The Miami Dolphins have been stuck in the abyss of quarterback mediocrity since Dan Marino retired in 1999, and it doesn't appear an end to the misery is in sight.
However, the 2012 roster is probably the best the Dolphins have been at quarterback since the 2008 season, when Chad Pennington and two second-round picks, Chad Henne and John Beck, were the team's top arms.
Aged veteran David Garrard is a former Pro Bowler, and a proven winner. Matt Moore's steadying presence last season proved he's potentially more than a stopgap option, and the Dolphins used a first-round pick on former Texas A&M standout Ryan Tannehill because he has all the traits needed to be a solid NFL starter.
One of these three will win the training camp and exhibition season battle, earning the starting nod. But whoever has the No. 1 spot in Semtember will need to produce wins to keep the other two from getting their turn.
QUARTERBACK: David Garrard, Matt Moore and rookie Ryan Tannehill are competing to become the starter. Pat Devlin is fighting for a roster spot.
BY THE NUMBER: Garrard, who has a respectable 85.8 career QB rating, has led the Jacksonville Jaguars to 11 fourth-quarter comebacks and 18 game-winning drives during his six seasons as an NFL starter.
ON THE HOT SEAT: Moore produced an impressive 87.1 quarterback rating last season because he's a gamer, but he'll need to perform better in practices to earn this new coaching staff's respect. Coach Joe Philbin and staff need to see Moore's magic on the practice field first.
THE KEEPERS: Hard not to envision Miami keeping the top three quarterbacks, and returning Delvin to the practice squad.
BREAKDOWN: Garrard’s experience level gives him the edge over Moore, whose inconsistent practices have been a problem throughout his six-year NFL career. Garrard makes quicker decisions, and his short to intermediate accuracy is superior to Moore, who has a knack for producing big play. But can Garrard keep the big play alive?
This isn’t Garrard’s first time in a west coast offense, which could explain why he performed better during the offseason program. The downside to Garrard, who turned 34 this year, are concerns about his durability. He missed all of last season with a back injury, and has battles Krohns disease, a chronic inflammation of the intestines, his entire career. Moore, who was voted the team's MVP for the 2011 season, could possibly close ground on him by performing well in the exhibition season.
Tannehill represents the future at the position, and it is likely he won't be rushed into action. But if the No. 8 pick adjusts to the speed of the game, and performs at a level close to Garrard and Moore, he'll likely get the starting spot.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun