There's been a lot of talk the past two days about the rise of Miami Dolphins quarterback David Garrard.
Maybe people were so invested in the Miami Heat's championship run they ignored the reporting of his progress throughout Dolphins organized team activities and a three-day minicamp?
I think I first became convinced Garrard had a shot to become the Dolphins' starting quarterback when I sent this Tweet on June 11.
Or maybe it was the first day of organized training activities when I wrote the following assessment on SunSentinel.com.
Why was it so hard for people to believe Garrard could not again compete for a starting job in the NFL, much less the Dolphins?
Because he missed an entire season? Because he is recovering from offseason back surgery and has yet to take a hit?
Those are certainly reasons to be concerned. That is why I sought him out last month to learn more about his surgery, his recovery and his personal expectations.
From what I witnessed alongside my partner Omar Kelly this spring, Garrard was the clear leader during media viewing periods. He had command of the new West Coast Offense with quick decisions and sharp throws.
Moore was inconsistent, and Tannehill looked like a rookie trying to keep up despite his self professed knowledge of the playbook.
Garrard played in the 2010 Pro Bowl, and started 68 of 69 games from 2006-10.
There are two reasons I believe Garrard could fall from the top of the QB race.
The first would be if Garrard's back cannot hold up to the rigors of the NFL. Yes, he has gone through OTA's and minicamps with no sign of regression. But he has yet to take a true hit.
The first time he could be expected to possibly get hit would be Aug. 10 when the Dolphins host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a preseason game.
That will be the first of four final auditions for the starting job. If Garrard withstands the hits, and maintains his quick command there's no reason to believe he could not be the starter.
Yes, Moore had a great finish helping the Dolphins win six of their final nine games in 2011. And no one's suggesting he's not up for the job. But he's learning a new playbook, and based on what we've seen Garrard has played better.
And Tannehill is not ready to be the Dolphins' starter. As we've reported ad nauseum, Tannehill is slow out of the pocket and slow with his decisions. Practice should help Tannehill adjust to NFL speed in the long term.
But for now, this day, this week, this month, Garrard is the clear-cut leader heading into training camp.
(Additional reading: Here's is a Q&A Garrard did with reporters in March after signing with the Dolphins.)Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times