Pressure point: Dolphins

May, 18, 2012
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Examining who faces the most challenging season for the Dolphins and why.

Some starting NFL quarterbacks have one challenger breathing down their neck waiting to take their job. But very few incumbents have two quarterbacks gunning for them. That is the situation Matt Moore of the Miami Dolphins is in.

Moore is coming off a career year, going 6-3 in his last nine starts for Miami in 2011. He was the second most consistent quarterback in the AFC East to Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. However, that wasn't nearly enough for Moore to enter this season as Miami's unquestioned starter. He has to compete with veteran David Garrard in training camp.

Even if Moore fends off Garrard in the short term, he would still have to fight off Dolphins first-round pick Ryan Tannehill in the long term. Tannehill is clearly the quarterback of the future in Miami. How quickly Tannehill will take over depends on the rookie's learning curve and Moore's ability to win games.

It's a high-pressure situation for Moore, where it appears nothing will be good enough in Miami. Moore is entering the final year of his contract, and even if he puts up big numbers, Tannehill is expected to take his job for good in 2013.

Moore proved last season that he can handle pressure. He pulled the 0-7 Dolphins out of the gutter by infusing new energy. Miami played solid football in the second half of the season.

But this is a situation Moore won't survive with the Dolphins. The best Moore can hope for is to beat out Garrard and get enough playing time this year to show another team he can be a long-term starter.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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