Aug 4, 2013; Canton, OH, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) on the sidelines during a game against Dallas Cowboys during the fourth quarter at Fawcett Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

Reality Check: Dolphins’ Tannehill and Bumphis

Even if you only been semi-plugged in during the last week of Miami Dolphins training camp you have heard the whispers.  “Tannehill looked awful,” said ESPN’s Merril Hoge in reference to the quarterback’s limited showing in the Hall of Fame game against Dallas.   Former NFL Head Coach Dennis Green piled on with,”I don’t think Ryan’s a great quarterback” during a segment of the NFL Network’s Inside Training Camp.

Or perhaps you have listened to a prominent local Dolphins columnist who continually sings the praises of undrafted wide receiver Chad Bumphis.

Before we start clamoring for Miami to draft yet another franchise quarterback or fit Bumphis for his bronze statue in Canton, Ohio, let’s take a step back and be realistic.

Ryan Tannehill threw a whopping five passes on Sunday night and completed two.  So basically we are now judging a quarterback on how he looks on the basis of three throws?  Another pass was flat dropped to the best of my recollection which brings us to two questionable throws.  One of those was an admittedly poor throw behind Marvin McNutt.  That would be starter Marvin McNutt, the same McNutt who has a slightly greater chance than me of making the roster once regular starters Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline return from injuries.  The point is that you can’t really expect Tannehill and McNutt to have any sort of timing or chemistry at this point.

Did Tannehill look extremely comfortable in the pocket?  No, of course not.  Would you with Jonathan Martin or the prospect of rookie Dallas Thomas protecting your blindside (which is much more of a concern for the team at this point)?  Now, Tannehill apparently threw four interceptions in a practice this week and concerns about his deep throw accuracy and tendency to lock onto receivers are legitimate.  But this is what you sign on for as fans with almost all second year quarterbacks.  Tannehill is not Andrew Luck (My jury is still out on the likes of Robert Griffin and Russell Wilson).  We know that and expecting him to be Luck or that guy up in New England is pointless and perhaps damaging to the young man’s development at this critical juncture.

If Tannehill throws a couple more clunkers in extended action during the rest of the preseason, then I would be far more likely to criticize him and so should you.  Even then, what’s the alternative?  Matt Moore, who took an inexcusable sack for an NFL veteran?  Pat Devlin, who cleans up games against a bunch of guys headed for the waiver wire?

The waiver wire brings us to the unheralded Bumphis. Look, you have to like the way Bumphis goes into traffic to get the ball.  His five catches for 85 yards on Sunday night were impressive.  However, his cutting a route short which led to Devonte Holloman’s 75-yard interception return for a touchdown was not.  More importantly, rookies, especially undrafted rookies flash ability early in camps.  Let’s see if Bumphis gets significant snaps even by the third preseason game and what he does with them.  Till then is he much different than last year’s Dolphin camp phenom Chris Hogan?  “7-Eleven” was released by the Dolphins after his Hard Knocks television fame and now will be lucky to make the Buffalo Bills’ roster never less contribute.  Bumphis is at least as likely to follow this path as he is to continue his surprising play.

One more harsh reality for Bumphis is that 5’10″ receivers who like to work in traffic usually don’t stay upright for long.

Tannehill might continue to struggle at quarterback and I hope Bumphis is a future star at wide receiver.  The reality is they probably land somewhere between those extremes.  So let’s be realistic and temper those quick judgments.





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Tags: Chad Bumphis Miami Dolphins Ryan Tannehille

  • thill80

    Comparing Bumphis to Hogan is a joke. Hogan played where? Monmouth. And accomplished nothing significant. Bumphis played well in the SEC and finished up with career stats that rank high in school history. Plus Hogan was a practice field star. Praised by teammates but you never heard much from the coaches about him. Chad is being talked about good by his coaches. And he actually produced well in his first live action. And how tall is Welker? Chrebet? Steve Smith?.. I agree that judgements should be tempered. At the same time, I dont think anyone is putting him in the hall of fame.. And yes Tannehill will probably have a Fieldlerish career but a rough start dont mean he will be a Joey Harrington.

    • Johnny

      Agreed… Bumphis is a beast!!! He had 12 TDs last year vs tough SEC defenses. Most TDs by any SEC WRs including Patterson and Hunter!!!

