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Sep 9, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) shows emotion against the Houston Texans in the fourth quarter at Reliant Stadium. The Texans defeated the Dolphins 30-10. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE

Dolphins’ Fans Have Unrealistic Expectations For Tannehill In Week Two


There is no debate that Ryan Tannehill had a miserable rookie debut.  You can sugarcoat it and twist his performance around any way you like, but the proof was in the pudding in his season opener.  Throwing three interceptions and zero touchdowns with an overall passer rating of 39 is terrible.  But in my opinion, this was somewhat expected, right?  Unfortunately, the NFL has become a “win now” league and the Dolphins’ fans already have unrealistic expectations for Tannehill in week two against the Oakland Raiders.

It’s a difficult task for any rookie QB to perform well going on the road against a very good Houston Texans defense.  Considering his lack of playmaking receivers and a skeptical right side of the offensive line, did you actually think he was going to light up that Texans’ secondary?  Besides, other than Washington Redskins’ Robert Griffin III, all of the other rookie QBs struggled in their season opener as well. 

Regardless, Monday was filled with many angry fans blogging and calling sports talk radio stations screaming that the sky is falling because of Tannehill’s poor debut.  Apparently our number eight overall pick in this year’s draft has several flaws and is already a bust after just one game.  Frustrated fans were claiming he stares down his receivers and telegraphs his passes.  His throwing motion is poor and he has a hard time finding passing lanes.  If Tannehill had a flaw, it was brought to the table for everyone to discuss.

We are only entering the second week of the season and the fan base has already created a “must win” situation for Tannehill.  People have argued that he should have a much better performance considering it’s a home game going up against a non-playoff team in the Raiders.  Fans are practically expecting for Tannehill to fix his flaws overnight and play well in week two.  To many fans, it’s already a win or bust situation for him.

Heaven forbid if he has another bad outing against the Raiders.  Sports media will be ripping him apart and most fans will be ready to throw in the Tannehill towel.  But is it fair to have such high expectations for our rookie quarterback so early in the season?

Today’s fans are impatient and expect all quarterbacks to have great rookie seasons as Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, or Andy Dalton.  Thanks to explosive rookie performances like Cam Newton had last year, it’s hard for us to not want an instant winner right out of the gate.  As much as we want Tannehill to become an explosive fantasy football QB this season, that will most likely not happen.  Based on the talent and weapons around him, Tannehill’s performance will be limited and he is destined to struggle due to his inexperience.

Whether you have acknowledged this or not, the Miami Dolphins are rebuilding.  They continue to experiment with several unproven receivers who are still trying to learn this West Coast Offense as Legedu Naanee, Anthony Armstrong, Marlon Moore, and yes, even Brian Hartline.  As a rookie right tackle, Jonathan Martin is going to miss blocking assignments and he will single handedly give up several sacks this year.  These factors will limit the success for any rookie QB.

So back away from the ledge, take a deep breath, and have a seat.  Start creating some realistic expectations knowing that Tannehill will struggle in his rookie season, just like Peyton and Eli Manning, John Elway, and Troy Aikman.  I’m not claiming that Tannehill will be a Super Bowl winning QB, but we need to at least be patient with him this year.

Like a clumsy puppy accidentally making a mess, expect Tannehill to make rookie mistakes.  He’s going to throw interceptions.  He will take unnecessary sacks instead of just throwing the ball away.  He will fumble snaps in critical situations.  This is inevitable and it all starts again this weekend against the Raiders.  Regardless of what happens in week two, Dolphins’ fans need to stay positive and remain supportive of our QB.  Patience is a virtue and we should use this time to enjoy watching him grow and develop into our franchise quarterback…hopefully.

Tags: Featured Jonathan Martin Miami Dolphins Popular Ryan Tannehill

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1647336924 Robert Hall

    Couldn’t agree more! Give RT17 time to develop this season, and work out the kinks. I see a lot of potential in him. He has a quick release, is accurate, has poise, and a great attitude! Kinda reminds me of Marino or P. Manning, might not ever be as prolific of a passer, but has the leadership qualities.

    • Miami Jules

      Yeap… I agree… liked what I saw

  • Jvm310

    Finally some common sense

  • http://www.facebook.com/esteban.perez.167 Esteban Perez

    personally i think miami should stick to ground and pounding th ball. They are stacked with running backs so why not use them. Save the qb for when they really need him and let him develope. Also keeps the defense off the feild and eats the clock up.

