TRAINING CAMP PREVIEW: QB

As the Dolphins prepare to open training camp on July 28, we break down every position, with its strengths and weaknesses, as well as which players figure to be on the 53-man roster. What follows is a look at the quarterback position.

Jay Fiedler has received a ridiculous amount of criticism the last two years for someone with a 21-10 record as a starter.

No, Fiedler is not Peyton Manning, nor is he Kurt Warner or Brett Favre. But Fiedler also is a lot better quarterback than he's been given credit for, and he's also plenty good enough to help the Dolphins win a Super Bowl.

What Fiedler has athletic ability, good leadership qualities and plenty of guts.

The new offense installed by coordinator Norv Turner is likely to help Fiedler's passing numbers, even though he probably won't ever be in Manning's neighborhood.

Fiedler also should continue to pick up big first downs with his scrambling ability.

What Fiedler needs to do is avoid the bad decisions that led the some costly turnovers and some close misses last season. Fiedler says he has learned not to go for broke on every play, and proving it on the field will be his biggest challenge this season.

As for his recent hip surgery, it shouldn't even be a thought by the middle of August.

Ray Lucas returns as the backup, and he gives the Dolphins a solid insurance policy at the position. Lucas is similar to Fiedler in many ways, although he probably isn't as accurate a passer. On the flip side, Lucas has a better arm than Fiedler.

The battle for the No. 3 job will come down between rookie free agents Zak Kustok and Tim Levcik, the result of Cade McNown being traded to San Francisco.

Kustok is a very smart quarterback, but he has to make up for shortcomings in terms of his arm strength and his size.

As for Levcik, he is very raw, but he also has great size (6-5) and probably the best arm of any of the quarterbacks on the roster.

Barring something unexpected, the Dolphins will keep three quarterbacks on the roster. The guess here is that Levcik, because of his bigger potential, will get the nod over Kustok for the No. 3 spot behind Fiedler and Lucas.


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