« David Hinds: On a journey climbing from the bottom | Main | He said, she said turns against Florida speaker »

Being most improved isn't enough for Tannehill

In the aftermath of the draft and amid the preparation for the Dolphins rookie camp, I overlooked the words of Miami offensive coordinator Mike Sherman about second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

"This young man will be the most improved quarterback in the National Football League from year one to year two this year – I promise you that,” Sherman told the team's website. "He’s working extremely hard."

At first blush, this seems like a bold statement. After all, it seems to suggest Tannehill will be better this year than Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson and others. Right? It sounds optimistic and promising and confident.

But think about it.

Sherman didn't, in fact, say Tannehill will be the best among the 2012 QB class this season. He said he'd be most improved.

That's a completely different statement and, frankly, kind of an empty statement when you consider the facts.

What are those facts?

Of all the quarterbacks drafted in 2012 who became starters for their teams, Tannehill brought up the back of the pack along with Cleveland's Brandon Weeden.

Griffin III, Wilson, and Luck were not just better but way better. Even Nick Foles, who started games after Mike Vick went down in Philadelphia, had a better TD-INT ratio, better completion percentage and better quarterback rating than Tannehill.

So, if he was at the back of the pack among the 2012 class, it stands to reason that if he's going to be any good in 2013 he would improve the most. It's logical. Indeed, Tannehill could be the most improved and still be quite mediocre.

Seeing the jump from 12 TDs and 13 INTs to 18 TDs and 10 INTs is a huge improvement. But is it a great season? That's Christian Ponder territory.

Meanwhile, if any of the other QBs get much better that would put them in superhuman territory.

Yes, RG3 might get better. But is he going to throw 30 TDs and 5 interceptions instead of the 20 and 5 he threw last year? How much higher can he take his 102 QB rating? Is he going to complete more than the 65.6 percent of the passes he did last year?

Yes, Wilson might get better. But his 26 TDs and 10 INTs, his 100 QB rating and 64.1 percent completion rate were jaw dropping for a rookie. Is he going to be light years better coming off a season when he was already among the league's best?

Luck's numbers weren't nearly as impressive as Wilson's or RG3's. He threw 23 TDs and 18 INTS and completed only 54.1 percent of his passes. But he threw for a whopping 4,374 yards and led seven fourth-quarter comeback victories.

Is he going to lead 10 fourth-quarter comeback victories this season?

Sorry, Sherman's statement is kind of empty.

What I truly hope Tannehill does, other than improve, is climb past a couple of his contemporaries. Sherman should be looking for the kind of improvement that leaves us all saying, Tannehill was better than RG3 or Luck or Wilson.

Or better still ...

Luck took the Colts from the worst record in the NFL to an 11-5 record and the playoffs.

RG3 took the Redskins from a 5-11 record and last place in the NFC East to a division title and the playoffs.

Wilson took the Seattle Seahawks from a 7-9 record in the NFC West to an 11-5 record and the playoffs.

The Dolphins have spent over $178 million in new contracts this year to improve the team. Half of that is guaranteed money. The idea was to put enough talent around Tannehill to make him a better QB.

It would be great if he could match the seasons his three contemporaries had last year -- taking a losing team to the playoffs.

Now, that would be a feat.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Christian Ponder territory isn't bad - his team made the playoffs. Most of us wouldn't mind a middle of the pack season from Tannehill if the Phins make the playoffs.

If the offense goes through the first 3 preseason & the starting offense only averages a td the half they play, it will send the fanbase into panic. They need a quick start if for nothing other than a confidence standpoint.

Tannehill cant get any worse then last year. Can he?


IMO, Sherman's statement is kind of empty you only because you fail to consider the "entire scope" of the matter. You fail to "pre-witness" all of the off
seasonal transitions happening right before your very eyes.

Naturally Tannehill should be better. Even if we came into the seasonal with the exact same personnel and situations as last season. Experience wise, everyone knew that Tannehill was at least a full season behind the rest of the rookie class in college qb starts alone.

