Tony Sparano, who continues to audition for his job beyond this season.

What I liked: Miami running back Reggie Bush continues to have his best stretch of the season. Bush didn't register a lot of yards. But he scored both of Miami's touchdowns on the ground, including a fourth-quarter score with 6:17 remaining to seal the game. The Dolphins' defense also took advantage of Washington's rotating door at quarterback. Former Dolphins quarterback John Beck didn't play in his return to Miami. He was benched Sunday in favor of Rex Grossman, who struggled and threw two costly interceptions for Washington.

What I didn't like: There's not much to complain about with Miami's performance. But if I had to nitpick, Miami starting quarterback Matt Moore didn't play as well as last week. He had two key turnovers in the first half (one interception, one fumble) that kept Washington in the game until the fourth quarter. Moore finished with 209 yards and two turnovers. He needs to be more consistent in taking care of the football.

What's next: The Dolphins (2-7) will host the Buffalo Bills (5-4) in their first of two meetings this season. With Buffalo struggling and Miami playing its best football of the season, it could be anyone's game next week at Sun Life Stadium.
It's been a stellar week for Miami Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore.

This past Sunday Moore played perhaps the best game of his career in a 31-3 thrashing of the Kansas City Chiefs. It was the first win for Miami (1-7), and the performance was good enough to earn Moore AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors from the NFL on Wednesday.

Moore was very efficient. He was 17-of-23 for 244 yards and three touchdowns. Moore also had a stellar 147.5 passer rating and led the league in Total Quarterback Rating.

Moore isn't the long-term solution in Miami. But at least he's playing well enough to keep the Dolphins competitive. Miami will host former Dolphins quarterback John Beck and the Washington Redskins (3-5) this weekend at Sun Life Stadium.

Morning take: Beck returns to Miami

November, 9, 2011
Here are the most interesting stories Wednesday morning in the AFC East:
  • Former Dolphins draft pick John Beck will make his return to Miami as the Washington Redskins starting quarterback.
Morning take: Beck was once considered the future quarterback of the Dolphins. But that didn't work out. Now, Beck has a chance to show his former team that he's an improved players.
Morning take: Yes, this article is exactly right. Missed draft picks have prevented New England from replenishing defensive talent that was lost from its glory years. The ceiling for this unit just isn’t very high.
Morning take: If you guessed cornerback Antonio Cromartie, you guessed right. “Cro” has six penalties in eight games. The Jets hope that number decreases in the second half of the season.
  • What's next for Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams?
Morning take: Now that he's officially out for the season, Williams has to get the proper rehab and come back 100 percent next year. He's a great player, when healthy, and one building block in Buffalo's defense.
Here are the most interesting stories Monday morning in the AFC East: Morning take: The Jets played better this week. But expectations are too high for this team to accept moral victories. New York has a good chance to get back on track next Monday against the Miami Dolphins.
Morning take: Hernandez’s numbers are a little deceiving. He drew two penalties that gave New England additional yards. His only mistake was a drop in the end zone before halftime that led to a Jets interception.
Morning take: I give the Bills a B+. Buffalo could have played better in the fourth quarter and allowed fewer yards defensively. But the Bills controlled most of the game against a team that, on paper, has a lot more star power.
Morning take: Ted Ginn Jr., John Beck and Pat White are among the recent draft busts in Miami. The Dolphins have missed on enough first- and second-round picks to where it's caught up to the organization.

Can Beck make Miami look like a loser?

May, 18, 2011
Miami Dolphins fans are shaking their heads over all this John Beck talk.

The quarterback who failed in Miami and haplessly produced some of the signature moments of the 1-15 season apparently is Mike Shanahan's choice to start for the Washington Redskins.

"NFL Live" took a look at Beck's rise to prominence. ESPN's Adam Schefter, who has a close working relationship with Shanahan, reported Beck "will go into camp as the Washington Redskins' quarterback, barring the unforeseen."

The Dolphins drafted Beck 40th overall in 2007. He was considered their quarterback of the future and was supposed to develop behind Trent Green and Cleo Lemon. Injuries and ineptitude eventually forced Beck into the starting lineup. He went 0-4. He threw one touchdown and three interceptions.

