Before we start today, let me update you on a roster move: The Dolphins re-signed defensive lineman Ryan Baker to the 53-man roster this morning because they are seemingly concerned about the injury status of Tony McDaniel, who has been injured most of the preseason and got hurt again against Houston. With the signing the Dolphins have 53 players on the roster. Onward:
Ryan Tannehill's first outing? Not good. Not terrible.
The statistics say it was terrible because three interceptions pulsates on that stat line, demanding attention and concern. But frankly a look at the three picks reveals that indeed Tannehill threw the passes but was failed by circumstances around him, teammates around him, good opponent play against him.
It wasn't all his fault.
Believe it or not, my major concern coming out of Sunday's 30-10 loss to Houston concerning Ryan Tannehill was not his interceptions -- two of which came off tipped passes at the line of scrimmage.
My major concern is about his accuracy. The kid was off on a handful of passes, the most obvious of these was a slant pattern to Anthony Armstrong which was way high.
My secondary concern is that he doesn't often go to his secondary receiver and often locks on to his target receiver. One time when he did go through his progression he found Reggie Bush for a nice 12-yard gain on third down.
The third concern is that he threw a couple of passes late. It's like he hasn't caught on to the speed of the game yet. The interception on a slant pass attempt to Legedu Naanee was an example of Tannehill staring down the receiver while also throwing late. It cost him as Jonathan Joseph intercepted the pass.
The manipulation of the defensive backs can be learned and accuracy can be improved some but unless it happens relatively quickly Tannehill is headed toward a tough first season given that he has practically no help around him.
Why do I say he has practically no help?
If you'll notice, there are precious few completions to wide receivers early in the montage below of every Tannehill throw. Truth is no wide receiver other than Davone Bess caught a pass in the first three quarters against Houston. That means no one was a factor other than Bess until the game was out of hand and the Texans DBs had backed off somewhat.
Beyond that, you'll notice in the montage below that until Brian Hartline caught a 34-yard pass in the fourth quarter, the long gains of the day were passes to fullback Jorvorskie Lane and halfback Daniel Thomas. I'm not complaining about long gains to running backs. I am complaining that wide receivers couldn't get behind the Houston secondary until the fourth quarter and it only happened once.
Anyway, Tannehill threw 36 passes on Sunday. He completed 20, including a shovel pass to Reggie Bush for zero yards. Below are all those passes courtesy of one of my twitter followers -- slipperysoap. Yeah, that's his handle. I didn't make that up.