MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The Miami Dolphins open the season in six days, but instead of stringing out the drama until game day, Mike McDaniel answered one of the biggest remaining questions:
Who will be Tua Tagovailoa’s primary backup quarterback?
Mike White Is the Miami Dolphins’ Backup QB
McDaniel announced that he’s going with White over Skylar Thompson, although both will begin the season on the Dolphins’ 53-man roster, and Thompson will be available on game days in an emergency.
White won the job despite getting just 37 snaps in the preseason after suffering a head injury two weeks ago against the Texans. White — who is outearning Thompson by some $2 million this season — had a brief stint in the concussion protocol but has since been cleared to practice.
Thompson was the better player during spring ball and early in camp, but White caught and then passed the second-year QB in practice performance a few weeks back and never relinquished the lead.
Neither was particularly good in the preseason. Thompson completed 64.5% with 6.4 yards per attempt, three touchdowns, and five turnovers (a 71.7 passer rating). White’s corresponding stats: 64.3%, 6.1, zero, and one (51.2).
VIDEO: Mike McDaniel explains why Mike White is his choice for #2 Dolphins QB pic.twitter.com/5PXQ3MVL9c
— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) September 4, 2023
On Monday, McDaniel explained his decision thusly:
“This was a difficult one. … Feel super fortunate in our situation. We learned the hard way that you need available players on a roster just in general, and I thought Mike White and Skylar competed all the way until the last rep. And when it really came down to it, I thought they both made just cases.
“But for our football team and really adhering to exactly what a backup quarterback needs to do, they’ll all be active each day, but to be able to understand our system in such a short period of time that Mike White did, and the command that we needed in the huddle.
“You’re solving the imperfect puzzle as a backup quarterback where you don’t get any of the reps during the week and have to master your situation, your craft, rep-less. So I think, relying on Mike White’s veteran experience and really all the growth that he did this offseason made me feel pretty comfortable with that.”
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