Bill Parcells formed a new front office and the Dolphins dumped Beck after the 2008 season.

The Baltimore Ravens signed Beck, reuniting him with offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, the Dolphins' head coach when they drafted Beck. The Ravens traded him to the Redskins last year.

But what if -- as Miami Herald columnist Armando Salguero wondered Tuesday -- Beck performs well for Washington? The Dolphins have been hurting at quarterback for years. Chad Henne doesn't look like the answer. They used a second-round pick on Pat White and cut him a year later.

How much should the Dolphins dread the possibility of Beck proving them wrong?

Tracking starters in recent AFC East drafts

April, 22, 2011
While working on a feature about Tom Modrak's draft record as Buffalo Bills vice president of college scouting, ESPN researcher John Fisher dug up some interesting data.

The Bills actually were the AFC East's most efficient club when it came to drafting starters since Modrak came aboard in 2002.

Several factors certainly play into that from team to team. Importance of the position, holes that allow for immediate contributions and reliance on free agents to fill out a roster all make a difference. So do the number of players drafted.

But, in general, I thought it was an interesting snapshot to share. Because the research was done to put Modrak's tenure in perspective, numbers are from 2002 through the present.

Buffalo Bills

First through third rounds: 28 players; 804 starts (15th)

Fourth through seventh rounds: 45 players; 417 starts (eighth)

Analysis: Among AFC East teams, only the New England Patriots generated more starts within the first three rounds. No other division opponent found more starts from the fourth round and beyond. The Bills have whiffed badly on some early picks, as noted in Thursday's story about Modrak. But they have done well in locating solid help in the later rounds, namely 1,000-yard receiver Steve Johnson (seventh round), Pro Bowl defensive lineman Kyle Williams (fifth round) and top cornerback and Pro Bowl kick returner Terrence McGee (fourth round).

Miami Dolphins

First through third rounds: 25 players; 599 starts (31st)

Fourth through seventh rounds: 43 players; 333 starts (16th)

Analysis: The Dolphins have done well with their recent first-round picks. Although receiver Ted Ginn with the ninth pick in 2007 was controversial, they found keepers with tackles Jake Long and Vernon Carey and running back Ronnie Brown. But the second and third rounds have been a wasteland: quarterbacks John Beck and Pat White, running back Lorenzo Booker, receivers Patrick Turner and Derek Hagan, linebacker Eddie Moore. Miami's best later-round pickups since 2002 have been franchise-tagged nose tackle Paul Soliai (fourth round), Pro Bowl safety Yeremiah Bell (sixth round) and tight end Randy McMichael (fourth round).

New England Patriots

First through third rounds: 31 players; 823 starts (12th)

Fourth through seventh rounds: 50 players; 379 starts (11th)

Analysis: The Patriots have found their share of gems in the later rounds, including four eventual Pro Bowlers. They picked up cornerback Asante Samuel and kicker Stephen Gostkowski in the fourth round, center Dan Koppen in the fifth and quarterback Matt Cassel in the seventh. They've also done incredibly well with their first-round selections. Five of their past six first-rounders have gone to the Pro Bowl. Where the Patriots have been shaky is in the second and third rounds. They've gotten receiver Deion Branch, tight end Rob Gronkowski, tackle Sebastian Vollmer and safety Patrick Chung there, for instance, but they've also misfired with quarterback Kevin O'Connell, receivers Chad Jackson and Bethel Johnson and cornerback Terrence Wheatley.

New York Jets

First through third rounds: 24 players; 766 starts (19th)

Fourth through seventh rounds: 32 players; 314 starts (18th)

Analysis: The Jets' start totals look worse because they haven't drafted as many players as the other AFC East teams. Their early round players average 32 starts, about 5 1/2 more than the Patriots. But the team that accumulated the most starts here -- the Jacksonville Jaguars with 1,172 -- averaged an extraordinary 43 per player. The Jets obviously failed with 2008 sixth overall pick Vernon Gholston and 2003 fourth overall pick Dewayne Robertson, but they've generally identified quality players inside the first three rounds, including All-Pros Nick Mangold and Darrelle Revis and franchise quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Blaine Gabbert preps for the combine

February, 21, 2011
Two AFC East teams should be in the market for quarterback help.

