Ryan Tannehill doesn’t know how to win yet. I stress the word yet because he possesses all of the intangibles you want from a starting NFL QB. He has very good arm strength, fantastic awareness in the pocket, the ability to scramble and run, and throws on the run better than most veteran NFL QB’s. The best part about Ryan Tannehill is he is still learning. His ceiling is so much higher than where he is now. There is however, one area of concern. His ability to succeed when it counts the most. When the game is on the line and thus on his shoulders and his shoulders alone.
We have seen this as recurring issue with Tannehill all season. He plays very well as the game progresses and there is no question that he is capable of leading his team from behind to either close the gap for a winnable outcome or bring the team back into a position to outright win. The problem he has is that after he does that, he seems to let the stress of the game fall off his shoulders.
This past week against the 49’ers the Dolphins hung in tightly with a team that on paper was far superior. A week ago we saw the same thing with the New England Patriots. With minutes left, Tannehill with the ball, and momentum swinging their way, it seems as though Tannehill loses that confidence. It’s as if the stress of the situation gets to him. His throws are off, his decisions are off, and he struggles to keep his mechanics straight.
The big question is can he fix it?
Of all the QB’s drafted in the 2012 draft, Tannehill is the least experienced and rides a huge wave of expectations in Miami. While he tends to make good reads and good decisions, he still lofts the ball too far or too short for wide-open WR”s. It’s a timing issue and something that I believe he will fix in due time. His issues are not arm strength, they are not an inability to read a defense, or run an offensive system, his problems are in his head. Not mental as he is stupid or can’t grasp what is going on around him, it’s a little bit more on the too much testosterone side. He doesn’t really panic as much as he seems to just not get it.
From what I have seen of Ryan Tannehill this year I am excited about for the future. The guy has something about him that screams success at this level. Outside of the final two minutes it’s as though nothing gets to him. But the pressure under that 2:00 clock appears to be his undoing, in the early part of his career. The thing is, everyone expected RGII and Andrew Luck to play at the level they are playing at. Now that Miami is finding less success, many fans want to tell you that Tannehill should be riding the pine, and some believe he should have from the start.
That however may not make the most sense. The problems for Tannehill are not learning the pace of the game, the speed of the game, or taking a hit. He doesn’t need to sit on the sideline and watch defensive coverage’s or WR patterns or corner-back patterns, instead he needs to learn to close a game out and frankly if that pressure isn’t directly on your neck, you won’t learn it from the sidelines. Ryan Tannehill needs to be in these late close games. But he needs to start learning how to win them, close them out, and shut it down.
When he does, he will emerge as a bona-fide leader of this team.