Dolphins Ryan Tannehill is out of excuses


Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill is almost out of excuses.

For the Miami Dolphins, things got rather interesting in the events leading up to today’s game against the Baltimore Ravens. Once again, in the midst of a terrible, agonizing season, the Dolphins made another coaching change—their third of the season. After a handful of disastrous outings by the offense where the unit averaged a measly 15.6 points per game, Miami decided to part ways with second-year offensive coordinator Bill Lazor and promote quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor to play-calling duties.

The coaching change couldn’t have come at a more opportune time for fourth-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Since the start of the season, the Dolphins offense has failed to live up to the hype that surrounded them this offseason. In fact, since their blowout victory against the Houston Texans in week seven, the Tannehill-led offense has been a descending spiral ever since. The Dolphins offense currently ranks 27th in both scoring and overall production, 31st at converting on the leagues most important down (3rd), and have failed to score more than 20 points in nine of their 11 games.

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Now, of course, when any offense in football struggles, the majority of the criticism lies on the quarterback’s shoulders—and such is the case for Ryan Tannehill. For more than half the season, the former first-round draft pick has been the hottest topic amongst fans, coaches, and media outlets. Tannehill hasn’t quite lived up to his potential since signing a hefty 96 million dollar contract with the Dolphins this offseason. If anything, he’s progressively gotten worse.

Many analysts’ blame the Dolphins offense in that it handcuffs the quarterback’s ability to change plays at the line of scrimmage. However, skeptics of Ryan Tannehill disagree and cast the majority of the blame on Ryan Tannehill himself. The argument is never-ending and, in most cases, both sides are right.

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  • In the past, Ryan Tannehill had no input on the offense’s game plan and was instructed to be a good boy and follow orders. Given Tannehill’s personality, the system fit him well. But Bill Lazor didn’t allow Tannehill the luxury to audible out of plays at the line of scrimmage; in fact, a large part of the offense had only one play for Tannehill to audible into pre-snap—Lazor’s idea, of course. It’s safe to say that this system was destined to fail sooner than later. Too often, opposing defenses caught on to Miami’s deficiency and exposed the Dolphins pre-historic offense.

    But now with Lazor sent packing and Zac Taylor put in charge of the offense, the rebirth of Ryan Tannehill has begun. In game planning for the Ravens, the fourth-year quarterback was involved in the offense’s game plan for the first time since being named the starter. In meetings leading up to today, Taylor and other members of the coaching staff met with Tannehill and went over several plays and ideas Tannehill liked and felt comfortable with. Tannehill now has a say in what the offense does.

    This change in both the offensive game plan and system gives Tannehill privileges he’s never had before; it’s what he does with it here on out that can potentially change his perception and become what this Dolphins franchise desperately needs: a quarterback. If this experiment fails, Miami will know for certain if they have their guy or not.