DAVIE, Florida — Ryan Tannehill plans to take the first snap on offense Sunday for the Dolphins against the Oakland Raiders, at least temporarily putting an end to questions about Miami's quarterback situation.
Head coach Joe Philbin hasn't said Tannehill would be the starter but the third-year quarterback insisted that where he stands has been made clear to him. He has taken all of the snaps with the first team.
"I've been preparing to play Oakland in London and to go out there and win," said Tannehill, who has completed just 56.5 percent of his passes and ranks 29th in the NFL in passer rating at 74.1. "I'm taking the first snap of the game and playing the game."
Philbin's approach has created a distraction in the locker room, and Tannehill said that was an issue and was not a good feeling for him. But Tannehill said he understood Philbin's handling of the situation, and remains confident in his abilities and the potential of Miami's offense.
"Obviously, it doesn't feel good. It creates a bunch of stir and a bunch of distraction in the locker room, mostly from the outside coming in," Tannehill said. "Just guys having to deal with the distraction of it, it's not a good feeling but he's been clear with me and I know where I stand. I don't know how it first came to me. I think I received some texts from basically everyone I've ever known offering me support, which is a good thing I guess, and then coach came to me."
Backup quarterback Matt Moore confirmed that nothing has changed with his role and that he has not taken a snap with the first team since training camp.
"I've taken zero reps. Ryan's prepared the same way he always does and I've prepared the same way I always do," said Moore, who is the highest paid backup quarterback in the league and won six games as a starter for Miami in 2011. "We showed up on Tuesday and everything was the same. Obviously, I did get a couple of text messages from friends who read things and it caught me off guard but nothing was said in here."
The quarterbacks' lockers are near each other and they are together in the position meetings and on the practice field. Moore didn't notice any difference in Tannehill's demeanor this week.
With the Dolphins trying to avoid going into the bye week at 1-3, Tannehill understands the importance of this game with Oakland and he feels like he has the full support of his teammates. He spoke confidently about the running game and the offensive line, while saying he wished Philbin had handled it differently.
"Does it feel good to deal with all the distractions that have been created because of the situation? No," Tannehill said. "That's life. You face distractions. You face adversity in life and you have to be able to handle it.
"You have to be able to fight through it and become a better man, become a better player because of it. We're going about our normal week. It's all this stuff on the outside that seems like the world's collapsing. . I think the guys are confident, not only in their abilities but in mine."
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