Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase came out this week in support of his team’s current quarterback depth chart. One would expect the head coach to do just that no matter how questionable their current arrangement looks to those outside South Florida.
Here’s how things stand under center in Miami for the moment—and it’s not all that impressive:
Tannehill is a worthy NFL starter, but he is making his way back from a torn ACL that cost him the entire 2017 season. That injury came after he missed the end of the 2016 season with sprained knee ligaments. So, health concerns are warranted.
Plus, Gase and the Dolphins are naturally playing it cautious with Tannehill as he continues to go through the process of recovery. Once he gets there, the Dolphins have reason to feel good about their starter, who was headed for a fourth consecutive season with at least 20 touchdowns before his injury in 2016. That season, Tannehill completed a career-high 67.1 percent of his passes and posted a personal-best 93.5 quarterback rating.
Tannehill is not the problem, but it’s the rest of the depth chart that draws reason for worry.
Will the Osweiler underachievement tour continue in Miami? He’s getting the chance from Gase, but it's also not set in stone he will be the direct backup to Tannehill.
Osweiler and then-assistant Gase were together in Denver, where the former Arizona State star spent four seasons and started seven games in 2015. The next season he was in Houston where he threw 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions while starting 15 for the Texans. Osweiler was given the opportunity to compete for the starting job in Cleveland last season but struggled in the preseason and was cut by the Browns before Week 1.
That’s right. Cut by the Browns.
Osweiler ended up back with the Broncos and saw action in six games with four starts, but was far from overwhelming in his second stint in Denver.
In his third season, Fales is expected to compete with Osweiler for the backup job. With three career games under his belt, Fales has not been given a real chance to show what he’s got but saw significant action in a 22-16 loss to Buffalo last Christmas Eve.
Fales went 29 of 42 with a touchdown and an interception to give Gase a good look at what the former San Jose State standout could do.
Even if Fales beats out Osweiler for the No. 2 spot, that should not be of any comfort to Dolphins fans. His incomplete resume wouldn’t instill hope for any team, especially one that’s trying to bounce back from its second 6-10 season in the last three.
The Dolphins picked up Petty after the New York Jets let him go and he has some solid NFL time to his credit. That includes seven starts in his first two seasons. However, he’s thrown 10 interceptions to just four touchdowns while completing 53.1 percent of his passes.
That’s not a great start to a career, but the Dolphins see enough potential in Petty to give him a shot to earn a roster spot. That likely would come at the expense of Fales, and who knows, maybe even Osweiler.
What makes this more of a concern to the Dolphins' faithful is that the team didn’t take a quarterback in the draft and is relying on a backfield of Kenyan Drake and the aging Frank Gore for support.
Let's give Gase the benefit of the doubt for the moment, but it doesn’t look pretty in Miami.
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