Miami DOLPHINS

David Garrard is starting QB on Miami Dolphins’ first depth chart

 

The Dolphins have listed David Garrard, the team’s most consistent passer so far in camp, as their first-string quarterback.

abeasley@miamiherald.com

David Garrard’s stock is up, Vontae Davis’ is down and John Jerry is in danger of being taken off the exchange altogether.

At least that is the takeaway from the Dolphins’ first depth chart of the season, released following the team’s practice Monday morning.

The day’s top news: The Dolphins have listed Garrard, the team’s most consistent passer through the first week and a half of camp, as their first-string quarterback — for now.

And although coach Joe Philbin did not commit to Garrard as the team’s starter for its exhibition opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday night at Sun Life Stadium, all signs point in that direction. Meanwhile, Matt Moore is listed as Garrard’s backup, rookie Ryan Tannehill is currently third on the depth chart and Pat Devlin is fourth.

Philbin let the group know his short-term plans during a Sunday evening position meeting, but made it clear much can change the next month, depending on performance.

“I’m confident we’re going to get very, very good quarterback play out of that group,” Philbin said. “I couldn’t be happier about the four men that are in that room.

“This is a fluid situation,” he added. “This is where we are [Monday].”

Garrard’s spot atop the depth chart should come as little surprise to anyone who has consistently watched the three quarterbacks. But the order behind him — Moore ahead of Tannehill — indicates that the coaching staff didn’t put more weight into Saturday’s scrimmage than the seven practices that preceded it.

Tannehill put on a show Saturday, completing 10 of 13 passes for 114 yards and a touchdown. Yet he enters his second week of camp the same place he began his first — with some catching up to do.

Garrard, a former Pro Bowler with a 62 percent career completion percentage, was sharp again during a particularly physical practice Monday, showing good touch on a crossing route to Legedu Naanee and hooking up with Roberto Wallace for a touchdown. None of the quarterbacks were made available to reporters after practice.

“[Garrard] believes that if he does what he’s supposed to do, and he remains healthy, given his experience, he’d be the best quarterback,” said Albert Irby, Garrard’s agent. “I think David Garrard, in my opinion, is probably as solid as he’s ever been.

“They’re going to get the Pro Bowl David Garrard.”

Meanwhile, at cornerback the Dolphins made official what has been clear the past few days: Richard Marshall is ahead of Davis, the former first-round pick who has started 36 games in his first three seasons. The depth chart listed Marshall as the starter, with Davis as the team’s nickel corner.

That’s the way they practiced for the most part Monday, although both got a shot with the first-string base defense.

If Davis’ demotion is a thinly veiled motivational ploy, it appears to have worked. Davis was active in coverage Monday and intercepted a pass from Garrard in goal-line work.

“It’s always a competition,” said Sean Smith, the other starting corner. “We don’t play Houston for a month now. Right now, everybody’s competing.

“As long as you do your job, everything else will take care of itself.”

Then there’s the offensive line.

Although the starting five has remained intact since camp began, Jerry — the third-year guard expected to compete for playing time — is in danger of being off the team altogether.

Jerry, who has started 13 games for the Dolphins, has been demoted from second team to third team, with Nate Garner taking his place. The Dolphins likely will keep no more than nine linemen, and Jerry has slipped out of the top 10.

When asked what the former third-round pick, who has struggled with weight issues, needs to do to improve, Philbin’s list was long.

“Consistency and sustaining blocks, whether it be run or pass,” Philbin said. “Finishing on an aiming point in the running game. In the passing game, handling those twists, being able to redirect against his second moves of his defender, being able to keep his body in front better. Those are the things we’re looking at.”

Other points of interest on the depth chart:

• Naanee, Chad Johnson and Davone Bess are the starting receivers, and Julius Pruitt and Brian Hartline — who missed practice again Monday with a balky calf — are the backups.

• Chris Clemons is listed as the first-string safety alongside Reshad Jones, and Jimmy Wilson and Tyrone Culver are behind them.

• Michael Egnew, the rookie tight end drafted in the third round this spring, is as far down on the depth chart as possible: fourth string. Charles Clay and Jeron Mastrud back up Anthony Fasano.

• Marcus Thigpen is listed as the team’s featured kick returner, and Bess is the No. 1 punt returner.

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