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Joe Philbin details Ryan Tannehill's starting path


David Garrard remains the favorite to earn the starting job for the Miami Dolphins, but first-round draft pick Ryan Tannehill aims to be the starter and was impressive during the Dolphins' scrimmage at Sun Life Stadium on Saturday morning.

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First-year Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin was the first guest of the week on NFL Network's "NFL AM," and analyst Eric Davis asked what Tannehill needs to do to earn the starting job.

"First and foremost, he's gotta be a decision-maker," Philbin said after taking time to note that to be a great decision-maker takes time, experience and a quarterback's understanding of his own system, as well as, what the opposing defense is doing.

"Second thing is, if you're going to play quarterback in the NFL, you gotta make plays at critical times to win games," Philbin said. "That's something that, you know, we try to simulate the best we can on the practice field. We've been doing that, and obviously the preseason will give us another opportunity to gauge how far along he is in his development.

"The third thing is the game management," Philbin added. "That's obviously critical. Can he handle the pressures, the audibles, the checks, the time clock, etc.? ... Those are all factors that we've got to weigh in. And the last thing is does he have the respect of his teammates, which I think all of those candidates, as well as Pat Devlin, are guys that are highly-regarded by his teammates."

We should find out more about the Dolphins' quarterback competition this week. Beginning on Tuesday night when "Hard Knocks" premieres on HBO and, more importantly, when the Dolphins open up their preseason schedule against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday night.