    • mattpatrick5

      Thanks for the read Esteban. I thought we ran the ball well against Houston, especially with Reggie. Now that Daniel Thomas is out with a concussion, I will be excited to see what Lamar Miller can do. After all, I hope we didn’t draft him in the 4th round to stay on the “Inactive list” again. So yes, running the ball and taking the pressure off our rookie QB would be ideal and I hope we are able to do this more against Oakland. Keep up the good work yourself and I look forward to your next article.

      • PhinFan05

        J-Train baby… give that man the ball and STOP PUTTING CLAY AT FB HE CANT BLOCK.

        • mattpatrick5

          haha good point. Lane had a nice 24 yard catch in that game. No one really talked about his solid performance. The little “butter ball” deserves the rock against the Raiders. We got lucky with him and he has been a pleasant surprise for us thus far.

    • Miami Jles

      I agree with you Esteban, but then I am an old ground and pound guy dating back to the Larry Czonka days. I think, at least during the first quarter (before the wheels came off the wagon) the play selection had a good mix of ground and air attack… we need to re enforce that this week so our rookie QB can slowly start getting his confidence back.

  • Miami Jules

    The only one thing I was disapointed about (other than the fact Miami lost by 20 points) is that during the post game press conference, Philbin said he saw a lot of “positives”. What I had loved about Philbin the most until now, was he way he handled the P/G pressers, stating that the team pretty much sucked including him and that they needed a lot of work… or words to that effect. I remember during the Shula days, when the team would lose, the ensuing work out was notorious among the players, so players would rather risk life or limb, than to have to face the Shula wrath the following day… Does anyone know what kind of work out the phins had yesterday?

  • ConfoundedSoc

    Hmmm… Did any of you guys (including mattpatrick5) actually watch the game? If the two batted passes had hit the ground instead of being intercepted, suddenly Tannehill has a good game and Miami might have actually won. 36 pass attempts and 2 tipped balls suddenly makes it a horrible game? Ridiculous. You also seem to imply in the article that a rookie QB having a rookie year automatically means a losing season. A lot of times that’s true because teams who draft a QB high usually have a bad team. Miami is returning the 3rd ranked rushing and 6th ranked scoring defense, and they picked up right where they left off (under 3 yards per carry and Houston couldn’t reach the endzone on any drive longer than 54 yards (and one that started at Miami’s 7 ended in a FG.) Long, Incognito and Pouncey are really good and Jerry and Martin did well in their first game (against one of the best defenses in the NFL.) Our running game was lights out until we had to abandon it due to the turnovers. The only question mark is at receiver, but Armstrong and Hartline just got in the line up and Moore and Matthews haven’t gotten on the field yet. We don’t know what we have. Sorry to disappoint you, but Miami (the team) should beat Oakland. Tannehill doesn’t have to.

    • PhinFan05

      Those balls hitting the ground instead of being intercepted wouldnt have changed the fact its still an issue… @ todays practice Cam Wake tipped the 1st ball thrown… on sunday.. more balls will be tipped. The line we saw is the one I want to stay for years to come.. figure it out guys.

    • mattpatrick5

      Umm…yeah, I actually watched the game twice and probably rewatched the same turnovers about 5 times. That’s the beauty of DVR. Look, you can’t play the “what if” game. We could do that to the other 15 games that occurred this past weekend and we could come up with 15 different scenarios. So don’t play that game, it’s always a weak argument. At the end of the day, Tannehill threw three picks and scored 0 TDs while having a 39 quarterback rating. That was the second worst rating in the league. To me, that’s terrible and if you think otherwise please see my first paragraph (sugarcoating). Also, although I appreciate you taking the time to read my article, I think you are missing the whole point. I’m not implying that we are going to lose this weekend. I was trying to make a point for fans to be realistic and not to have such high expectations from our rookie QB right out the gate. It’s not fair to have fans already throw him under the bus and already call him a bust after one bad week of football, or possibly two. He is a raw rookie with hardly a supporting cast to make plays for him. So expect him to struggle and go through growing pains all season and to be patient with him. That was my point. Where in my article does it say we won’t beat Oakland and that we will lose all of our games this year?