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Dolphins deal with a QB quandary

Dolphins deal with a QB quandary

Dolphins deal with a QB quandary    

New coach Cam Cameron is known as an offensive guru, but let’s be honest – he’s got his work cut out for him. The Dolphins quarterback depth chart looks a little crowded and could get even more interesting, especially if veteran Trent Green joins the mix as expected. With the amount of rumors and news circulating about their quarterback rotation, one would think a reality show would emerge from this drama. Despite the quantity at the position, is there really any “quality”? Unless the Dolphins are able to find a starter out of the current mix, then a finish in the bottom of the AFC East and a top ten pick in next year’s draft is clearly evident. Here are the candidates and some breakdown:

John Beck

Beck is Cameron’s project this year, as some people have called him “the Drew Brees of the 2007 draft.” Considering Beck played in a pass-first offense at BYU, he has the arm to succeed in the NFL, but this is a significant step-up in competition. Playing San Diego State, Air Force and UNLV are gimmes in college football, but there are no easy games in the NFL. During his first practices with the Dolphins, Beck looked sharp while throwing the ball, but he also struggled to adapt to the speed of the game. Without a doubt, Beck may be the Dolphins answer to the long-term issue at quarterback, but he needs time to develop.

Daunte Culpepper

Once considered the guy to bring the Dolphins back to the Super Bowl, Culpepper was a huge bust last year. Although his lingering knee injury played a part in his ineffectiveness, Culpepper never looked comfortable; over the last two seasons, he’s only played in eleven games. Additionally, Culpepper has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns in the last two years and watched his completion percentage fall to 60.4. The 6-foot-4 passer has a ton of skills, but have the knee injuries caught up to him?

Trent Green

Green is the wild card in the mix, as he is still wearing a Chiefs uniform, but has promised not to report to their training camp this season. Unless Green is somehow convinced to stay in Kansas City, he will end up a Dolphin this year. Although the veteran quarterback struggled last season, he’s put up six seasons of 3,000 or more passing yards in his career. Last year showed Green is getting a little long in the tooth, but he did suffer a significant head injury and he should be a little better in 2007. Despite his injury, the Dolphins also want Green because of his familiarity with Coach Cameron – and the likelihood he would make a nice mentor to Beck.

Cleo Lemon

Lemon is very raw, but he played in four games last season and made one start. Over the course of last year, Lemon completed 38 of 66 passes for 412 yards and two touchdowns, while tossing one interception. Additionally, the Arkansas State product completed nearly 56 percent of his passes. The fourth-year quarterback possesses good mobility and wasn’t bad in a short trial last year. Although Beck may be considered the quarterback of the future, Lemon has the look of a solid backup.

Gibran Hamdan

Hamdan was signed by the Dolphins in the offseason and over his four year career, he’s only thrown two regular season passes. The Indiana product isn’t expected to seriously contend for the job, but the coaching staff has to at least value his arm to have him in camp. Consider Hamdan a likely candidate for the third quarterback spot, or the practice squad in 2007. If he wins the starting job, it would be a real upset.

The final verdict

While the Dolphins figure to settle this battle close to the end of preseason, we can take a stab at who might be starting under center in 2007. Culpepper has promised he can be back doing workouts at minicamp, but his time in South Florida may be wearing thin. If Culpepper is indeed on his way out, then this opens the door for Green to start the Dolphins season opener. If the Dolphins keep Culpepper and acquire Green, look for both players to battle for the starting nod. The wildcard is Beck. The rookie is a favorite of Cameron and if the Dolphins struggle, he will see time in 2007.

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