That cant be coached, poached, or hoped into par. Well.... that's why its called experience. This gap can only be closed by actually getting experience. Exactly what Tannehill received in 16 starts last season.

Now, the entire scope of things. This roster was hugely upgraded over 2012's. So, if naturally, Tannehill has greater experience, and would have naturally performed better with last season's even this season. Now, enter a much better 2013 roster with much better weapons for Tannehill to generalissimo, then you may have a much better jump in 2013's performance than originally anticipated.

Most of all, that little extra leap I anticipate Tannehill could make, will be predicate by how great a leap we make on the defensive, not offensive side of the ball. remember, even a "green Tom Brady" won a sb championship behind a great defense and great kicker.

Didn't we draft a big footed kicker 5th rd too? LOL...

Christian Ponder is horrible!!! If Tannehil in that category we have a BIG problem!

Armando, if you had the choice right now, would you choose Wilson over Tannehill?

I didn't think so.

Tannehill being about 15th or so in the league amongst QBs would be a satisfactory season. Up until this year, that was Joe Flacco territory. For Tannehill to be as productive as Flacco in terms of career path would be just fine by me.

Great Post.

But From The Headline. I Thought You Had A Quote From T-Hill.

Dashi Has A Question.

Matt Moore Vs Ryan "T-Sizzle" Tannehill (This Year He Earns The Nickname)

That Question Seems As Futile As Yesterday's Debate. Gillislee Is Better Than L. Miller. Gillislee Could Become A Good 3rd Down Back. A la Kevin Faulk. A Travis Minor Type.

Lamar Miller Has Clinton Portis/ Thurman Thomas Potential. Different Ceiling.

But On T-Hill Developing It Isn't Just Him. He Will Have A Running Game. Which 2 Of The Other 3 Had. And He Will Finally Have A Deep Threat. Which The Other 3 All Had. And He Will Have A Pass Catching TE. Dustin Keller.

I Know People Love D. Sims Just As Much As They Hate M. Egnew.

But The Way I See It.

If Everything Plays Out Right.

C. Clay Moves To FB. He Is More Versatile And A Better Player Than J. Lane.

D. Keller Plays #1 TE And M. Egnew Plays #2 And Develops Enough To Play #1 Next Season. We Bring D. Sims Along As A #3 This Year And He Can Compete With Egnew The Following Season For The Starting Spot. Along With Drafting Another TE Next Season. Doesn't Have To Be A High Draft Pick.

That Is What I Like About Philbin. He Breeds Competition With Younger Players. Not With Veterans.

...Big Season for Tannehill. Football is different now then it was even 5 years ago.. The expectations for second year quarterbacks are higher then ever. I mean there are rumblings that QB. Dalton may not be the answer in Cincinnati. That Jake Locker could be on thin ice..And of course Blaine Gabbert. It is just the way things are in the World of the NFL. Add the comparative low cost to draft, and develop a guy. And that leash is starting to get even shorter.

Now I can see the fallout already. I'm sure there will be the outrage against Armandos post. How dare you compare Tannehill to those others..Look at the weapons those teams had..Look at what Tannehill had..Blah blah blah. Not the point. The point is the facts are Tannehill was a below average quarterback last year. He has to be better this year. His ceiling is lower because his production was so limp last year. This is the year too see if Tannehill is closer to a real franchise guy..Or is he a Blaine Gabbert?

Damn Armando, why not just take a positive comment from the man's coach for what it is. Tannehill was solid and will get better. Considering his mediocre O-Line, mediocre running game, and not a single receiver who could gat space against coverage, I think he played better than any fan could have expected. I personally think he will be better or as good as any of the one's you mentioned, but onnly time will tell. Go Dolphins!



I get the article, and the point is correct. I still think Tannehill had a decent season, slightly below middle of the pack by QBR for a rookie is pretty good. Considering what he had to work with on offense I don't see the doom and gloom.

Though I expect his stats to be much better this year, just from learning and the new players around him.


You Just Explained The Offense Under Matt Moore.

Not Just Our 1,2,3s But Even Our 4,5,6s Are Better This Year.

