Dolphins Tannehill Still Can’t Hit The Long Ball
By Brian Miller
The Miami Dolphins starting offense generated a whopping three points in last nights week three pre-season match-up against the Dallas Cowboys. The offense was anemic more than the Dallas defense was good. Miami led the game in yards from scrimmage, yards passing, and yards running but critical mistakes by Ryan Tannehill, including a deep red zone interception didn’t help the teams cause.
The Dolphins won the game behind the arm of Matt Moore and the deeper units but it was Ryan Tannehill’s inability to once again connect on the long ball that has fans a little upset the day after.
The simple truth of it is that it doesn’t appear that Tannehill and Mike Wallace have figured out a way to get on the same page together. Saturday nights game highlighted this issue when Tannehill overthrew Wallace by about 10 yards on a 30 yard route that would have scored a touchdown. The ball sailed on the teams quarterback and no one would have been able to catch the rifle shot. It was a bad pass. Sure Tannehill was under some pressure but that is still no excuse.
The issues with Tannehill’s deep ball is nothing new and dates back to his days in college but now entering his third year, there is no reason why Tannehill can’t throw an accurate deep pass. Matt Moore did during Saturday’s exhibition game. A deep strike that hit his receiver in full stride. Tannehill has yet to do that in any of his three seasons.
It’s fair for fans to question his ability to hit the deep throw and it’s something that has been discussed every year since he was drafted eighth overall. Ryan Tannehill is a good quarterback but his inability to connect on the deeper routes prohibit him from becoming better. As a result the team can not become better either.
The Dolphins are working to install a hybrid spread offense under new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor but so far the missing deep ball limits the functionality of the teams playbook and Lazor’s play calling.
Another issue that was noticed Saturday evening was Tannehill sitting on the bench with Lazor who had photographs of the field and Tannehill appeared more interested in what was going on up on the jumbotron instead. Rarely do you see elite quarterbacks standing around when there are photos to review of the game. It’s not a knock on Tannehill but an observation.
Tannehill has the tools to make himself and this team better but everything hinges on his ability to connect deep with Mike Wallace and his ability to manage this offense. If Tannehill can’t get that figured out this year, he could be competing for the starting job next year. It’s only pre-season but fans can be a restless bunch and missing deep yet again is becoming the norm. And that isn’t a good thing.