Ryan Tannehill named Miami Dolphins starting quarterback

He’s already accomplished a feat hall of famers Bob Griese and Dan Marino never did. For that matter, he’s done what no other Miami Dolphin quarterback has done before him.

For the first time in the history of the Dolphins franchise, Ryan Tannehill will start at quarterback the first game of his rookie season. Head coach Joe Philbin announced the decision Monday that the organization’s first round and eighth overall draft pick will start in the season opener against the Houston Texans on September 9.

Tannehill missed the first two days of camp due to contract negotiations and started third on the depth chart at the beginning of training camp. Nevertheless, he edged out the team’s previous starting quarterback in Matt Moore, who started 12 games last season and impressed the team by leading them to victory in six of their final nine games, and David Garrard, who fell out of the quarterback competition after a knee surgery August 11.

“It was a close competition,” Philbin said of the three-way quarterback contention. “You’re trusting your instincts in terms of what’s in the best interests of the team….We like a lot of things about Ryan. He has a chance to be a very good player.”

The former Texas A&M quarterback has quickly impressed his coaches and teammates with his performance at the helm, going 25-47 for 267 yards and a touchdown in two preseason games, easily bettering the pedestrian numbers Moore has registered.

“We took into account the entire body of work of everybody since April,” Philbin said.

With Tannehill starting Week 1, at least four rookie quarterbacks will start on opening weekend for the first time since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970. The number one and two overall picks in Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III will start for the Indianapolis Colts and the Washington Redskins, respectively, and Brandon Weeden will lead the Cleveland Browns in Week 1.

But the Dolphins needed a quarterback set in stone perhaps more than any other team. Tannehill was the franchise’s first quarterback taken in the first round since Dan Marino in 1983 and, since his retirement in 1999, no team has gone through as many quarterbacks as the team in South Beach. The newest quarterback in town has already impressed his biggest competitor for the job.

“The guy has got the talent to be in the league,” Moore said before Tannehill was announced as the starter. “He obviously understands the game very well. He’s capable of being a starting quarterback in the NFL. There’s no doubt about that. And he works his butt off. So he’s got everything you want.”

He’s got just about everything he wants. And he’s certainly everything the Dolphins want and need – it’s now up to him to lead them to victories too.