'Frustrating' times for Feeley

The two quarterbacks involved in the Dolphins' battle for the starting job were downplaying on Tuesday Coach Nick Saban's decision to let Gus Frerotte work exclusively with the first-team offense this week before starting Saturday night's preseason game at Pittsburgh.

Mind you, Frerotte was excited about the opportunity he has been given, but he certainly wasn't ready to declare victory -- even though most observers do believe the battle is over.

"I don't feel that way at all," Frerotte said. "I just know I've got to keep working and we all have to keep pushing as quarterbacks because there was one season in 12 years where I've started every game and made it through the whole season. More times than not, there are going to be other guys that are going to have to step in and play."

Interestingly enough, both Frerotte and Feeley still are listed together on the first team on the Dolphins' latest depth chart -- separated only by a slash.

But more telling was Saban saying Monday that Frerotte was a "little bit ahead" of Feeley.

The opportunity to work with the first-team offense would seem a good chance for Frerotte to pull away from Feeley -- or even end the battle -- he refused to look at it in those terms.

"You know what, it doesn't matter to me," Frerotte said. "I know that I'm getting the reps with the No. 1s, and if I was still going with the 2's, too, I'd be doing the same thing. I'm approaching it the same way. I'm out there being the same person I always have been and just knowing that I've just got to perform. It doesn't matter if you're a 1, 2 or 3. You've got to still go out there and make the right decisions and make the plays."

As for Feeley, this was just another step back in what has been a very frustrating summer.

Feeley started the opener against Jacksonville, but didn't produce any points, although he was hurt by a key third-down drop by wide receiver Derrius Thompson.

Feeley replaced Frerotte in the second quarter of the Jacksonville game and just didn't have many opportunities because of tough circumstances, including a very long Jaguars drive, a fumble on the first play of the third quarter and another drop, this one by running back Travis Minor.

Still, Feeley didn't play well anyway. Then came Monday's announcement from Saban.

"I'm not happy about it, but that's the way it's going right now," said Feeley, who admitted going through "frustrating times." "But it's not going stop my progress and how I'm approaching my game and the practice right now."

In reality, Feeley faced an uphill battle from the start against Frerotte because of Frerotte's knowledge of the new offense brought in by new offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, for whom Frerotte played for two seasons in Minnesota.

"You're not going to make excuses with the situation," Feeley said. "Obviously it's an advantage but, you know, it's the way it works. It's not over, we've still got a lot of preseason and a lot of training camp left. Just come out fighting. Not going to lay down here."


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