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Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin released his first depth chart of the preseason Monday, and free agent signee David Garrard is listed as the top quarterback days before the Dolphins begin their preseason schedule. He will start when the team faces Tampa Bay Friday in its first preseason game.
Garrard, who spent the 2011 season out of football after being cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars last August, has unseated returning starter Matt Moore and held off a challenge from rookie Ryan Tannehill.
With Philbin installing a new uptempo offense, Moore has gained little advantage from being the only passer who was on the team last season. Indeed, reports out of Dolphins camp suggest Garrard has been far and away the best passer and game manager through training camp.
Nothing is set in stone, though, and the team will likely use its four-game preseason schedule to make doubly sure that they enter the season with the best passer in the starting lineup.
Philbin spoke about the quarterback race with the NFL Network Monday morning, saying, "We've been pleased with all three of those individuals.
"We're really pleased, number one, from a talent standpoint we've got excellent candidates at that position. They all possess a strong arm, they've displayed good accuracy at times. They have good mobility in the pocket."
Before the Jaguars cut him in 2011, Garrard had been the team's starting quarterback for five seasons, earning a Pro Bowl appearance in 2009. He spent his entire 9-year career in Jacksonville, completing 62% of his passes for 16,003 yards, 89 touchdowns, and 54 interceptions.
Also of note on the depth chart: Legedu Naannee, Davone Bess, and Chad Johnson are listed as the starting wide receivers. Bess started for Miami last season, while Naannee and Johnson are free agent acquisitions. Richard Marshall and Sean Smith are the starting cornerbacks, with Vontae Davis (who has started 36 games in his three seasons in Miami) on the second team.