That's why Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins fans may want to take a glimpse inside Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert's preparations for this week's NFL scouting combine.

Gabbert likely will be off the board when the Dolphins are scheduled to pick at No. 15, but you never know.

Gabbert is working with quarterbacks coach Terry Shea, who was with the Dolphins during their indigestible 2007 campaign. Shea couldn't turn John Beck into a star, but I have a feeling Shea's latest pupil will fare much better in the NFL.

Miami has refused to get serious at QB

December, 28, 2010
The Miami Dolphins have been a lost franchise when it comes to quarterback.

Since Dan Marino's retirement, they've drafted duds (John Beck, Pat White), passed on studs (Drew Brees, Matt Ryan) and chased scuds (Daunte Culpepper, Trent Green).

Monday on the AFC East blog, I wondered where the Dolphins would be had they chosen Ryan first overall in 2008 instead of left tackle Jake Long.

Luis DeLoureiro of also examined the Dolphins' ongoing quarterback woes for a piece on "The Fifth Down" blog at

Chad Henne certainly hasn't looked like the answer. The Dolphins this upcoming offseason probably will resume their decade-long search for the most important player on their roster.

DeLoureiro noted the Dolphins are one of only seven NFL teams to have avoided drafting a quarterback in the first round since 1998. The others are the New England Patriots, Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks. All except the Dolphins and Panthers have their man identified.

Counting on Tom Brady- or Tony Romo-type luck isn't a sound organizational strategy.

DeLoureiro pointed out the Dolphins have preferred to spend second-round picks on quarterbacks. They did so five straight drafts, trading for A.J. Feeley and Culpepper and then selecting Beck, Henne and White.

A dozen quarterbacks have been drafted in the second round since 2001. Henne and Jimmy Clausen are the only two starting for the teams that took them. Kordell Stewart and Jake Plummer are the only two second-round quarterbacks to have a degree of success since 1990.

DeLoureiro wrote:
For almost 20 years, Dan Marino was the face of the Dolphins. Although he didn’t win a title, he broke just about every significant single-season and career passing record. One would think that, more than anyone, the Dolphins would understand the value of a franchise quarterback. But the team has opted to avoid the risk involved with first-round quarterbacks. Unfortunately, they have also lost out on the reward that comes with first-round quarterbacks.

Dolphins on 15th starting QB since Marino

November, 18, 2010
Buffalo Bills fans thought they had it rough, trying to find a semblance of quarterback stability since their Hall of Fame quarterback retired in 1996.

With Tyler Thigpen about to become the Miami Dolphins' third starting quarterback of the season, it's time to dust off that long list of quarterbacks to have started since Dan Marino hung up that weird boxing-boot cleat after the 1999 season.

Thigpen will be the 15th quarterback to start a game for Miami since Marino retired.

Only twice in those 11 seasons has a quarterback started all 16 games. Those "perfect seasons" came seven years and 11 new starting quarterbacks apart. The Bills at least had Drew Bledsoe starting 48 straight games from 2002 through 2004.

This will be the fourth season in which at least three quarterbacks started for the Dolphins since Marino retired.

2000: Jay Fiedler (15), Damon Huard (one)

2001: Fiedler (16)

2002: Fielder (10), Ray Lucas (six)

2003: Fiedler (11), Brian Griese (five)

2004: A.J. Feeley (eight), Fiedler (seven), Sage Rosenfels (one)

2005: Gus Frerotte (15), Rosenfels (one)

2006: Joey Harrington (11), Daunte Culpepper (four), Cleo Lemon (one)

2007: Lemon (seven), Trent Green (five), John Beck (four)

2008: Chad Pennington (16)

2009: Chad Henne (13), Pennington (three)

2010: Henne (eight), Pennington (one)

'07 draft class nearly purged from AFC East

October, 15, 2010
After they dumped quarterback Trent Edwards and traded running back Marshawn Lynch in consecutive weeks, a lone member of the Buffalo Bills' 2007 draft class remained on the roster.

