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The Miami Dolphins will open training camp on Friday, and free agent signee David Garrard appears to be slightly ahead of incumbent Matt Moore in the competition for Miami's starting quarterback spot. The Miami Herald called Garrard "the slight front-runner" Sunday after speaking with several Dolphins.
"Garrard has been great, has been the main guy running with the first team," center Mike Pouncey said. "He brings leadership. Matt Moore did a good job last year but when Garrard is in, it's a whole different tempo."
The Dolphins plan on running a more fast-paced west coast offense under new head coach Joe Philbin, so the ability to keep pace will be key during training camp. Though the team selected Ryan Tannehill with the eighth pick in the NFL Draft this spring, he is expected to spend at least a year on the bench learning the ropes from Garrard and Moore.
"David has that confidence about him," new wide receiver Legedu Naanee said to the Herald. Garrard spent last season out of football after being cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars, but threw for 9,951 yards over the three previous seasons.
"Guys believe in [Moore], which is important," Naanee added. Moore stepped in after Chad Henne went out for the season in Week 4 of the 2011 season. He threw for 2,497 yards in 13 games, completing only 60.7% of his passes. The Dolphins went 6-3 in his final 9 starts, but still felt the need to sign Garrard over the offseason.
"They have three potential NFL starters," analyst Phil Simms told the Herald. That may be the case, but the Dolphins would prefer that either Garrard or Moore establish primacy sooner rather than later.
"You want to know sooner than later," Naanee told the Sun Sentinel. "At some point we got to start working with one guy as opposed to the rest," Brian Hartline added.
With a new offense being implemented, the Dolphins will want the eventual starter to receive as many practice reps as possible. Don't be surprised if the team names a starter before its first preseason game on August 10 against the Tampa Bay Bucs.