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Newz Forum: FOOTBALL: Dolphins decide to make Feeley their starting QB

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posted on Sep, 12 2004 @ 02:50 PM
DAVIE, Fla. -- Quarterback A.J. Feeley will remain in the Miami Dolphins' lineup -- at least for now.

Feeley played well enough coming off the bench in the Dolphins' season-opening loss to earn a start this week at Cincinnati, coach Dave Wannstedt said Sunday.

That means a demotion for Jay Fiedler after four seasons as the starter.

Feeley threw for a touchdown but had an interception returned for a score in the Dolphins' 17-7 loss Saturday to Tennessee.

"To give us the best chance to beat the Bengals and do what we need to do offensively, he'll be ready to do that," Wannstedt said.

But Feeley's hold on No. 1 is tenuous. Wannstedt said he may continue to shuffle quarterbacks.

"Whatever we've got to do to win at any position, we're going to do it," he said.

The start Sunday night will be Feeley's first since 2002, when he became a hero in Philadelphia by going 4-1 as the Eagles' No. 1 quarterback after Donovan McNabb and Koy Detmer were hurt. Those are Feeley's only NFL starts, and he started just eight games at Oregon.

But Wannstedt opted to gamble on the inexperienced Feeley after Fiedler threw two interceptions in the first half against the Titans and led Miami to just three first downs. Fiedler went to the bench with Miami trailing 7-0.

"It wasn't the score as much as the turnovers," Wannstedt said. "That's the one thing we know we can't do. I just felt at halftime we needed to do something offensively to give us a spark and to get into a little bit of rhythm. That was my reasoning for the change."

Feeley went 21-for-31 for 168 yards. Under pressure from a blitz, he made an errant throw that Lamont Thompson returned 37 yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 Titans lead.

"When he has had problems -- we've got to understand he doesn't need to make a play," Wannstedt said. "If something bad happens blocking-wise, route-wise or coverage-wise that he doesn't have control over, hey, let's move on to the next play. Throw it away in the dirt."

The quarterback change will likely be popular with Miami fans. They were booing Fiedler by the second quarter, and they cheered Feeley even when he came off the field after his first series stalled following a 34-yard drive.

Fiedler is 36-18 as a starter, but Dan Marino's successor never been a crowd favorite.

"As I've always done in my five years here, I'm ready to contribute to the team's success in any way I can," Fiedler said in a statement released by the club. "Everyone wants to start, but if I don't, I'll do everything I can to help A.J. and to be as prepared as possible in case I do play."

posted on Sep, 12 2004 @ 02:53 PM
Is this the right move? I'm thinking that it just may help spark the team a bit. Fiedler hasn't been getting it done the last few years.

posted on Sep, 13 2004 @ 08:51 AM
maybe next game feeley will be better, he has never really been in that kindof roll with a team before.

posted on Sep, 13 2004 @ 07:41 PM
He was impressive starting as a fill-in in Philly, can he hold up for a season?

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