Garrard looks forward to competing
The Sports Xchange
New Miami Dolphins quarterback David Garrard might
be 34, which is ancient in NFL years, but he literally dares anyone to
call him old, or say he's done.
Despite sitting out last season because of a
surgically repaired herniated disk, the former Jacksonville Jaguars
starter Miami signed to an incentive-laden one-year deal that will pay
him $3.35 million, feels he's got plenty of football left in him.
"I think I've proved a lot of things as a starting
quarterback, but I just want to go further than I've gone before. I
want to go deeper in the playoffs. Get a taste, a shot at winning a
championship," said Garrard, who has thrown for more than 16,000 yards
with 89 touchdowns and 54 interceptions.
"Those are things I want to prove to myself," said
Garrard, who has a 85.8 passer rating for his career. "I want to make
sure that when my career is done that I poured everything I had into
it. That was one thing I was thinking about all season last year when I
was sitting home on the couch, not knowing if I'll get a chance to play
again that I really didn't empty my tank."
Garrard believes he has a few more seasons left in
him, and hopes he can return to the Pro Bowl level he played at in 2009.
The Dolphins' plan is for Garrard to compete with
Matt Moore for the starting job next season, "as would any other
quarterbacks we might add at a later date," general manager Jeff
Ireland said, possibly referring to a rookie quarterback like Texas
A&M's Ryan Tannehill, Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden or
Michigan State's Kirk Cousins, who are all players the Dolphins might
select in the 2012 draft's first few rounds.
"I've kind of been chasing him since Chad (Henne)
got hurt last year. He does a lot of good things that you want in a
quarterback." Ireland said of Garrard, who received a $1 million
signing bonus and has bonuses tied to playing time, touchdowns scored,
and the win totals. "He's athletic, he has arm talent, he's got veteran
experience, and he brings great leadership."
Garrard said he believes the west coast offense
the Dolphins plan to install fits his skill set because he's the type
of quarterback who likes to get the ball out of his hands quickly. He's
also fairly accurate, which is evident from his 61.6 career completion
According to Garrard, he was part of an offense
similar to the one new head coach Joe Philbin and offensive coordinator
Mike Sherman plan to build during his early days with the Jaguars.
Even though Garrard is presently the highest paid
quarterback on the roster, edging out Moore's Moore $2.75 million
salary, he's not looking for any handouts. All he seeks is a shot to
prove he can still win games for an NFL team.
"They said it is going to be a competition,"
Garrard said. "A healthy competition is great for everybody."
Bell Drawing Interest
--Recently released Miami Dolphins safety Yeremiah Bell has
drawn interest on the free-agent market, but Drew Rosenhaus, his agent,
acknowledged there's a chance Bell could return to his former team.
Rosenhaus expressed disappointment in the timing
of Bell's release, but said "(He will) will land on his feet."
"There is interest, and maybe there's a chance
he'll come back to the Dolphins," Rosenhaus said in an interview with
WQAM Radio. "I certainly will not get into the way that I feel. Let us
just move on."
Rosenhaus began his interview by saying he does "a
lot of business with the Dolphins," and will follow the "if you don't
have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" approach when
addressing Ireland's handling of Bell.
Ireland acknowledged he informed Bell and
Rosenhaus that they were safe - wouldn't be released, and didn't need
to restructure his deal - back at the NFL Combine last month. However,
the Dolphins released Bell a week into free agency, after all the teams
looking for starting safeties had signed one.
While the move can be viewed as smart strategy,
there are ethical concerns about the way Bell, a team captain, was
treated by Ireland and the organization.
Numerous players on the team were disturbed by the
message the organization sent.
"I certainly think he's one of the top strong
safeties in the game and I do believe he will land on his feet and
continue to be a fine player," Rosenhaus said of Bell, who has led the
Dolphins in tackles for four straight seasons. "He has a lot of good
football left in him."
The Dolphins haven't closed the door on re-signing
Bell, but it will have to be at a reduced rate. Miami created $4.3
million in salary-cap space by releasing Bell. It's possible that
Reshad Jones could move over from free safety and fill the void Bell's
Westermann Moving Across Rival Lines
--Jamaal Westerman, a 6-3, 255-pound defensive end the
Dolphins signed in free agency, crossed the rivalry lines by leaving
the New York Jets.
"It's kind of crazy seeing the rivalry from both
sides," Westerman said. "A lot of you don't get to see it."
Westerman, 27, played 36 games with three starts -
all last season. He compiled 32 tackles, 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble
during his three seasons.
It's uncertain what position he'll play, but the
Dolphins envision using him as a "pressure player," and it is likely
that he'll compete for the starting spot opposite Cameron Wake. He
joins Wake, Koa Misi and Jason Trusnik as the only veteran outside
linebackers on the Dolphins roster.
"They told me my role would be defensive end,
outside linebacker and my ability to play a lot of different spots on
the defense to move around a little bit and show my versatility and my
athleticism," Westerman said. "I'm going to try to work with coach
Coyle and the D-line coach (Kacy Rodgers) and really getting after it
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I get criticized if my moves don't
work out, but I'm not willing to sit on the sidelines and let some
other opportunities pass us by. Sometimes that entails taking chances,
going out on a limb. That's why we went after Peyton (Manning)." --
Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland told the Palm Beach Post.
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