DAVIE, FL -- Miami Dolphins rookie head coach Joe Philbin says don't read too much into it. But for the media looking for any clues to the team's quarterback race, it was an interesting statement that Philbin chose quarterback David Garrard to open minicamp with the first team.
Garrard spent virtually the entire practice working with the starting offense Tuesday. This three-day minicamp is important because it's the lead-in to training camp when things will really heat up. Garrard getting the first shot at minicamp is perhaps a sign that the coaching staff feels so far he's edging out incumbent starter Matt Moore and rookie first-round pick Ryan Tannehill.
Moore worked almost exclusively with the second team Tuesday, and Tannehill was with the third string.
"[Media] will be here the next couple of days, and I think you're going to see other guys getting reps with the first team," Philbin said. "We got to huddle up on Friday and access where the offseason program has been and the strengths and weaknesses of the individuals."
Philbin isn't showing his hand. But someone had to be the first-team quarterback to start minicamp, and the coaching staff gave the nod to Garrard. Maybe Moore will run the first team on Day 2 of minicamp Wednesday. Maybe not.
But, by most accounts, Garrard has looked more comfortable this offseason in Miami's new West Coast offense. It's a system the veteran has played in before, and that’s an advantage over Moore, who doesn't look as comfortable. Moore also isn't a great practice player, for whatever reason. Moore has been known to be a gamer who turns it up when the lights come on. But that's not helping Moore right now in practice.
It's only June and there's a lot of football left. But there are early signs that Garrard may be taking an early lead in this three-way competition.