Ireland Said It Himself.

Under Spo He Would Go Into The Season With About 58 Players He Knew Would Compete For A Spot. Ireland Said This Year He Sees Like 65 Guys That Can Compete For A Roster Spot.

That Means Coach Phil Has A Couple Decisions To Make.

Armando, sometimes you are just flat out reaching for something to write. Yet I always come here for your mostly informative insight.

Tannehill and the staff already have plenty of pressure, are 100% committed and doing ALL the right things. We all know how bad the teams talent has been for years now, but has been masked by mostly super dedicated, tough and hardworking players. Talent does not change overnight and the last time I checked, it is a team sport. Tannehill has the least amount of experience of hie peers and WILL need time to grow and improve with all of his new perceived talent.

Why do you keep putting all the pressure on him??? He already has enough, and does not need to feel responsible while he learns and improves as he did much of last season.

Sherman and Philbin have been spot on so far, and Tannehill shows promise, but is still being developed very well by his coaches.

Ease up some.

David, Fin fan for life, unless he go to L.A. Born in Mia in 66.

Dashi continues to display his insanity. I never said Gillislee was "better than Miller". Said I would not be surprised "IF" Gillislee started over Miller. The kid has the skillset and talent to do it.

Dashi is mad because of his that I found:




This is why DASHI is mad Y'ALL! ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Those QB's mentioned had better supportiing casts on Offense period..

...Dashi. If Egnew can prove himself as a competant blocker. I'm fine with him. Can he learn the playbook? Both questions we will soon find out. I think we carry 4 TE's(Clay included).. So in my mind. if everything plays out right. Keller, and the next up. Egnew, or Simms, or whoever. Remember. We ran out of 2 tight end sets 1/3 of the time last year. I expect this to increase this year..If everything plays out right.

Armando - you are amazing. Constantly looking for faults, flaws and some crap to write about.

This stuff becomes unreadable after a while.





He has the weapons now so we shall see how good he can be.






DD, if Egnew pans out the TE core actually could be a strength for this team. Keller/Clay Keller/Egnew Keller/Sims. Having some pass catching TEs will be a new dynamic for this offense. Don't think they have had that since, for some reason, they got rid of McMichael.

I believe Tannehill will be much improved because our defense will be much improved. He will have a shorter field to start drives this year and what about the NEW WEAPONS.

Tannehill would have been a lot harder to defense if he had run more. He could have also gotten hurt. We could have made the playoffs. We could also have a banged up quarterback.

Our coaches do not want a Wilson or an RGIII. Neither do I. Wondering if your QB is going to get killed week to week is no way to run a professional football team.

We drafted Tannehill because he and Luck were the QB's in that class that had/have the potential to become long term franchise QB's.

Also, Foles in our backfield would have been suicidal.

The comparisons you make are not fair. An apple in one system becomes an orange in another.

Give us your opinion of how Tannehill will do this year, instead of sitting on the fence starting trouble.

In fact it is Mike Sherman who I feel needs to do a better job calling plays this year.

I'm expecting a 90+ QB rating. 20 TDs 10 Ints and 60+ completion percentage. I think if he can get to these numbers we have a chance for the wildcard spot.

Relax guys,

The offense will be good to very good in 2013. Just do no expect "EXCELLENCE" yet.

How great this team will truly be will be predicated to how great we are on "DEFENSE", not "OFFENSE".

The offense will be good to very good, not great.

I believe Tannehill will be much improved because our defense will be much improved. He will have a shorter field to start drives this year and what about the NEW WEAPONS.

Posted by: Rick McEachern | May 09, 2013 at 10:20 AM

WOW! someone else gets it too. Rick, not only shorter field, but more stops.

More stops, also, equals "more offensive possessions". Glad someone else here really gets it!

Posted by: markeyh | May 09, 2013 at 10:20 AM

How original, where else have we heard this over the past 15yrs?

When all else fails, pull out the "better playcalling excuse".

Every OC in America has been accused of this by fans at point or another. Most times its better talent to execute the plays, than better playcaliing that's needed. LOL...

