Bummer of a Debut

We really shouldn't have expected too much from John Beck in his NFL debut Sunday at Philadelphia, and unfortunately for the Dolphins that's just how it played out. If anything, Beck's first start provided more questions than answers.

Beck threw for a paltry 109 yards against the Eagles, and to provide an indication of just how bad that is, it's the lowest total of any of the 12 quarterback who have followed Dan Marino in their first start.

Even A.J. Feeley, who looked pedestrian again lining up for Philadelphia Sunday after Donovan McNabb left with an ankle injury, topped 200 yards.

Sure, Beck wasn't intercepted by the Eagles, but we'd trade a pick or two for a couple of long completions.

As has been the case too often this season, the Dolphins looked conservative in their play-calling and the truth is they're not talented enough to put together long, methodical drives.

It also didn't help that Beck showed very little touch on short passes. This guy's forte is supposed to be accuracy, but he showed little of it on Sunday.

In his defense, these weren't ideal playing conditions he was operating in, but he had his share of bad-weather games in college playing for Brigham Young.

Logically, Beck will get better.

He'd better get better.

The reason it was imperative for the Dolphins to get him into the lineup was to figure out if they need to use their high first-round pick -- it's looking a lot like it's going to be the No. 1 overall pick -- on a quarterback.

This franchise won't be able to start turning things around until it finds a quarterback. Trent Green wasn't the guy. Cleo Lemon wasn't the guy.

The hope is John Beck will be the guy. But the Dolphins need to be sure about that before they pass up on a Brian Brohm or Matt Ryan next April. The absolute worst thing that could happen to this franchise is for Beck to struggle the rest of the way, for the Dolphins not to take a quarterback early next spring, and for Beck never to develop.

Nobody is going to give up on Beck after only one start, especially against a difficult blitzing defense like the Eagles, but he will need to show more in the upcoming weeks.

It probably won't happen next Monday night at Pittsburgh because the Steelers' defense is even more difficult and complicated than that of the Eagles.

There will be other tough defenses down the stretch as well, like Baltimore and New England, but Beck will have to get it done against good defenses in the future anyway.

It sure didn't happen against Philadelphia on Sunday, but we need to cut the kid some slack. It was, after all, his first NFL start.

The big thing now is for him to start getting better and better, and starting showing why the Dolphins thought last April he could be their quarterback of the future.

The Dolphins have nothing to play for the rest of the season in terms of team goals because they're obviously not going to the playoffs. Solving their quarterback issues is priority number 1, and that's why it's all about Beck right now.

The first start wasn't very good, but he's got six more shots at it.

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Alain Poupart is the Associate Editor of Dolphin Digest and DolphinDigest.com. To read him every day, visit DolphinDigest.com and become a Miami Dolphins insider.