Current QBs are stop-gaps — and they know it

DAVIE – Neither David Garrard nor Matt Moore is the Miami Dolphins’ long-term answer at quarterback. You know it, they know it, we all know it. They’re placeholders, the guys keeping the seat warm. That’s the way it seemed at Tuesday’s mini-camp.

If either guy is Miami’s starting quarterback in two or three years it would probably be just short of a disaster. Garrard and Moore aren’t in this franchise’s three-year plan, and they understand as much.

“People upstairs, they have jobs to do,” Moore said of the Dolphins’ front office.

The grand expectation is that Ryan Tannehill, the Texas A&M quarterback who seems destined to be selected by the Dolphins with the No. 8 pick in Thursday’s first round of the NFL Draft, will be Miami’s starter in two or three years.

That way the Dolphins finally get going down that path of grooming their own quarterback, a guy they selected, as opposed to some guy they grabbed off the free agent scrap heap.

After all, Miami’s offensive coordinator, Mike Sherman, was Tannehill’s college coach at Texas A&M. It seems like the perfect arranged marriage, this Tannehill to Miami union.

Except new Dolphins coach Joe Philbin says he hasn’t talked to Sherman about selecting Tannehill at No. 8.

“It wasn’t like we sat around and said, ‘OK, what about him at 8?’ ” Philbin said.

“We really haven’t had any discussion about where (Tannehill) should go,” he said. “We’ve asked him some questions about him.”

That leaves Garrard, 34, and Moore, 27, to battle it out for now. One of them will almost certainly be this season’s starter whether or not the Dolphins draft Tannehill or any other quarterback.

So there they were Tuesday, Garrard and Moore, at the Dolphins’ mini-camp, trying their best to win the job as the one-year, stop-gap answer. It’s not humiliating, they say. It’s life in the NFL.

Heck, both guys are just happy to be in the NFL. They know the deal. They’re both a year away from a familiar position, that spot where you’re just there until the next great thing comes along.

“I was named the starter at Carolina in 2010, and they drafted two guys,” Moore said with a chuckle.

Garrard knows that feeling, too. He was jettisoned from Jacksonville last year after they drafted Blaine Gabbert, the former Missouri standout, with the No. 10 pick last year.

“I think always the best guy should play,” Garrard said. “I think there should never be any politics in it.”

But Garrard, as you can tell by his advanced age, wasn’t born yesterday. He knows the game, and you can take that in every sense of the term. The best player doesn’t always play.

“There are some times when other things outside of the field come up and some guys get their numbers called,” he said.

That’s what will likely happen next year in Miami. The quarterback that gets drafted this season — and right now it appears that will be Tannehill with the No. 8 pick — will probably be next year’s starter, no matter what.

And Garrard and Moore will probably be on the free agent market, searching for another team to become a one-year filler, a seat warmer.

“Whatever they do in the future is what they do in the future,” Moore said. “I can’t control that.”

Philbin said there’s a chance either Moore or Garrard could be a long-term starter in Miami.

“I wouldn’t rule anything out at this point,” he said.

But, again, if either Moore or Garrard is the starter in two or three years, something went horribly wrong with Miami’s master plan at quarterback.