All Those Qbs Had The Whole Field To Work With.

And Unless M. Gillislee Is A. Peterson. R. Tannehill Isn't C. Ponder.

Ryan Tannehill Worked 10 Yards At A Time. Against The Whole Defense. And He Wasn't Allowed To Scramble For Almost The Whole Year.

This Year Doubt The Fins Will See 8 In The Box, Never mind The Whole Defense.

What Sherman Was Trying To Say Was Last Year I Read From The Old Testament. This Year We Open Up The Whole Bible. I Will Make You See Jesus. I Mean Dan Marino.

We Shall Put Those Expectations On R. Tannehill.

If He Is Going To Be The Best Dolphins Qb In History!! Forget Luck Or RG3 Or The Mighty Mouse In Seattle. His 2nd Season Is Going To Have To Be Better Than Dan Marinos.

With This Being A Passing League No Reason For T-Hill Not To Reach Those Expectations.

I Wouldn't Mind Going To The Superbowl Either.

But Just To Show The Development From His First Season To The Next.

T-Hill Did Break A Couple Of Dans Rookie Records. The Yards.

He Just Need To Get His TD Stats To Marino Level. I Expect At Least 30TDs From T-Hill This Year. He Has The Weapons.

"In fact it is Mike Sherman who I feel needs to do a better job calling plays this year."

That is an excellent point. Way too much try-it-3-times-in-a-row-and-see-if-it-works last season.

More turnovers are caused by desperation by an offense than by talent by a defense.

If we score more points, we get more turnovers.

New England always gets a lot of turnovers. It's not because they have a great defense.

Posted by: Dashi | May 09, 2013 at 10:30 AM


You always seem to say a whole lot to only say very little, and never anything new. Unless of course you need to twist the facts to support failed point of views.

"This young man will be the most improved quarterback in the National Football League from year one to year two this year – I promise you that,” - Mike Sherman

RGIII, Luck and Wilson played exceptionally well in 2012. Perhaps better than anyone could have expected. But look a little further and you will see why their teams helped them make that possible while Tannehill's team did not. Maybe then you will recognize why Sherman feels Tannehill will have the biggest improvement year 1 to 2.

RGIII played exceptionally well but he had talent upgrades before he was drafted. Washington signed big money free agent Pierre Garcon to 5 yr 42 million dollar contract with 21.5 million guaranteed. Essentially, he got his Mike Wallace before he was drafted. And he was laso given free agent WR Josh Morgan to boot.

Luck was given Reggie Wayne at 3 years 17.5 million with 7.5 million guaranteed (a steal) and Donnie Avery before he was drafted. The colts also drafted two TEs in Fleener and Allen to give him outlet receivers as well. They also drafted T.Y. Hilton for add speed to the WR corps.

In addition, these QBs were brought in to be starters right away and the team did what it had to to help them become successful right away.

Tannehill...well the Dolphins were busy trying to woo Peyton Manning to build a team around their future rookie QB. At that point, the Dolphins had no idea what they were going to do at QB. Flynn?

Speaking of Flynn, Wilson was not drafted to be a starter right away. But the team spent money on FA acquisitions like Sidney Rice and Zach Miller in 2011 and traded for Marshawn Lynch as well.

Basically, those 3 teams loaded up on offensive talent knowing they were starting a new QB. The Dolphins traded away Brandon Marshall and never replaced him. Never even added speed to the WR position. As Ireland said, the team had a bunch of 4,5 and 6s at the position. Not a great position to start a new rookie QB.

Luck and RGIII were getting snaps with the starters from day 1 of the mini-camps and came into the NFL with close to 40 college starts each. Tannehill was working upwards from the #3 spot (behind Garrard and Moore) with 19 college starts.

Luck, RGIII and Wilson had coaches design their offenses specifically with their skill sets. Tannehill has his college playbook, well about 75% of it anyway to his advantage, but you get the sense the team did not maximize his talents throughout the season.

