« November 25, 2012 | Main | November 27, 2012 »

3 posts from November 26, 2012

November 26, 2012

Comeback accomplished, so what's the next step for Tannehill?

I told you earlier that Ryan Tannehill took a step in his development on Sunday by rallying his team and helping to deliver a come-from-behind victory. Great quarterbacks must be able to do that, among other things.

But I stress that feat is only a step.

And there are other steps. Today, I asked coach Joe Philbin and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman what other steps Tannehill needs to also take as he walks the path of development and growth.

"Consistency," Philbin said. "Continued improvement in decision-making. The decision-making is important. Continued improvement on accuracy and ball location. Probably those three things. Consistency, decision-making and ball location are probably three things I think of."

That's great nuts and bolts. And it is true Tannehill still must improve on his decisions and accuracy and do it over a span of time so that we see consistency. But Sherman believes that will breed something equally important.


Sherman wants his QB to have self-confidence and display it to the point where other players see it and believe, too.

"The next step for him is to continue to believe in himself and have the confidence he has and demonstrate it to the rest of the team, particularly to the offense," Sherman said. "When we had the ball there at the end of the game they all believed in him and trusted him. Just to be able to build off that confidence is the biggest thing."

Sherman isn't too worried about Tannehill's confidence. The coach believes it will grow. But the coach also believes the young QB better correct that terrible decision-making on that interception that was nullified by a Seattle penalty.

After the game, Sherman made sure he addressed that interception that wasn't with Tannehill in the locker room.

"We have to make sure he doesn't do that, which I doubt he will," Sherman said. "One thing I said before and I'll continue to say it is he's the first to know when he screws up and makes a mistake and is hard on himself. I'm glad we survived that, but I doubt very much you'll see that pass again."

Jonathan Amaya in jail at this hour

Jonathan Amaya is fortunate Dolphins players didn't have to report to the team's training facility today because he was busy -- in jail.

Amaya, a special teams player who also plays safety, was arrested for battery early Monday after he tried to choke a taxi driver, according to Miami Beach police records. Amaya, 24, was arrested after the incident which happened in the early morning hours outside Club Bamboo on South Beach.

According to an incident report, Amaya ordered the taxi and asked the driver to take him to Weston -- which is about an hour north and west of Miami Beach. The driver allegedly told Amaya he didn't provide rides to Weston but changed his mind when Amaya gave him $100 cash up front.

According to the report, Amaya became "aggressive" during the ride and the driver took him back to where he picked the player up. The driver also allegedly returned Amaya's money.

Amaya apparently didn't appreciate this because the driver told police Amaya "leaned forward and wrapped his hands around his neck and started choking him."

Police arrived while Amaya was still in the cab and arguing with the driver. The driver told police, "This man is trying to kill me."

Amaya was taken into custody and records indicate Amaya is still at this hour being held on $1,500 bond. It is unclear why Amaya ordered a cab if he got to the club in his own vehicle.

Amaya is a marginal contributor on the Dolphins. He has all of five special teams tackles. His spot on the roster is definitely in jeapardy unless he has a really, really good explanation for the incident.

The Dolphins are aware of Amaya's arrest but have not yet commented on it.

[UPDATE: The Dolphins have released this statement on the matter: "We are aware of the situation and are in the process of gathering information."]

Tannehill comeback rally a necessary part of QB growth

In the big picture, the Dolphins on Sunday showed they are truly a resilient bunch in answering the challenge of breaking a losing skid rather than letting it break them, of beating a pretty good team,and  of doing it in comeback fashion.

For the team this was a great way to keep the season alive.

By the way, I call these guys the Zombie Dolphins. They refuse to die.

But there's a bigger picture with the Dolphins. And Sunday the picture got some focus and some much needed color.

This Dolphins season, no matter what anyone says, is about Ryan Tannehill and his development.

And what we saw Sunday was a big step of development for the rookie quarterback.

Tannehill authored his first fourth-quarter comeback victory in the NFL. That's important. Great quarterbacks must be able to accomplish this feat to be, well, great.

Dan Marino, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, John Elway, Joe Montana, all the others made their reputations on bringing their teams back from the brink of defeat and delivering a victory. The only reason people believe Eli Manning is elite is because he did this in two Super Bowl wins.

The comback victory, the heroic rally is one of the benchmark traits of a great quarterback.

“We told these guys all along, and I think it’s true, not just in our case – these games in the NFL are usually tight, they’re close, oftentimes it comes down to the last possession, and you need to execute well," Coach Joe Philbin said. "You need to win some games like this. I think it’s important for a quarterback to do that. Any quarterback – Ryan Tannehill, certainly. Any quarterback in this league has to demonstrate the ability to do this.”

And until Sunday, Tannehill had failed multiple times at delivering even one comeback victory. Even against Buffalo the last game, Tannehill had not one, but two opportunities to deliver a comeback drive that would have won the game.

He threw an interception to end each drive.

So this was a huge step in development for Miami's current and future quarterback.

"It’s huge," Tannehill said. "We’ve had a couple situations this year where we had a chance to do it and we weren’t able to do it. To finally go out and execute it and come away with a win, it feels great."

Now, was it a totally pristine moment?


Tannehill did throw perhaps the dumbest pass of his season on one of those touchdown drives that tied the game at 14. He threw a pass across his body, into the end zone, almost blindly, and the ball was picked off.

If that interception had stood, the Dolphins would probably have lost. And this blog today would be discussing how Tannehill fell short of authoring that much-needed comeback.

But Seattle safety Earl Thomas was flagged for roughing Tannehill on the throw and the interception was nullified.

"That was just a bad play and, as soon as I let it go, I knew it was a bad play before he had even intercepted it," Tannehill said. "The Good Lord was looking out for me today and got it called back."


It doesn't matter that the call was controversial. What matters is that Tannehill learns not to throw that pass ever again.

And what matters more is that Tannehill now knows he's capable of leading his team to a big comeback win against a good defense. And that his teammates know it also.

Big deal. Really big.