  • Tyler Cary

    The problem with the NFL, Americans, and the rest of the world for that matter, is that nobody has the ability to look beyond the last eight seconds. Five throws, the first five throws of the HOF game are nothing to judge the quality of a QB. Don Shula didn’t get to 347 without losing a few games, and nobody should expect a QB with 19 college starts and 16 pro starts to just show up to every game driving the ball down the field like a top tier player in the first preseason game. Wallace = out, Hartline = out, a good portion of Miami’s defense = out. The top two receivers were out, including Hartline the receiver that Tannehill has the most chemistry with sat out. Look at the defense on tape, what side did the Cowboys start running the ball towards, their left, the side with Shelby the new guy. The Cowboys exploited the weaknesses they knew Miami was showing up to the game with, and they did a decent job of it. Take away Miller’s fumble (hardly a big deal as long as it doesn’t continue to happen during the regular season) and take away Moore’s pick 6 and the Cowboys only really managed to score 10 points on their own. If Davis would have turned his head in the end zone then the game would have finished 20-20, leading to overtime. I hate all of these half wit jackasses that have proclaimed our season to be a failure because of a fumble and a bad throw, remember that Tannehill threw the ball away on one of his incompletions. Would they have preferred that he attempted to force a pass? What is it that people need to have a little confidence. The last time that Miami made the playoffs they lost all 4 preseason games, granted that was Sparano/Wildcat

    • Donny

      McNutt dropped 2 passes and one incompletion on screen pass that Samuda missed a block and Tanny threw it away. No biggie, screw the media.

      • Tyler Cary

        Exactly, and what NFL team comes out of the gate strong on their first series anyways? It always takes a few series to figure out how exactly to play the other team. Most of all, screw Dennis Green and his naysaying. If he was such a great judge of football talent he would still be a coach instead of yesterday’s garbage.

  • Johnny

    Bump will make this team!! I let you guys know back in April!! And FINALLY, we seen a long TD pass(40+yds) from THill to Wallace.. FINALLY!!!

  • Johnny

    To small of a sample size to even rate Tannehill’s performance.. And alot has to do with other factors.. Like the Oline didn’t give him time to throw efficiently.. Let alone he didn’t have his 1 and 2 WRs.. You guys are ridulous to even mention it..

    • Johnny

      It on the QB or WR……..

  • Donny

    What annoys me is how quick the media is to criticize players who don’t light up the preseason (Martin, Tannehill) but fail to mention the positives. How about the Dolphins will feature a reserve defensive line that would start on half of the teams in the NFL? No mention of that. How about how the most impressive camp battle so far has been for the second starting CB spot, and that both Dimitri Patterson and Richard Marshall have been going back and forth, both making plays and deserving of the starting role. The storyline of the season will not be Martin and Tannehill. The teams defensive performance will be so polarizing, no one will really care about the trivial issues on offense. 72 sacks in 16 games is the NFL record set by the 1984 Chicago Bears, I believe that number is achievable for this squad, particularly considering the multiple fronts Coyle will use added to the versatility of personnel.

  • Donny

    I like Bumphis but I believe he will be cut because he can ONLY play in the slot. He would be ineffective if he lines up outside. That is the reason Bess is no longer with us. I would put my money on Matthews, Tyms, and Davis or Smith for the final 3 WR spots. Keenan Davis is interesting because he played the exact role for Iowa that Binns was playing this preseason, big bodied dude lining up in the slot (obvious mismatch, most nickel/slot corners are under 6ft). Really hope this guy makes the team, or at least the PS. Check out the game he had vs. Pitt 2011 on you tube.

    • Johnny

      Bump is better… Watch Chad Bumphis on YouTube.. Played in tougher division and still had the most TDS (12) in the entire SEC.. The only thing Davis has is his size going for him.. And Bump can find the wholes in defenses, QB friendly.. Can also line up anywhere and that includes special teams..(which could be a deciding factor).. But most of all, I like his toughness and YAC.. Check him out.. Can also run nice crisp routes..

  • Miami Jules (Julian)

    1st, Hoges is critical of just about everyone out there… I can not remember the last time he was excited about a player.
    2nd, if Philbin thought Tannehill was that bad he was start Moore.
    3rd. the WR’s that have been involved on the plays Miami’s looked its worst, have NOT been the bread and butter players like Hartline, Keller, Gibson and Wallace. although right now, I would call only Hartline and Keller “bread and butter”.
    I am writing this comment after the Jacksonville game just for reference but after having attended 3 training camp work outs in Davie, I can tell you, that what we have saw in the HOF game and in the first few plays of the Jax game, hasn’t been what they have shown in training camp.. part of it may be injuries and part of it may be that Philbin is using the the pre-season games as they were intended to be, as evaluation… he does NOT have to evaluate Hartline… I think he used him once during the Jax game,
    These critics will conveniently develop a case of amnesia once the Dolphins start kicking bud and wont own up to the criticism they’re leveling now. For the record, I am not a blindly faithful “rah-rah” type of fan and when I’m frustrated with Miami, I vent it out too, so consider that if you happen to read my comment. I am thrilled with the way the Dolphins are looking in training camp and pre-season. Let’s see what happens next week with good ole JJ Watt.