Owner expects Matt Moore to start

Updated: May 22, 2012, 7:56 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Despite drafting a quarterback with Miami's first-round pick in April, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross says he expects incumbent Matt Moore to start the 2012 season under center.

Ross told NFL.com on Monday that rookie Ryan Tannehill, drafted out of Texas A&M with No. 8 overall pick, will not become the starter until he is ready.

"I don't think they're going to rush (Tannehill) into anything," Ross told the website. "He's going to have to win the starting job. I think Matt Moore will probably be the starter, and I wish him the best."

Moore exceeded expectations starting the final 12 games last year, when Miami went 6-10. Moore is also expected to compete with veteran newcomer David Garrard for the starting job, which will give new coach Joe Philbin time to groom Tannehill for the job.

On Monday, Ross refused to rule out Moore as the long-term starter despite the Tannehill selection.

"Whenever (Tannehill) is ready," Ross told NFL.com when asked when he expected Tannehill to start. "And if Matt Moore develops, so be it. We want a franchise quarterback."

Tannehill, the first QB selected in the opening round by the Dolphins since Dan Marino in 1983, might have been a reach at No. 8. He started just 19 games in college after switching from receiver to quarterback, and last year he threw 15 interceptions while going only 1-4 against top-25 teams.

But the 6-foot-4, 222-pound Tannehill received favorable reviews from his college coach, Mike Sherman, the Dolphins' new offensive coordinator. General manager Jeff Ireland said that while Tannehill lacks experience, his size, arm strength, toughness, intelligence and overall athletic ability make him a top prospect.

"I didn't take him with the eighth pick in the draft for him to be a backup quarterback," Ireland said after drafting Tannehill in April. "I picked him to be a starting quarterback in this league at some point to have an impact on the team and help us win games and championships. That's the expectation."

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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