When Ryan Tannehill (RT) took the field last year for the Miami Dolphins he became the 17th Quarterback Since Dan Marino retired. The irony of him wearing number 17 isn't lost on me. It is symbollic. He stumbled through his rookie season and had high points, low points, good stats, and bad stats...but one stat stood out. That was the 3294yds passing...a rookie record. I can hear the Marino crowd saying but Marino only started 11 games his rookie season. Sure enough..but if you extrapolate Marinos game average over 16 games he would've finished with 3214 yards. Marino finished at 58% completion percentage and RT is also at 58%. Now I'm not going to sit here and proclaim that RT is going to surpass Marino as someone said on ESPN the other night, but he doesn't have to. If the young Ryan Tannehill even sniffs the the legendary HOF Marino in production, the Miami Dolphins will enjoy seeing #17 around for a long, long time.
I posted on the inside chat boards about some things he could've done better against Cleveland and his followers made it known quickly that I was treading on thin ice. Things I love about RT:
- Accuracy - The kid can fire a dart for the first 20 yards. Hitting his guy in stride.
- Mobility - He does have the wheels when he needs them.
- Arm strength - The ball certainly wastes no time getting there as the Hartline pass indicated against Cleveland.
- Smart - He doesn't fumble, has great mechanics and he's careful with the football.
Here's the things I think he needs to work on to become elite:
- Decision making - He is still in that phase of his career where he's "checking up" not checking down. What I mean by that is he is looking for the first open man and not for the big play.
- His pocket awareness isn't quite there. I saw him move into 2 sacks last week where had he scrambled back and out he would've bought some time.
Those are some picky things. Give me a safe, 65% again this weekend and Miami will be 2-0. There's plenty of time for him to grow up and there is certainly going to be that game where he has no choice but to air it out. NE comes to mind. In any case, I'm starting to feel like this kid has the "it" factor I've longed for since Marino left. Chad Pennington had it, but his body failed him. It is good to be a Dolphin Fan again.
Luck and RT will always be compared throughout their careers. They're definitely different QBs. I think Luck has better touch on the long ball and better pocket awareness, while RT has better short range accuracy and is smarter with the football.It ought to be a great game. I can't wait!
in a wild, back and forth game....
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