I’ve had a night to sleep on the tough loss to the Bills. Last night, I was going crazy. I work at a television station that does local news, and I sit no more than 20 feet from where the anchor desk is. When Ryan Tannehill threw the game-ending interception, I yelled out a curse word without even thinking. And yes, we were on live television. That is what this team makes me do.
However, after having the night to think it over, I have calmed down a tiny bit. The irrational part of me has turned rational and I can now think clearly enough to write this.
I am the person who runs the Twitter feed. Some of you like to come at me with anger over certain posts and while I do support every writer on this site, I don’t always agree with them. This one is ME. Only me. If you disagree with anything in this post (and I guarantee you will), feel free to let me know about it there. I rarely write anymore, but it’s a lot easier to get all the thoughts out on here than it is to do it in 140 characters.
1. Ryan Tannehill: Let’s start where everyone wants to, the quarterback. I’m not sure if all fanbases are like this, but us Phin phans really do live and die with everything this team does. Before the Colts game, the optimism for Tannehill and the Phins was through the roof. People were talking playoffs. People were talking Tannehill=Marino. Now, it’s doomsday. “Dismantle the whole thing!” “Tannehill sucks!” “We need to rebuild!”
Pump the brakes everyone. We really need to talk a huge step back and assess the whole situation. Was ANYBODY talking playoffs when the season began? No. This season was about getting Tannehill snaps and watching him develop. Then, magically (actually by a weak schedule), we were 4-3, in the hunt for the wildcard spot and fans were getting excited.
It never should have happened. We weren’t supposed to contend this year and that strong start really masked the issues we had. Now, after three losses, people are calling for Tannehill’s head. People, it has been 10 games. We HAVE to be patient. It’s a lot to ask, given the past decade, but it’s something we have to do. We are all emotional and sometimes emotions get the best of us. Tannehill is going to need time to develop, to adjust to the speed of the NFL and to adjustments NFL defenses make against him. We need to give him the time to do that.
Tannehill doesn’t have the greatest stats. If you follow Omar Kelly, he likes to spit out stats that have Tannehill ranked near the bottom on some key ones. Here is why I don’t judge a QB based off of his first 10 games…
Who is this player? In his rookie season, he led his team to a 3-13 record. His completion percentage was 56.7%. He threw for 3,739 yards, 26 TD’s and 28 INT’s. He was also sacked 22 times. His name? Peyton Manning. Stop worrying. A rookie season is for getting better.
And one more thing. Ryan Tannehill is not Andrew Luck. Please stop trying to compare them. The ONLY thing they have in common is they are both rookies. Do you remember back to the draft? Do you remember what the experts were saying? Andrew Luck is a once in a generation player. Nobody said that about Tannehill. They are nowhere near the same player, stop putting them in same sentence.
2. Playcalling: If I had to pinpoint issues on the offense, I would start with the playcalling. It has been horrendous. Look, people want to talk about having no playmakers on the offense. That isn’t entirely accurate. The playcalling isn’t letting the playmakers be found. Reggie Bush was one of the most elusive college players I have ever seen and sometimes he will flash that ability today. However, all I see with Bush are runs up the middle. Where are the screen passes? Why isn’t he lining up on the outside? Get him the ball in space and see what happens. Yesterday, we regressed in a big way to 2011, Dan Henning-style playcalling. A 3 yard in to Davone Bess on 3rd and long? That is textbook Henning, and not what a young QB needs to succeed. LET THE YOUNG GUYS PLAY. Give Rashard Matthews some shots. He got one last night and turned it into a DPI call. We need more of that. We can’t get those calls if we aren’t throwing it down the field.
3. Secondary: A point of contention among everyone. Sean Smith can be elite. But he can also be terrible. If he wants his money, he needs to start playing consistent every single week. Jimmy Wilson has shown flashes, but regardless he is still a 7th round pick, second year player. Nolan Carroll had more penalty yards against him in the first half last night than the offense had yards. This is the biggest need in the 2013 draft. More than a receiver, we NEED a shutdown corner. Start scouting them ASAP.
4. Kicking: I mean, Dan Carpenter has been absolutely terrible this year, hasn’t he?
5. Jeff Ireland: I know, everyone in the world thinks he should be fired. Look, I don’t hate Ireland like so many of you do. He was shackled by Bill Parcells for a long time and couldn’t execute his own draft plan. He was finally able to this season and I generally like the haul so far. Again, it has only been 10 games!! Egnew may or may not be a bust. Miller has shown flashes but the coaches don’t give him the ball. Matthews is on the active roster. I have no clue if these guys will pan out and Ireland is solely responsible if they don’t, but for now I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt because many of you were extremely happy after the NFL draft. In 2011, he managed Pouncey who is the best center in the league. Daniel Thomas is a solid goal line back. Jimmy Wilson was a 7th rounder who was a steal.
It’s tough to tell right now if Tannehill is struggling or if the playcalling is holding him back, or if the talent around him just isn’t enough to make him competitive. Right now, he looks like a rookie. Plain and simple. That interception to end the game last night was an absolutely horrible throw, but it is going to happen. He has shown flashes in my opinion. But again, it has only been 10 games. Just 10. It is too early to proclaim him the next Manning or Leaf.
As you are watching the rest of the season, please keep it in your mind that this was a team that was not expected to do anything. Ryan Tannehill was a raw college quarterback coming into the league with a bad offense surrounding him.
Don’t pin all the problems on him. We have plenty of other issues and right now, I don’t put Tannehill in the top 5 problems they have.
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