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Miami Dolphins’ Ryan Tannehill has already done something Dan Marino never achieved after being named starting quarterback as a rookie for their season opener.

For the first time in Dolphins’ history, they will go into the first game of a new season – against Houston Texans on September 9 – with an untested quarterback.

Tannehill, 24, an eighth overall draft pick from Texas A&M, beat Matt Moore, who started the final 12 games of the last season, for the starting berth.

Head coach Joe Philbin said: “It was a close competition. You’re trusting your instincts in terms of what’s in the best interests of the team. We like a lot of things about Ryan. He has a chance to be a very good player.”

Since Hall of Famer Marino retired in 1999, the Dolphins have had more starting quarterbacks than any other team. Tannehill, who wears No17, will become their 17th in 13 years.

Tannehill was also the first quarterback taken in the opening round by Miami since Marino was acquired in 1983. What makes Philbin’s gutsy selection even more remarkable is the fact that Tannehill has only ever played 19 games at college level as a quarterback having switched from a receiver.

Tannehill started the Dolphins’ second exhibition game of the season last Friday against Carolina and went 11 for 23 for 100 yards.

Moore, who went 6-3 in his final nine starts last season, said: “The guy has got the talent to be in the league. He obviously understands the game very well. He’s capable of being a starting quarterback in the NFL. There’s no doubt about that.”

What has helped Tannehill’s rapid elevation to a team who were 6-10 in the NFL last year is the presence of offensive coach Mike Sherman, who brought to the team from A&M, bringing the same playbook with him.

Rib injury for Vick

Michael Vick will miss Philadelphia Eagles’ two remaining pre-season games after sustaining a rib injury but is expected to be fit to start the new season.

Quarterback Vick lasted just six plays in the 27-17 win over the New England Patriots before being knocked down by linebacker Jermaine Cunningham.

X-rays revealed the 32-year-old has not broken any ribs but a week after injuring his thumb, coach Andy Reid will leave him out until their opener at Pittsburgh on September 8 as a precaution.

“I’m not that concerned, other than he’s hurt,” Reid said. “I want to make sure he heals up.”

 

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