QB question NOT settled

There were headlines in South Florida newspapers last week suggesting that Nick Saban had decided that A.J. Feeley would be his starting quarterback for the 2005 season. But, as a certain college football analyst would say, not so fast, my friend.

The truth is that no such decision has been made, and there was a severe case of jumping the gun here.

The conclusion was taken from comments Saban made to reporters during the Senior Bowl last week. But those comments did not include the words "Feeley will be the starter."

This is the transcript of what Saban said when he was asked about the Dolphins' quarterback situation:

"I think we have a young quarterback that definitely made some progress last year who we have to give an opportunity to in the future. To say that this guy can't elevate his play, leadership ability, compete with consistency, take care of the ball and do all the things a good quarterback needs to do so that we can have success in the future.

"I think the quarterback is a critical position. I feel that an evaluation needs to be continued and is ongoing and that we would like to have some kind of a veteran and some kind of a developmental player at that position beyond the first player that we have. That's what we will try to manage through free agency and through the draft."

OK, now, again, there is no mention that Feeley will be the starter, only that Saban wants to give him a longer look.

That doesn't mean Feeley won't be the starter, but it means the job just won't be handed to him.

It's probably doubtful the Dolphins would use the second overall pick in the draft on a quarterback (Aaron Rodgers, Alex Smith?) to compete with Feeley in 2005, but the possibility of a veteran coming aboard to compete for the starting job is very real.

Who knows? Maybe it's Seattle free agent Matt Hasselbeck, maybe it's former Pro Bowl MVP Kurt Warner.

The only thing we do know is that, contrary to published reports, it's not already a given that A.J. Feeley will be the Miami Dolphins' starting quarterback in 2005.

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