QB battle could take a while

Dolphins fans have gotten used to quarterback battles that go down to the wire ever since the retirement of Dan Marino in the spring of 2000. Well, they could be another one of those this summer.

Perhaps the biggest reason for that is that early on in training camp neither Gus Frerotte nor A.J. Feeley is doing all that much to separate himself from the other.

One day Frerotte will look very good in practice -- last Wednesday was a good example -- another he will look mediocre, as was the case Monday morning.

The same goes for Feeley, who will follow one bad pass with a dart on the money.

It was thought heading into training camp that Frerotte had an edge because of his familiarity with Scott Linehan's system, and that may still prove to be true in the final analysis.

But the truth is that Frerotte, no matter what, won't be the starting quarterback for this franchise for very many years.

So if he doesn't distance himself from Feeley, perhaps Nick Saban and his staff will decide it's better to see if Feeley can be the guy over the long haul.

One thing for sure, Saban is in no hurry to make a decision. And he's also in no hurry to tip his hand.

That's why when the Dolphins released their first depth chart on Monday, Feeley and Frerotte both were listed with the first offense.

Saban said Monday he hadn't decided who would start the preseason opener against Chicago, but it's a pretty safe assumption that whoever doesn't, will get the start in the second preseason game, Aug. 13 at Jacksonville.

Maybe the preseason games will bring a marked difference in the performance of both quarterbacks.

If it doesn't, we might be looking at another summer where the starting quarterback isn't announced until the week of the regular season opener.

In just about every circumstance, that wouldn't be a particularly encouraging sing.


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