“We appreciate all the contributions Vontae has made to the Dolphins since we drafted him in 2009 and we want to wish him the best of success in Indianapolis,” said Miami Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland.
Garrard Keeping A Brave Face: His knee might not yet be 100 percent, but veteran Miami Dolphins quarterback
Garrard spoke to the media today for the first time since being scratched as the starter for Miami’s first preseason game against Tampa Bay on August 10th. The next day he had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and has been aggressively rehabbing in an effort to return to the field.
“I’m keeping my spirits up as much as I can but I’m fine,” said the 34-year-old Garrard, who has nine seasons under his belt. “I’ve been around for awhile and I understand. I know you have some unfortunate things happen and I’ve been around a lot of guys that almost every year they have something that’s nagging them and keeping them out of the game. So for me to be in year 11 (he missed all of last season with a back injury) it’s been pretty good. I’m not going to complain. I’m just going to get myself healthy and let the chips lie where they are.”
In his absence, rookie quarterback
Head Coach Joe Philbin has marveled at Garrard’s continued interest in helping Tannehill and in contributing to the team even when he cannot participate in practices. These were some of the leadership attributes that made Garrard an attractive signing for Miami.
“David’s a pro. He’s a real professional and he’s been in a situation where he’s had to battle for playing time himself and prepare,” Philbin said. “He was at one point a rookie in his career and he’s had some ups and downs, had some real great years and been to a Pro Bowl. So I think he’s an excellent teammate, he’s very supportive and he’s a competitor, too. I think he’s been great for that whole room.”
Even before he got injured, Garrard was one of those veterans that insisted Tannehill didn’t look like a rookie on the field. His familiarity with the offense being installed by Philbin and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman was a big contributor to Tannehill’s comfort level.
Since he’s been out of action, Garrard has been able to watch Tannehill more closely on film and in live action, and his feelings about the youngster’s readiness to succeed in the NFL have only strengthened.
“When things aren’t always going great out there he keeps his head on and he still has his focus,” Garrard said. “You can see some rookies kind of get starry-eyed or glossy-eyed a little bit to where the game is a little too big for them sometimes. But he never looks like that, even when it’s not going quite as planned. That’s a good trait to have. … I always say as a quarterback you have to be able to forget and forget fast and to be able to see what you can do after adversity hits.”
Adversity is staring Garrard in the face yet again, like it has throughout his career, and he is tackling it head on. But behind that smile lies some frustration over how things happened this time around, especially after he put so much time into rehabbing his back so that he could get another shot with an NFL team.
“I’m human,” Garrard said. “Just the fact that everything was kind of rolling right along. We had that Wednesday practice where I drove the team down in the two-minute drill, scored a touchdown and then the very next day we were at a walk-through and if it had been a real practice I wouldn’t have been able to do anything that day. That night I knew something had to be done and it does suck, but sometimes life is going to throw you lightning bolts and you’ve got to be able to fight through them and bounce back. There are worst things going on this world than just me and my knee.”
Dolphins Tidbits: The team spent the entire two-plus hours of practice inside the bubble as safety precautions continued to take place outside. All of the awnings above the bleachers adjacent to the field have been removed. … All three quarterbacks looked sharp in 11-on-11 drills, and Philbin has brought back the dual drill format, with one offensive group running plays in one direction and then the other unit heading in the opposite direction. … Safety