Tannehill Will Ride the Pine in Miami

From the group of Matt Moore, David Garrard and Ryan Tannehill the starting QB for the Miami Dolphins will emerge, but unfortunately is there not a franchise QB among them… Moore and Garrard have flirted with elite status for moments in their careers, but neither has parlayed those moments into long term success and time is not on their side.

Once the euphoria of the Dolphins actually drafting a first round QB wears off, the reality that Ryan Tannehill was a huge stretch becomes apparent. Tannehill completed only 12.5% of his passes over 20 yards and that number alone should raise some serious red flags when looking for an NFL caliber QB.

Consider the following chart, Moore 2011, Garrard 2010, Tannehill 2011 Texas A&M…

The chart above shows the passing splits of the three QBs in contention for the Miami Dolphin starting job. They are all equally adept at throwing the ball behind the line of scrimmage, but even when stretching to 1- 10 yards the stats begin to waver on Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill does maintain his own on the intermediate passes of 10 -20 yards, in fact he is better the Moore or Garrard, but then we see the problem area.

Ryan Tannehill is no better than Chad Henne when it comes to delivering the "chunk plays." He only completed three passes over twenty yards, nearly as many as he completed to defensive backs. What this means for Dolphin fans is that rushing Tannehill on the field would be a huge mistake.

The numbers indicate Joe Philbin and Mike Sherman believe Tannehill has the potential to become an NFL caliber QB, but it is not likely to happen this season. If the Dolphins do play Tannehill it will be in a dink and dunk fashion that NFL defenses will soon identify and shut down. Once that happens, Miami will be forced to throw the ball down the field and as the chart indicates, bad things are likely to happen.

Taking Tannehill out of the equation would be the best option for the Dolphins and that will bring the competition down to Moore and Garrard. The chart above does seem to favor Garrard, but as Raheem Morris was fond of saying in Tampa Bay, “stats are for losers.” Unfortunately that maxim did not work out well for Raheem.

The bottom line for Miami fans is, Ryan Tannehill is not a savior and will not be the second coming of Dan Marino, with a starting assignment coming at some point as a rookie. Tannehill needs time to develop the touch and anticipation required to throw deep balls in the NFL. Starting Tannehill early will lead to a very predictable Miami offense and do more harm than good to Tannehill’s confidence.

The fans will never have the patience to allow Tannehill to grow into the position so it is imperative the coaching staff is not swayed by public opinion to rush Tannehill on the field. All QBs are different and all take different amounts of time to learn the NFL game. Tannehill will need time, the question is, will Miami fans wait it out through the growing process?

There is a veteran coaching staff in Miami, even though Joe Philbin is a first time head coach, he has groomed QBs. Miami will settle with either Moore or Garrard and Dolphin fans will need patience if they expect Tannehill to reach his potential. It’s obvious from the chart above Ryan Tannehill was picked on potential and not his statistics.

Can Dolphin fans wait it out? It’s a lot to ask of a fan base that as not hoisted the Lombardi Trophy in nearly 40 years… Tannehill and the coaching staff will need broad shoulders to weather the coming storm when the savior finds himself riding the pine…