DAVIE (AP) _ The Miami Dolphins are more than a week into training camp and their search for a starting quarterback is still a mess.
The Dolphins held their first scrimmage Saturday, though the best quarterback in the team's practice bubble might have been retired Hall of Famer Dan Marino. Neither Josh McCown, John Beck nor rookie Chad Henne _ separated themselves from the pack.
The Dolphins open the preseason against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Aug. 9 and appear headed for another year with the quarterback situation murky.
“It's not where I want to be,'' coach Tony Sparano said Saturday. “Not a week in. We can do a lot better getting the ball down field.''
Play from the team's three signed quarterbacks has been so inconsistent the past week that Miami even resorted to working out Quincy Carter, an Arena League quarterback who started for the Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets before poor play and drug-related arrests ended his NFL career after the 2004 season. The team has no immediate plans to sign Carter.
If there's been any surprise in training camp at quarterback, it's been the play of Henne, the second-round pick out of Michigan. He's grasped the offense faster than expected and has emerged as a serious contender to steal the starting job in training camp.
Sparano said Henne is still making young mistakes, but he's been impressed with the rookie's poise.
“He doesn't say a whole lot that way but I like his presence in the huddle,'' Sparano said. “He seems kind of relaxed out there. It'll be interesting to see him when the game is on. I know this guy has played in bigger crowds than we'll play in front of.''
Beck, who went 0-4 in starts as a rookie last season, did everything but eliminate himself in the first week. He has struggled mightily in training camp, even throwing three interceptions in one practice and another Saturday.
“It's tough,'' Beck said. “When I came in, I wanted things to be perfect. I wanted to throw all touchdowns and no interceptions, but it doesn't always work that way.''
McCown entered camp a small favorite to lead Miami's offense, simply because he has the most NFL experience. He has 31 starts in six NFL seasons and signed a $6.25 million, two-year contract with Miami in February.
McCown hasn't dazzled with many big plays, though he's limited his mistakes. He wasn't happy with his performance Saturday, which included one interception and one TD pass.
“Wasn't good enough,'' McCown said. “Not a lot of good things happened.''