Dolphins Ryan Tannehill faces critical 2016

Dec 27, 2015; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) scrambles out of the pocket as Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis (98) applies pressure during the first half at Sun Life Stadium. The Colts won 18-12. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 27, 2015; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) scrambles out of the pocket as Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis (98) applies pressure during the first half at Sun Life Stadium. The Colts won 18-12. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

Ryan Tannehill has statistically been an average to above average quarterback for the Miami Dolphins. Since being drafted 8th overall in 2012 but 2016 may be his most important yet.

More from Dolphins News

Tannehill has started every single game including his rookie season and has amassed a 61.9 completion percentage, a 87-54 touchdown to interception ratio, 15,460 passing yards, 901 rushing yards and a career passer rating of 85.2.

All of these statistics support Ryan Tannehills adequacy. Unfortunately the main statistic people use to define QB’s in the NFL is Wins and Losses and that is where Tannehills numbers are bad. Ryan Tannehill has led teams to records of 7-9, 8-8, 8-8, and 6-10. That combines to a record of 29-35 with 0 playoff appearances.

Some claim Ryan Tannehill is the problem because he is not clutch and can’t throw the deep ball. Others say Tannehill is part of the solution while the rest of the team needs to step its game up.

Ryan Tannehill now joins his 2nd head coach and his 3rd offensive coordinator in a discussion that falls under the same logic as the argument above. Either Tannehill’s play is causing the coaching turn over, or it was just bad coaching causing Tannehill to be held back.

Is Tannehills play causing the issues, or is his play being effected by a poor overall supporting cast? The overall opinion seems pretty split through Dolphins fans eyes.

More importantly, is this the year Miami coaches and Dolphins fans decide to hold Ryan Tannehill accountable regardless of situation or excuses? Or will fans have a more wait and see approach possibly granting Tannehill a pass for learning another new system and for whatever tough scenarios await the Dolphins in 2016?

The Dolphins cannot and should not reasonably expect Ryan Tannehill to be a master of Adam Gases’ offense come week one against one of the best defenses in the NFL but at the same time when and where do Dolphins brass and fans have to draw the line and demand results? At what point will we actually know what we have in Ryan Tannehill?

I have to admit I am a Tannehill supporter. In a business that demands results and where excuses are worthless, I still believe in Tannehill. Since coming in to the league Ryan Tannehill has been sacked 184 times which is the most in the NFL during that time frame.

Joe Philbin would inexplicably give up on the running game sometimes as soon as the 2nd quarter no matter what the score was or who was leading. This would cause the offense to be overly predictable and allow the D to come after Tannehill. (To Philbin’s credit the offensive run blocking was terrible which would often set up a passing situation). But the offensive line was so bad that it wouldn’t be able to protect Tannehill any better than it could run block.

Yes their have been numerous offensive line injuries but there will always be injuries in he NFL and teams have to build enough depth on their roster in order to weather the injuries. All the best teams do that consistently.

The fact that Ryan Tannehill has been able to start every game despite all the hits he has taken is nearly miraculous. Last season he got beat up so bad against the Colts that he had blood in his urine after a game and still managed to start the next week for a team that was 5-10 at that point and officially eliminated from the playoffs.

Ryan isn’t Dan Marino and we can stop expecting him to eventually become him. Marino’s quick release and cannon arm are retired forever and we may never get another talent like him. But Ryan Tannehill is a solid quarterback and the Dolphins can win with him in charge.

Last year Peyton Manning threw 9 touchdowns, 17 interceptions, 59.8 completion percentage and a 67.9 QBR. Despite that the Broncos won the Super Bowl. Yet Tannehill has never even come close to putting up such awful numbers over a total season and the Dolphins haven’t even managed to make the playoffs.

More from Dolphins News

If we are basing team success off of QB play the Broncos would have been the worst team in the NFL. Football is the most team driven sport in the world. Ryan Tannehill is an extremely important part of that team but he is not solely responsible for the teams results. Much worse QB’s have been on much better teams with better coaches and had way more success.

Yes Tannehill has his flaws. He has struggled with the deep ball and he holds the ball to long in the pocket thinking that eventually his receivers will get open instead of throwing it away which has effected his sack numbers. He has a below average pocket presence and almost never feels the pressure.

Also Tannehill has not been known to take a commanding leadership role in the huddle and failed to gain enough confidence from Joe Philbin in order to be granted the ability to audible. He also lacked the motivation to demand more responsibility and control over the offense.

Yet his other talents provide ways for a team to win. He has good arm strength and has plenty of zip on the ball when he needs it and is a good touch passer when the situation calls for it. He is cool headed and does not let the big moment effect his judgment. He is very accurate on short to intermediate range passes, posses the ability to roll out of the pocket and extend the play when the play goes bad and doesn’t force passes into unfavorable coverage.

He may not be a top 10 QB yet and there is a chance that he may always be around that top 10, top 15 conversation when it comes to quarterbacks. But in a game driven so much around team work and strategy Tannehill does more than enough to hold up his end of the bargain.

He might never be a Hall of Famer but if the Dolphins get more talent to surround him offensively and defensively, it would better counter his inefficacies and start raising the win totals. We will have to see how Tannehill adjusts to a new offense once again this season but it would be interesting to see what the Phins fans expectations are for Tannehill this year and if most people believe Tannehill might have a legitimate reason for a down year or if this is the year he has to make it work no matter what.

I am looking forward to hearing from and discussing with other fans about what we should expect from Tannehill this season.