The Miami Dolphins’ three-day minicamp officially started on Tuesday in Davie. Only the media were allowed to attend. Based on the articles, videos, tweets, and reports I have observed from the past two days, there have been early struggles in minicamp for Ryan Tannehill. On the other hand, QBs Matt Moore and David Garrard appear to be playing well.
Before the start of OTAs and this week’s minicamp, many fans and NFL experts believed Tannehill could have the edge over Moore and Garrard as a starter since he already knows Mike Sherman’s playbook. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves so quickly. Even though Tannehill is more familiar with the offense, he is still a rookie trying to learn how to adapt. So far in this week’s minicamp, he appears to be having growing pains challenged with the overall speed of the game.
Based on several media reports, Tannehill is struggling to make quick decisions and is having issues holding onto the ball too long. During his rotations in and out of 11 on 11s, Tannehill has been sacked by rookies LB Josh Kaddu and DE Olivier Vernon. Also, on the very first pass of his first offensive series on day two of minicamp, he threw the ball right at the numbers to LB Cameron Collins for an easy interception.
Meanwhile, Garrard was the impressive QB on day one and Moore was deemed the winner for the day two QB battle in minicamp. According to coach Joe Philbin, both of these QBs have done a fine job quickly picking up the new West Coast Offense and have done well calling plays in critical 11 on 11 situations. Philbin and Ireland both have been impressed with their tempo, decision making, leadership, and effective communication at the line of scrimmage over the past two days. Based on the reports from OTAs and the last two days of camp this week, Moore and Garrard appear to be outperforming Tannehill in this quarterback race.
Since only the media can attend minicamp this week, I have not actually observed this quarterback competition in action. So it would be unfair for me to claim Tannehill is currently the third string QB on this roster. But according to the local media who have witnessed every second of camp, at this time, there is only a two quarterback race for a starting spot, between Garrard and Moore. In fact, when analyzing Tannehill’s performance so far this week, Dolphins’ beat writer Omar Kelly from the SunSentinel said, “the speed of the NFL game is eating him up right now.”
But there’s no need to get discouraged. It is way too early to be filling in depth charts at this time considering we are only in June. After all, there is still one more day left in this week’s minicamp. Tannehill will have an opportunity to redeem himself and possibly outduel the others in the QB battle on day three. And if not, he still has the rest of the summer and preseason to compete for a starting spot and prove why he was drafted with the eighth overall pick.
For those of you who still expect for Tannehill to be the starting QB for the Dolphins on opening day, I can only tell you to be patient. Just like any other rookie QB, he will need time to grow, develop, and adapt to NFL game speed. As the cliché goes, it doesn’t happen overnight.