Monday, August 6, 2012
David Garrard atop depth chart
DAVIE, Fla. -- David Garrard is listed as the first-team quarterback on the Miami Dolphins' first depth chart, ahead of Matt Moore and first-round pick Ryan Tannehill as they try to win the starting job.
First-year coach Joe Philbin called the quarterback battle "a fluid situation" and said there was no guarantee Garrard would get the start in Friday's preseason opener against Tampa Bay.
Walker: No Surprise Garrard No. 1
It would have been an upset if David Garrard wasn't atop the Dolphins' first quarterback depth chart, James Walker writes. Blog
Moore started the last 12 games for Miami in 2011 and went 6-3 over the last nine weeks, compiling an impressive 97.8 passer rating during that span.
But Garrard, the longtime Jacksonville starter who sat out last season and underwent back surgery, has outplayed Moore in practice and also in Saturday's intrasquad scrimmage.
"I believe we have talented players with good arm strength and good mobility with good leadership qualities," Philbin said of his quarterbacks, including second-year player Pat Devlin in that group. "I couldn't be happier with the four men that are in that room. I told them the same thing, this is a starting point. Things could change. But this is where we are today."
Garrard declined last week to address speculation he might be ahead in the race.
"I just come out and go to work every day," Garrard said after the scrimmage. "Until I'm told anything, I'm just going to keep working. I haven't been told anything, I haven't been leaked anything, nobody has come to me. I'm just going to keep working and let it play out and hopefully my game shows up."
While declining to admit a quarterback had distanced himself from the competition, offensive coordinator Mike Sherman said Monday he was confident about the position.
"I know when we came in here, there was a lot of talk about the quarterback position and all the angst, and rightfully so, but I feel very confident that it will not be a weakness on this football team," Sherman said. "I think it will be one of our strengths when we get done with this thing.
"We're not there yet. We still have a long way to go. In determining who's the starter, once we do that, that person will now get sufficiently more reps and I think he'll just keep getting better. But I feel very confident about our quarterback position, where it's headed, and I think we'll have a good starter when we get done."
The other development of note from the Dolphins' first depth chart came at cornerback, where free agent acquisition Richard Marshall is listed ahead of 2009 first-round pick Vontae Davis at one of the spots. Sean Smith is listed as the other first-team cornerback.
Davis started 27 of the 28 games he appeared in over the last two seasons.
"He's actually practiced well the last couple of days," Philbin said of Davis. "He's doing well. But there's good competition there and that's a good thing right now. Again, it's early. I don't think anybody should be concerned. The whole ballclub needs to show a lot of improvement and he's no different than anybody else in that regard."