Just three years later, one keeper is a lousy return.

But consider how the rest of AFC East drafted in 2007.

Only six of 30 AFC East draftees from 2007 still are with the team that drafted them: two New York Jets, two Miami Dolphins, one New England Patriot and one Bill. (See chart below.)

[+] EnlargeDavid Harris
Anthony J. Causi/Icon SMIThe Jets traded second-, third- and sixth-round choices to move up and select David Harris.
The Jets were most effective. They drafted just four players. Their first two have been stars, and the last pick helped them acquire a standout receiver. They traded up to select star cornerback Darrelle Revis 14th overall and top inside linebacker David Harris 47th. Seventh-round pick Chansi Stuckey was sent to the Cleveland Browns in the trade that landed receiver Braylon Edwards.

The Patriots were the least efficient on nine picks, but they had only two selections inside the first four rounds. Their lone keeper was Pro Bowl safety Brandon Meriweather in the first round.

The Dolphins made 10 selections in what was the final draft class for general manager Randy Mueller and the only one for rookie head coach Cam Cameron. They famously misfired on ninth overall pick Ted Ginn, who was traded for a fifth-round pick this offseason, and second-round quarterback John Beck. Still around are defensive tackle Paul Soliai and punter Brandon Fields.

The last man standing from Buffalo's seven-man 2007 draft class is second-round linebacker Paul Posluszny.

So that's a 20 percent retention rate for the AFC East on all draftees and a 40 percent rate for those selected in the top three rounds.

With help from ESPN researcher Keith Hawkins and the Elias Sports Bureau, I wanted to find out how those percentages compared leaguewide.

Poorly, it turns out.

Of the 225 players chosen in other divisions that year, 100 have remained with the teams that drafted them. That's 44.4 percent overall, more than twice the AFC East rate.

When narrowing the field to players taken within the first three rounds, 89 prospects were absorbed into other divisions, and 54 have stuck, a success rate of 60.7 percent.

A few notes turned up by the research:

  • The Dolphins are the only team that has gotten rid of their top four picks.
  • Twenty-six teams have parted ways with at least one of their picks from the first three rounds.
  • Of the 19 teams that had at least one pick in each of the first three rounds, only the Pittsburgh Steelers retained all of them (Lawrence Timmons, LaMarr Woodley, Matt Spaeth).

Random thoughts on Bills' preseason debut

August, 14, 2010
Some observations from the Buffalo Bills' 42-17 loss to the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field on Friday night ...
  • You can see why the Bills hotly pursued Mike Shanahan to be their overlord. The Redskins went 4-12 last season, but looked like a far more polished team under Shanahan than the Bills did under their new coach, Chan Gailey.
  • Buffalo was sharp on its opening drive, despite losing running backs Fred Jackson (hand) and Marshawn Lynch (ankle) to injuries. Trent Edwards completed all but one of his five passes for 44 yards. Every throw was to a different target. A 20-yard Lynch run was wiped out by a penalty.
  • That was about all that went right for the Bills' starters or second-stringers. It seemed unfair to watch veteran quarterback Rex Grossman hook up with prospect Devin Thomas on a 44-yard touchdown in the third quarter. The Bills don't nearly have that kind of depth.
  • This is how Buffalo ended a span of seven straight possessions, beginning with its second and lasting deep into the third quarter: interception, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt.
  • Of those seven series, only one began inside the Bills' own 20-yard line. None went farther than their own 38. Five of those six punts were of the three-and-out variety. They had another in the fourth quarter.
  • It didn't matter what Redskins offensive unit was on the field when it came to figuring out the Bills' new 3-4 defense. Not helping was inside linebacker Paul Posluszny being scratched. He missed the first part of training camp while recovering from groin surgery and should be OK.
  • The Bills were destroyed in every phase. The first game without special teams coordinator Bobby April, and Bruce DeHaven's return to Buffalo, was ugly. The Bills allowed a 77-yard punt return for a touchdown. Ellis Lankster fumbled away a punt return.
  • Outside linebacker Aaron Maybin played deep into the fourth quarter and appeared to get pushed around. He finished with two tackles and was called for roughing the passer on what should have been an incomplete pass on third-and-6 in the first quarter. The Redskins eventually scored a touchdown.
  • But Maybin did record his third sack in an NFL uniform, getting to Miami Dolphins castoff John Beck in the fourth quarter. All three of Maybin's sacks have been in preseason games.
  • For you Dolfans out there, Beck struggled with his third team. He completed two of seven attempts for 27 yards, fumbled once and was sacked twice.
  • On a positive Bills note, backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick closed out a drive late in the third quarter with a 5-yard touchdown pass to David Nelson. The score capitalized on a 43-yard Chad Simpson run two snaps earlier.
  • Nelson finished with a game-high five catches for 47 yards.
  • With Jackson and Lynch sidelined, Simpson and undrafted rookie Joique Bell had their moments. Bell ran five times for 52 yards, including a 28-yard touchdown.
  • Brian Brohm didn't play. Many Bills fans hoped Brohm would win the starting job, because he presents unknown possibilities that Edwards and Fitzpatrick don't. Seventh-round draft choice Levi Brown completed three of seven passes for 28 yards and an interception.
  • Gailey said Brohm will play Thursday night against the Indianapolis Colts, while Fitzpatrick sits out.

