QB battle still too close to call

Jay Fiedler will get the start at quarterback in Saturday's preseason opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars and he's currently listed first on the depth chart, but don't read too much into it as far as trying to figure out the quarterback battle. The truth is it's a long way from being decided.

If practice work were the only deciding factor, Fiedler clearly would be ahead at this point because he has outplayed newcomer A.J. Feeley.

But keep in mind that Feeley arrived in Miami with the reputation as a guy who is much better in games than in practice.

Perhaps this is going to start to show as the Dolphins start playing games this weekend. For his sake, it better.

Of course, many have suggested and continue to suggest that this competition really isn't one because of what the Dolphins gave up for Feeley, both with the draft pick and the new five-year, $21 million deal they gave him.

But keep this in mind: Dave Wannstedt obviously knows his job could be on the line. Do you realistically think he's going to hand the job over to Feeley simply because it wouldn't look good if he sat on the bench after what it cost the team?

Now, there is a perception out there that Fiedler is Wannstedt's guy, while Feeley is the pet project of Rick Spielman.

Obviously, Spielman thinks Feeley can become a big-time quarterback and a lot of his reputation is tied to Feeley's eventual development. So, yes, in a sense, Spielman probably wouldn't mind seeing Feeley win the job because it would provide some validation for the deal with the Eagles.

Wannstedt, for his part, just needs to win, regardless of who's at quarterback.

The feeling here has been that Feeley will get the job if things are close between him and Fiedler because the Dolphins have seen Fiedler for four years and they know his limitations.

If Feeley is equal in training camp and the preseason, the thinking has to be that perhaps Feeley has a higher ceiling than Fiedler.

The problem is that he just hasn't shown it yet.

Fiedler is expected to play the first half against Jacksonville, with Feeley getting some action in the second half.

Next week against Washington, it will be Feeley who starts.

Many expect a decision to be made after those first two games. That would be ideal, but it's also not necessarily going to happen.

Make no mistake, this is a huge decision for Wannstedt and the Dolphins.

They can't afford to mess up on this one.


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