In the end, the Dolphins’ quarterback battle ended with a whimper.
This week’s “Hard Knocks” chronicled the final week of Miami’s three-way competition. And although there wasn’t much drama — we knew Monday afternoon that Ryan Tannehill was the guy — it did show that Matt Moore was gracious in defeat.
The coaching staff notified Moore and Tannehill of their decision Sunday evening, and there was no explosive tirade out of Moore when he learned the bad news.
“I get it; I understand,” Moore said to coach Joe Philbin. “I guess it’s good to know. As long as we know what’s going on, you’re not going to hurt anybody’s feelings.
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“I’m with you 100 percent.”
Quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor told Moore that he’s “the best backup quarterback in the league,” which is nothing an aspiring starter wants to hear.
As for Philbin’s meeting with Tannehill, the coach tried to minimize any pressure right from the onset: “This isn’t that big of a deal,” he said.
The anticlimactic exchange was a fitting end to an episode noticeably calmer than that of the week before, which featured Chad Johnson’s arrest and release.
That event was referenced again early in this week’s episode, when Reggie Bush, Jake Long and Karlos Dansby requested a meeting with Philbin to discuss the way it was handled. The result: The formation of a player leadership council, whose members will be named once the team sets its 53-man roster.
The missing man in the quarterback competition, David Garrard, makes a comeback this week. Garrard, out with a knee injury, is shown on crutches.
“It’s going good,” Garrard says of his rehab from surgery. “Doctors and trainers say it looks real good.”
But it’s unclear whether he’ll be ready for the start of the season, which comes in two and half weeks.
That uncertainty — along with the Dolphins’ tight salary-cap situation and Pat Devlin’s strong showing this preseason — suggests that Miami could consider moving Garrard before the start of the season, freeing the team from the obligation of his $2.75million salary.
As of Tuesday, Garrard had not requested the Dolphins for a trade or to be released, and the club had not broached the subject of an injury settlement, according to a league source.
As for Devlin, he earned high praise from tight ends coach Dan Campbell in Tuesday’s program. Campbell said Devlin reminded him of young Tony Romo.
One other takeaway: Eric Steinbach is in a world of hurt with his aging knees, and dropped the word “retirement” — although he did so to knock the idea out of his head.
Steinbach’s loss has been John Jerry’s gain. Jerry, an interior lineman chronically battling weight issues, took a beating early in the show when offensive coordinator Mike Sherman called him “a player descending fast.”
But after a strong week in practice and an even better showing in the game, he’s out of the doghouse. He has practiced with the starters this week.
The episode closed with scenes from next week’s episode, with Tannehill firmly in place as the team’s starter. The crucial line, from guard Richie Incognito to his quarterback: “Don’t [bleep] it up.”