The Miami Dolphins have their man.
After a relatively brief competition with Matt Moore and David Garrard, Ryan Tannehill was officially named the Dolphins starting quarterback by head coach Joe Philbin on Monday. After Tannehill started the ’Phins second preseason game and played relatively well, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Tannehill knows offensive coordinator Mike Sherman’s offense better than anyone and is clearly the quarterback of the future in Miami.
I was critical of the Dolphins selection of Tannehill, but I can’t argue with this decision. He’s clearly comfortable with Sherman’s offense and even if he doesn’t give them the best chance to win right now (which he actually might) they’re playing for the future.
New York Giants 3rd-round pick Jayron Hosley returned an interception for a touchdown on Saturday night, but left the game in a walking boot. On Sunday, Tom Coughlin revealed that Hosley suffered a toe injury but did not speculate on how long he would be out.
It sounds as though Hosley won’t miss significant time, but this has to be frustrating for the Giants. Just last year their 1st-round cornerback, Prince Amukamara’s debut was delayed due to a broken foot suffered in the offseason.
The St. Louis Rams surprised many by taking Brian Quick in the early 2nd round. While Quick has the raw physical tools, most assumed the Rams would target a player with more NFL-ready skills.
While former Rams great Torry Holt didn’t offer an opinion on the selection of Quick, he did analyze Quick’s early performance in Rams camp:
“He has to play to his size. That’s the biggest thing I saw … he’s not really playing to his size. Once he understands what type of strength that he has, and it’s OK to use that strength, I think we’ll start to see more production out of him.”
Holt’s assessment is consistent with what many scouts saw from Quick at Appalachian State. The skills are certainly there, but he needs time to develop. As a result, it’s probably not realistic to expect much from Quick in the 2012 season.
If anyone was still looking to fabricate for a quarterback controversy for he Washington Redskins, then Kirk Cousins provided plenty of ammo on Saturday night.
Cousins turned in one of the most impressive performances of the preseason, completing 18 of 23 passes for 264 yards and three touchdowns against the Chicago Bears. It won’t be enough to push Robert Griffin for the starting job, but it could have given him an edge over Rex Grossman for backup duties.
Griffin will likely see significant playing time in the Redskins next preseason game, but the final game could be another chance for Cousins to shine.
Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin wasn’t exactly supportive of 2nd-round pick Jonathan Martin after the rookie struggled against the Panthers:
“He wasn’t God awful. Wasn’t like he got beat right off the bat. He had a bad holding call. A really bad holding call, and I thought he maybe could have got called for another one later.”
Martin allowed two sacks and was called for a false start and holding (and apparently should have been called for another holding). It was a rough day to say the least and Philbin’s comments certainly don’t bode well for his future in the starting lineup.
Unfortunately the Dolphins don’t have many other options. Veteran Lydon Murtha or undrafted rookie Andrew McDonald would likely be next in line to replace Martin if Philbin believes he isn’t ready for opening weekend.
Chicago Bears 2nd-round pick Alshon Jeffery made his case for a starting job on Saturday with three catches for 62 yards in the Bears second preseason game.
Jeffery should be one of Cutler's favorite targets
Jeffery caught a 16-yard pass from Jay Cutler in the 1st quarter. He then caught passes from Jason Campbell on consecutive plays – a 12-yard reception (despite defensive pass interference) followed up by a 42-yard play.
I was skeptical of Jeffery during the draft process primarily because of his poor conditioning and occasional lack of effort, but he’s made a strong impression so far with the Bears. He will definitely crack the 53-man roster, but the only question remaining is how much action he will see. Physically, he’s similar to Brandon Marshall, which could limit his role in the Bears offense.
In an effort to upgrade their weak receiving corps, the San Francisco 49ers spent a 1st-round pick on A.J. Jenkins – a pick many (myself included) believed to be a reach.
Now, at least according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, Jenkins may be in jeopardy of starting the season on the inactive list. Maiocco believes it is “highly unlikely” that Jenkins will make the cut, with the five receiver spots going to Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss, Ted Ginn Jr., Mario Manningham and Kyle Williams.
Jenkins will likely see significant playing time in the 49ers second preseason game on Saturday night, and his performance could be critical to his standing on the season-opening depth chart.
The Detroit Lions already have a backup quarterback (Shaun Hill) so the interest in Kellen Moore is purely based on his impressive college career. But, nonetheless, people are interested, so here’s the update.
After a dismal showing against the Cleveland Browns, Moore completed 10 of 15 passes against the Ravens on Friday night. At first glance the stats seem to be encouraging, but Moore ran a very conservative version of the Lions offense, rarely throwing the ball more than few yards downfield. He netted just 96 yards through the air, good for a 6.4 yards per attempt rate.
Through his two preseason games, Moore is averaging just 4.69 yards per attempt, a rate which would have ranked dead last in the NFL in 2011 (even Blaine Gabbert averaged 5.36).
When the Baltimore Ravens selected Bernard Pierce in the 3rd round many assumed he would enter the season as Ray Rice’s backup. But after missing the Ravens first preseason game and a sub-par showing in his debut on Friday, suddenly the job is up for grabs.
Pierce carried the ball four times for just one yard, however he did a lot more running than his stats indicate. Piece initially ripped of runs of six and seven yards, but later managed to lose 14 yards when he tried to turn the corner and ended up deep in the backfield in an effort to escape the collapsing defense.
Fellow rookie Bobby Rainey and second-year back Anthony Allen are Pierce’s closest competition. John Harbaugh acknowledged that he has yet to decide on a backup for Rice.
Undrafted free agent Case Keenum is making a strong impression in Houston Texans camp.
The undersized quarterback may be a long shot to make the roster but, according to the Houston Chronicle, head coach Gary Kubiak has been impressed with his performance thus far. Kubiak told reporters, “Guys kind of gravitate to him. We’ve got guys from all over this country trying to make this team, and he can take his group and get them going in the right direction.”
T.J. Yates already has the backup job locked up in Houston, but there is a chance the team decides to carry three quarterbacks, especially considering Matt Schaub’s recent injury history. And even if Houston elects to stick with just two signal callers, it sounds as though they would be happy to stash Keenum on the practice squad.