So here we are in 2013 and Sherman says Tannehill will have the biggest jump from year 1 to 2 and his message appears to be hollow on the surface. But consider Tannehill will finally get weapons in year 2 that were afforded to his contemporaries in year 1. Tannehill will finally run an offense more suited to his talents. Tannehill will be named the starter from the first day of minicamp and now has 35 combined college and NFL starts.

When you consider all those factors its easy to see why Sherman would feel the way he does. Sherman expects him to have the biggest jump not because the other QBs were outstanding and cannot ascend much furthur. Rather, Tannehill will finally be on an even playing field with those other QBs in terms of talent around him and he should only get better with experience.

Why are you trying to compare touchdown ratio between those other QB's when you know perfectly well that Tannehill did not have any weapons to throw to.

Posted by: Everybody Knows | May 09, 2013 at 10:33 AM

And............... how many years has Brady been in this offense?

Everybody knows that things aren't as "SIMPLETON" as you see them either.

Posted by: Everybody Knows | May 09, 2013 at 10:33 AM

The Pats weren't averaging 30pts per game in Brady's 2nd year either. Now were they?

Wrong Armando!!! wilson is not going to get better im thinking a s. Slump... Rg3 is hurt and isn't going to take redskins to the playoffs. He isn't going to be as mobile and without that he isn't going to be half the player he was last year. It's going to be tannehill and luck... And I can't wait unit our defense stuffs him in the playoffs and tannehill throws the winning td.. To shut you and the rest of the know it all up

Sometimes you sound smart Armando, but most of the times you bring up comments that make no sense considering the football knowledge you should have.


if you haven't read it....go back and read 4:26 AM from the last blog....

you are one of the funniest guys on the blog....but you got to admit that that wa a good one....

Depending how great a jump the defense makes this year, Tannehill could be right on par with the rest of the rookie class in one most critical and important area:


After all, this is the stat which counts "MOST", now isn't it?

Tannehill goal isn't to "be better than" ANYONE! His GOAL is to get his team into the Playoffs and compete for a spot in the SB. THAT'S his goal. He can be the best or worst of that QB class, the goal remains the same.

Tannehill will have a great season because he is talented and dedicated to the game. It doesn't matter what those other guys are doing, he doesn't compete against them as he competes against their defenses. I believe he is destined for greatness.

Of course the cast and players around the other QBs were also waaay better. Lets also consider Tannehill had waaaay less college QB experience then the other QBs. Andrew Luck or RGIII couldn't have done much better last year with the Fins. If Tanny is most improved this year, we have a playoff record


Lacy Averaged 14.5 Carries A Game. Gillislee Averaged 18.7 Carries A Game.

Lacy Averaged 6.5 YDS Per Carry. Gillislee At 4.7.

At Gillislee Work Load. And With A Bad Big Toe. E. Lacy Will Average 121.9 YPG. And More Than Likely Have Over 20Tds, Not 10.

Heck Lacy Would've Got 1 More Carry A Game And Your Idiotic Stat Will Be Futile. Gillislee 102ypg. On How Many Carries?

Yards Per Attempts(Catches And/Or Carries) Not Yards Per Game Is A Better Judgement Of WRs And RBs.

That Is Why It Is Better To Pass Than To Run.

If Wallace Gains 17.0 YPC. While Reggie Bush Gains 4.3ypc Wouldn't You Throw It More?

Trust Me Lacy Will Get His 1 More Carry In GB.

N. Saban Has To Keep Pumping Out Product. So Lacy Had To Share Time.

Gillislee Was The Feature Back Last Year.

And Don't Say E. Lacy Had A Better Qb. AJ McCarron Is A Phony.

Alabama Won That Title Behind E. Lacy And A Defense. That Is Why N. Saban Smiles Everytime Someone Says E. Lacy.

N. Saban Knows.

And We Are Talking Greatest Dolphins Qb In History Today YG.

Get Over Yourself.

Your Making Dashi Look Good.


You accomlih those goals by being BETTER than the competition...wether that competition is the opposing teams dfense....or the opposing teams offense....you have to be better...or those "goals" will NOT be reached...

