DAVIE, Fla. -- Trent Green was tabbed as the Miami Dolphins' starting quarterback Monday, ending a bit of training camp speculation over who would win the job.
Green beat out Cleo Lemon, said Dolphins coach Cam Cameron -- who insisted throughout camp that a real competition was taking place at quarterback and that the 37-year-old veteran wasn't being handed the starting role.
"We're at a point where we need to start putting this offense together and the number one thing our offense needs is leadership," Cameron said. "Trent brings that, but I do believe Cleo's time is coming and he's got a lot of room for growth."
The Dolphins acquired Green from the Kansas City Chiefs in early June for a draft pick, expecting that he would emerge as Miami's 11th different starting quarterback since Dan Marino retired seven years ago.
Green threw for 21,459 yards and 118 touchdowns in 5 1/2 seasons as the starter in Kansas City, but missed eight games last season because of a concussion suffered in the season opener - and wanted a trade because he felt the Chiefs wouldn't give him a chance to vie against Damon Huard and Brodie Croyle for the job.
"I just wanted what I felt was more of a fair opportunity to play," said Green, who threw for more than 4,000 yards three times during his stint with the Chiefs.
Lemon will be the backup and rookie John Beck -- Miami's second-round draft pick -- will likely be the third quarterback. Lemon acknowledged some disappointment in the decision, but also will become a backup for the first time. He spent most of last year as Miami's third quarterback behind Daunte Culpepper and Joey Harrington, both of whom are no longer with the Dolphins.
"I'm very happy with the role I've been given," Lemon said.
Through two exhibition games, Green is 10-for-22 for 101 yards with one interception, while Lemon is 13-for-17 for 108 yards. Neither has thrown a touchdown pass.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press