Report: Cameron on Bills wish list

January, 22, 2010
I've received quite a few e-mails and text messages from South Floridians incredulous at the report the Buffalo Bills had Cam Cameron on their head-coaching short list.

Marc Serota/Getty ImagesDolfans would have loved to see failed head coach Cam Cameron up in Buffalo.
And they're disappointed it didn't come to fruition.

John Murphy, sports director of Buffalo's CBS affiliate and the Bills' play-by-play voice, reported the Bills had two sets of candidates: realistic and idealistic.

The viable candidates Murphy listed were free agent Chan Gailey, Arizona Cardinals assistant head coach Russ Grimm, Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator Ron Rivera and Cameron, who is currently the Baltimore Ravens' offensive coordinator.

There was no mention of New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who confirmed last week the Bills requested an interview that he turned down.

Among the long-shot candidates Murphy named were free agents Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden, Mike Shanahan and Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh.

While I'm not as down on Cameron as some folks are, you have to wonder why the Bills would be so interested. Cameron is two seasons removed from his only season as a head coach, when he went 1-15 with the Miami Dolphins and was fired.

It was a disastrous season in which the Dolphins botched the ninth overall draft pick (that's the selection the Bills have this year) by selecting Ted Ginn.

Cameron mismanaged a dicey quarterback situation, and if Bills need anything right now it's somebody who can get a handle on that position. After signing veteran free agent Trent Green to hold down the job and drafting John Beck in the second round as the quarterback of the future, the Dolphins fell apart and came away with journeyman Cleo Lemon as their best option that year. Beck lasted two seasons before the Dolphins cut him.

Cameron also insisted on keeping the offensive coordinator's job, but when the season unraveled he surreptitiously handed off to tight ends coach Mike Mularkey, a name that now has Bills fans laughing just as hard as Dolfans are at memories of Cameron.

Henne fifth of 13 Fins starters to win post-Marino

October, 4, 2009
Nobody ever will replace Dan Marino with the Miami Dolphins.

But for crying out loud, they need to get a regular quarterback at some point.

Maybe Chad Henne will be that guy. That's why the Dolphins drafted him in the second round out of Michigan last year.

Henne made his first NFL start Sunday, completing 14 of 22 passes for 115 yards and one touchdown to beat the Buffalo Bills in Land Shark Stadium.

Henne become the 13th Dolphins quarterback to start since Marino retired. That was more recently than you probably think. Although it seems like a lifetime ago for Dolfans, the post-Marino era began in 2000.

Henne is only the fifth quarterback to win his first start for the Dolphins since Marino retired.

The rundown of quarterbacks who have started for Miami since Marino retired, with 2001 the only season they didn't use a new one (asterisk denotes winner in first start).