2016 Dolphins quarterback preview

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

Quarterback play for this year’s Miami Dolphins is crucial. Unlike the past few seasons, the team will ask more from the position under center.

At this point in the offseason, I’m going to survey several players who play the most critical position for the Dolphins success this season: quarterback.

Ryan Tannehill

It’s no surprise who the starting quarterback of the Miami Dolphins will be this upcoming season. For the fifth consecutive year, that honor stays with Ryan Tannehill. Despite taking a step back in his performance last year, Tannehill will be asked to do more this season—specifically at the line of scrimmage.

For the first time in his career, Tannehill has full command of the Dolphins offense. The fifth year pro with have the permission to audible in-and-out of plays at the line of scrimmage. However, it’s still up in the air how well he will adjust and perform this task (a task performed by all NFL quarterbacks).

In order for the Dolphins to make strides on offense this year, Tannehill must step-up his level of play in the game’s most critical moments: on third down, in the redzone, and in the fourth quarter. If he doesn’t, you can expect the offense to struggle the same way they did last year (ranking 27th in points per game).

Matt Moore

Matt Moore has been on the Dolphins team longer than any quarterback on their current roster. Despite producing a winning record (6-4) after replacing an injured Chad Henne during the 2011 season, Moore lost the starting job to Ryan Tannehill the following year after the Dolphins selected Tannehill eighth overall in the 2012 NFL draft.

More from Dolphins News

Moore, like any relatively successful backup quarterback, has become a popular player in Miami. Considered a fan favorite after his 2011 performance, Moore’s experience and leadership has kept him as the Dolphins primary backup for five seasons. This past offseason, Moore signed a 2-year deal worth $3.5 million. In case Ryan Tannehill goes down with an injury, or, perhaps, plays poorly, Moore’s deal provides the Dolphins with a nice insurance policy.

Brandon Doughty

In the seventh round of this year’s NFL draft, the Dolphins drafted Western Kentucky quarterback Brandon Doughty. Doughty, a prolific player for the Hilltoppers, is known mostly for his accuracy and efficiency with the football. Doughty was most impressive last season during his senior year where he led the NCAA in completion percentage (71.9), passing yards (5,055), and touchdowns (48).

It’s very rare that a player’s hometown team drafts them; in Doughty’s case, however, the unthinkable happened. Doughty was born right down the street (literally) from the Dolphins training facility in Davie, FL.

It’ll be interesting to see how the hometown kid transitions into the NFL. The Dolphins recent track record, however, doesn’t bode well for Doughty. For the past few seasons, the Dolphins have only kept two quarterbacks on their final roster. If Doughty can be proficient and grasp Adam Gase’s system, the Dolphins may break trend and keep a third quarterback on the roster come the start of the regular season.


By many, the expectations are low for this year’s  Miami Dolphins. With a brand new head coach, new coordinators on both sides of the ball, and new personnel sprinkled throughout the roster, it’s hard to imagine anything more than a sub par season. However, in order to take the next step necessary to contend in a tough AFC East, the Dolphins must improve and be consistent at a position that is paramount to their success: quarterback.

With the amount of talent on the Dolphins offense, along with a head coach that respected minds around the league proclaim a “quarterback whisperer,” this could be the season we see a breakthrough at the quarterback position.