Miami Dolphins: Joe Philbin Taps Ryan Tannehill For Week 1 Start

Ryan Tannehill was drafted with the Miami Dolphins first pick in this year’s draft, and he will not be sitting on the bench, developing as an NFL quarterback.  Instead, Coach Joe Philbin spoke with the media today to announce that the rookie would be taking the field as the starting quarterback when the Dolphins face the Houston Texans in Week 1 of the 2012 season.

This comes after a highly publicized, three way quarterback battle between Tannehill and veteran QBs, David Garrard and Matt Moore.  Garrard was unexpectedly knocked from the competition after being sidelined by an injury to his knee.  Up to that point, the job seemed to be Garrard’s to lose.  This left Moore and Tannehill to battle it out, and the rookie made the most of his opportunity.

With two preseason games in the books, Tannehill’s passer rating was head and shoulders above the rest of the Dolphins quarterbacks, completing 56.8% of his passes for 267 yards and a touchdown.  The numbers are bot staggering, but he has been consistent, and he has kept the ball out of the hands of the opposing defense.

The one knock on Tannehill so far is the same issue that has been plagueing him since he showed up for OTAs.  He is still holding the ball for too long, and has 3 sacks, while Moore and Pat Devlin were able to stay upright.  Of course, this is not completely his fault, often relying on his line to keep him safe and his receivers to get open, but it is still something to keep an eye on as the season progresses.

Philbin made it clear that the decision was not made with ease, and that it was very close between all of the competing athletes.  He also clearly pointed out that these lineups are not forever, and that things change, leaving the door open to make a switch at a later point.  Hopefully, for the sake of the franchise, and the fans, this does not happen.

Tannehill was drafted to be the future of the Miami Dolphins.  The future just happens to be now.

Jeff Everette is a featured columnist for RantSports.com, covering the NFL and NBA.  You can follow him on twitter @jeverettesports, or subscribe to Jeff Everette-RantSports.com on both Facebook and Google+ for all of his latest articles, opinions, and rants.

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