Feeley gets the nod

Interim head coach Jim Bates made official on Monday what everyone had suspected for several days: A.J. Feeley will start at quarterback for the Dolphins' next game, Sunday at Seattle. Bates didn't say anything as far as Feeley starting the rest of the season, but don't be surprised if that's the way it plays out, no matter how well or how poorly Feeley performs.

"In the evaluation, the games that he has played and the throws that he has made, it's time for A.J. to get an opportunity, to see what he can do," Bates said.

The idea of Feeley starting makes sense because the Dolphins need to see if this guy can be their quarterback of the future or whether they need to go shopping again next offseason.

It was believed the move would have been made at some point even had Dave Wannstedt remained as coach.

Bates, however, downplayed the idea that the move was made with the future in mind.

"This is a move made to win this week," Bates said. "I feel that A.J. is ready to go. He had a couple of excellent throws. And he is ready to play for us and ready to play well. We plan on A.J. playing well and playing well throughout."

While happy to get an opportunity again, Feeley was rather low-key when he talked to reporters on Monday.

Jay Fiedler, for his part, admitted he was upset but said he would get himself ready to play in case he's needed.

In other news on Monday:

-- Bates said he would keep his title of defensive coordinator, but that linebackers coach Bob Sanders would be making the play calls. Bates did say that every defensive coach would have input.

-- Jeno James is making good progress after undergoing athroscopic knee surgery last week, but Bates said he anticipated that rookie Rex Hadnot would start at right guard against Seattle.

Bates added that Vernon Carey would remain at tackle.

-- Speaking of tackle, Damion McIntosh will remain in the starting lineup on the left side despite speculation he would be replaced by Wade Smith. "McIntosh has played better football than I would have ever realized," Bates said. "This guy can play. And after watching every game tape, it's a couple of plays. It's more technique and timing than anything. I told the offense today. Mac can play. I feel very comfortable and relieved, to tell you the truth, after watching. More than if we did make a bunch of changes."

-- Wide receiver Marty Booker said he was hoping to be ready to go on Sunday, but his status won't become clear until later in the week. Bates said he didn't know whether Derrius Thompson or Bryan Gilmore would start if Booker isn't ready to play against Seattle.


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