|3 QBs compete for Miami's starting job|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 06 June 2008 11:47|
For Dolphins fans and McCown, it seems awfully familiar.
McCown, John Beck, and rookie Chad Henne are all aiming to become the latest in a string of starting quarterbacks for Miami since Dan Marino retired after the 1999 season. The Dolphins have had 12 since then - including Beck, Trent Green and Cleo Lemon last season and have missed the playoffs for six straight years.
Miami opened its three-day minicamp Friday, and the team renewed its latest attempt to find a starting quarterback.
``It puts you in a mind-set that you have to be in order to be good in the NFL - on edge and expecting to be perfect every time,'' McCown said of the competition. ``Every play you get up and you're like 'I have to make this play.' Because in order to win this competition, you have to make every play.''
Quarterbacks coach David Lee called McCown a ``natural leader,'' but said it was tough to evaluate a quarterback outside of game time situations.
``There's people in the stands and they're cursing at him and throwing ice and cameras running over his head in the huddle,'' Lee said. ``That's when you've got to evaluate the quarterback. This is important. We're watching and evaluating here daily, but I've had guys who could really practice and get to the game and spit out the bit.''
The Dolphins - who went 1-15 last season - opened camp with the No. 1 overall pick, Jake Long, sharing the field with Henne, his former Michigan teammate. The 2002 NFL rushing champion Ricky Williams was there, trying to bounce back from a chest injury that ended his season last year, shortly after he returned from a suspension. And Beck was on the field, looking to redeem himself from last year's dismal season.
``Right now, it's competition. I think last year the chances that I got were because they wanted to see what I could do as a rookie. But now, we're competition to see who is going to be the guy,'' said Beck, who was a second-round pick last year. ``It's going well. Each day, I feel like I'm improving.''
Six-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Taylor, who competed this year on ``Dancing with the Stars,'' has already missed optional team activities this summer and was not expected at the minicamp this weekend. When asked whether Taylor's absence from the practice was excused, coach Tony Sparano signaled for another question as he deadpanned, ``What else?''
Sparano said he is in no rush to select his starting quarterback.
``I think you know when you know,'' he said. ``You have to see the information. You have to see all the information unwind. We have to see it in games. We have to see what they do in critical situations and then you get a pretty good feel and that's the way you go.''
McCown competed with former Miami quarterback Daunte Culpepper for the starting spot with the Raiders. He started nine games last season, throwing for 10 touchdowns with 11 interceptions. Now with on the field with Culpepper's former teammates, McCown said he doesn't enjoy the uncertainty of the competition, but said it has made him a better player.
``In order to be good, in this league, at that position, you have to come out every snap and you have to be on edge,'' McCown said. ``You have to believe that it's the snap that's going to make the difference in the game. When you're competing out here, especially when you're competing with two other guys ... your reps are precious. You can't miss.''