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The Maturation Of Ryan Tannehill


Sep 15, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) gestures to the sidelines during the second quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

“Everything that has happened before now doesn’t mean anything”.  Ryan Tannehill told his offense before starting the game winning drive on Sunday late in the 4th quarter.  Confidently he stood in the pocket.  Tall and unwavering.  He led his team down the field pass completion by pass completion.  A dropped would be TD by Lamar Miller?  No problem.  A dropped flat pass by Charles Clay?  No problem.

Ryan Tannehill grew up on Sunday in front of his hometown fans.  Sure he led the Dolphins on a final drive victory march against the Colts and even a second half comeback against the Cleveland Browns.  This was his third time.  Now he shows this is not a fluke, not a lucky shot, that this is what he was drafted for.  Against the Falcons Tannehill was sacked five times yet he stood straight and fired the passes that needed to be thrown.  He made his reads and hit the quick slants.  Faced with 2nd and goal from the one, Tannehill delivered a perfect touch pass to rookie Dion Sims.

According to Tannehill he spent his off-season watching every game film from his rookie season.  Breaking down each play and progressing himself through each snippet to improve.  This is not to say that Tannehill doesn’t have room to improve.  He does.  In fact while his ability to lead 4th quarter comebacks is now evident, three other quarters of play Tannehill holds the ball too long.

Tannehill has been sacked more than any other QB in the league or close to it.  Some of those sacks are missed blocking assignments but a good portion of them come from Tannehill’s inability to read the blitz or feel pressure thus not being able to hit his open dump off receiver.  They say you can’t teach pocket awareness and to some degree that is true.  A few more knocks to the ground and he may very well start developing that 6th sense.

Tannehill has been on target this year and he shows no signs of being anything less than the teams leader.  His offense believes in him as does the defense who no longer is trying to win the games on their own.  Tannehill has grown up, matured, since last season.  How he handles the rest of it will be up to him but so far it sure looks great.