Coach Joe Philbin began Wednesday morning insisting that the quarterback competition remained wide open. But with each passing day, David Garrard is doing his best to close it.
Philbin told 560 WQAM’s Joe Rose early Wednesday that Garrard, Matt Moore and Ryan Tannehill all still have a chance to start the season opener.
Yet Garrard has consistently had the edge over Moore during practice.
And for Tannehill to win the starting job, he has to start getting some serious work with the first team, which has not happened yet.
Tannehill took a few snaps with the starters during Wednesday morning’s walkthrough, but once the full-contact sessions began, he was again relegated to working with the backups.
Meanwhile, Garrard and Moore shared the first-team reps, with the former steady while the latter was at times shaky.
“I’m in the middle somewhere,” said Moore, when asked where he stands. “There are always things that I need to work on, but that’s what training camp is for.”
Moore threw a pair of interceptions Wednesday — one to Reshad Jones and the other to Anderson Russell — and fumbled on a strip sack by Randy Starks.
On Jones’ pick, the defensive back sat on Davone Bess’ route and made a clean jump on the ball.
Garrard wasn’t spectacular, but he appeared to fare better than Moore on Wednesday.
He connected twice with Bess for touchdowns, including the second pass over cornerback Richard Marshall.
Philbin said on the air that the coaching staff has a certain number of snaps in mind for each quarterback in the Aug.10 preseason opener against Tampa Bay but has not decided on the order in which the players will appear.
When asked about Tannehill during his daily media availability, Philbin said:
“The one thing, it’s funny, and I’ve told this to [assistant quarterbacks coach] Zac [ Taylor] and [offensive coordinator] Mike [ Sherman], he’s so under control at times that he doesn’t look like he has the greatest urgency on occasion,” Philbin said. “He’s kind of cool and collected.”
Empty seats in davie
Attendance through the first five days of camp has been a bit light, with at least two longtime observers saying that it’s the emptiest they have seen the stands in years. A Dolphins spokesman disputed that characterization, saying that it has been in line with years past.
The bleachers — which hold roughly 2,000 spectators — were two-thirds full Wednesday, a crowd that included 250 campers from the Alonzo Mourning Overtown Center. More than 1,400 people showed up for Sunday’s session, although Monday drew just half of that. Not including Saturday’s scrimmage at Sun Life Stadium, there are nine more training camp practices open to the public.
This and that
• Safety Chris Clemons returned to contact drills and got some work with the first team in after being limited for a few days because of injury.
• Receivers Brian Hartline (calf) and Clyde Gates (hamstring) were again held out of contact sessions.
• Defensive tackle Tony McDaniel got banged up toward the end of practice, but he is expected to be fine.
• Reggie Bush has fumbled three times in the past two practices, including once while fielding a punt Wednesday. Marcus Thigpen and Bess are also getting a look at punt returner.