Philbin: Moore, Garrard will compete for QB job
The biggest issue facing new Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin is whether returning starter Matt Moore or recently signed David Garrard will be his quarterback next season.
He said Tuesday the two will compete for the job.
"I envision Matt Moore, and David Garrard, and Pat Devlin at this point in time getting a lot of repetitions in the voluntary minicamp," he said, "and as things move forward based on what things happen, we'll divide the reps up from there. It's an open competition. I told both guys that, and we're very clear about that. I told David my only obligation for Matt Moore is he's a member of the 2012 Dolphins. He's under contract. He played well last year and he deserves an opportunity to compete for a starting position. Just like David does because David is now a member as well."
Philbin took a measured approach when describing Moore's play in 2011.
"I thought he managed the games very well," Philbin said. "He's not necessarily a by-the-book quarterback, but he was very productive. I think he has good arm strength and he kind of has a knack. He kind of has that ability to move the team. He and I had a great conversation on the phone. I want to say it was last Thursday or Friday when dust had settled a little bit. We talked and he sounds very excited, very optimistic, can't wait to get back here. He's anxious to compete for a job. We talked about how I envisioned that position moving forward and he was all on board and looking forward to compete and wanted to get back to Miami, get back with his teammates and start working towards the 2012 season."
Moore started 12 games for the Dolphins last season, completing 60.5 percent of his passes for 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Garrard started 14 games for Jacksonville in 2010, when he completed 64.5 percent of his passes, with 23 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He missed the 2011 season with a back injury, but Philbin feels comfortable that he's healthy now.
"Probably the bigger part of the visit was making sure that our medical staff was comfortable with where he was at," Philbin said. "And as you know, there's no guarantees with anything but they were confident that he has made a complete recovery and is ready to go.
"In 2010 he had very good productivity. I think he throws a real catchable ball. He can spin it pretty good. He came in a couple weeks ago, whenever it was when he came into visit, and moved well, threw the ball well. He's got good velocity on his ball. I think fundamentally he's got nice mechanics. I like his personality. I like the way he handles himself, carries himself around the building I think will be good. I did some research on him with some people that I know that had some backgrounds with him during his days in Jacksonville. All reports were very positive about the kind of person he is, the work ethic he brings to the field. I think he's got real good skills. He's very comfortable throwing the ball on the move. He's had success throwing the ball on the move. He's certainly got the arm strength. I think he can be a factor in the vertical game as well."
These two are competing because the Dolphins were unable to land free agent Matt Flynn, who wound up signing with Seattle.
"I think we made an aggressive push [for Flynn]. We got him in here relatively quickly. Again, we had a great meeting. Matt, and I had some conversations, a number of conversations prior to his arrival to Miami. We had some subsequent ones after. He'd probably be able to give you better answer as to why he chose to go elsewhere. All I know is when we were together the visit was excellent. I thought he got along very well with our offensive staff. He and I obviously have a relationship together. Excited for him and wish him all the best and I think he'll do a fine job.