Consider his being "better" than Wilson, and on Par with Luck and 3 as a MILESTONE that MUST be reached in order to get us into the playoffs....

Brady isn't going anywhere anytime soon....So IF we want to be talking playoff football...Tanne will have to become a top 12 QB in this league...with the rare exception here and there...it is the QBs who had the BEST seasons...who are still playing in January....

SO if he wants to be a ONE HIT WONDER like Mark Rypien or the BUCS SB QB....then yeah...his goal doesn't need to be to getter better...just wait it out...and then ride that ONE YEAR when everything clicks to the play offs....

But if we want 10 YEARS of Dominace like the PATS....then he needs to improve year in and year out....become the BEST QB of his class....and enjoy bi/tri yearly trips to the SB, and ANNUAL trips to Hawaii for the pro-bowl...

Tannehill looks like Chad Henne 2.0 so far. Except he was taken in the 1st rd!


lease learn how to write. You turn a paragraph into a half page of gibberish.

Anyway, I no longer try to read your "TRUMPED" facts. I know better. All I've learned from you is that you'll try to force a fact to tell your lies.

Have a great day "POINT-SHAVER". LOL...


I think its safe to say that Matt Moore is the best QB on the roster.

I can easily see Tannehill being the most improved with his new weapons, all the starter reps, no holdout, a full year of NFL experience, and an off-season playing catch with his primary receivers. The team forced him to learn to be a pocket passer last year, maybe they'll cut him loose this season to improvise and run a bit.

Everybody Knows @10:20,
You're absolutely right. Tanny ran just the right amount last season. RGIII and Wilson are good, very good, but I just don't see the whole spread option game going much further than this year, about the same lifespan as the Wildcat. Defenses are too smart not to figure it out, if not this year then next.
Foles' stats are irrelevant. He had fewer starts and despite their struggles, that offense had plenty of weapons.
The best comparison is Luck. He plays in a traditional offense. The biggest difference between Luck and Tanny is the 4th quarter comebacks. Our offense was easy enough to defend when teams had to play the run and pass, forget about when they knew we were passing. Tanny might have had a couple comebacks if he had Reggie Wayne.
You just can't dismiss the lack of offensive talent compared to these other QB's.

Mando, I get the point that you're making, but what are the measures that you're looking for?

In 2000, Jay Fiedler put the Dolphins in the playoffs as a division champion and won a playoff game while posting a statistically putrid season. 8 years later, Chad Pennington posted one the of greatest statistical seasons in Dolphins history and won a division championship. That team didn't come close to winning their only playoff game.


My point was that we will get more turnovers because our offense is better.

We had a good defense last year. Our offense did not score enough to make the other team have to take chances to catch up.

RT came in the least experienced Qb of the class. By FAR.
If u throw out his first couple starts n the starts with the leg brace, his stats will probably look considerably different.
RT is going to play at a whole different level this year. And I'm sure u know it.

In order for Tannehill to improve this year despite all the talent they brought in, they have got to get the O-line set right. The starters on the O-line are going to have to not only be strong and talented, but have chemistry and great communication. I believe Tannehill has the qualities to become a very good QB. He HAS to practice his accuracy, how to read defenses, how to take advantage of weak coverages, and definitely needs to learn to avoid getting his passes blocked. Practice, practice, practice! Throw 1000 passes daily!

I'd be happy if Tannehill became a top 25 QB this season. Then I'd look for improvement to being a top 20 QB in following season. Last season he was a top 30 QB. Strictly going on last season, I would rank him probably the 27th best starting QB out of 32 in the NFL.

wow - a whole article stating the obvious


I agree with you, if we're winning and playing Playoff-caliber football, it goes hand-and-hand that Tannehill will improve and be better than most of the competition. And to reach the goal you're referencing (multi-year domination) then he needs to become elite, so I agree there too.

My point is he needs to walk before he runs. This isn't a team that's won a Playoff game in over a decade. I think that should be the first baby step, and go on from there. I may be wrong, but I don't personally see Tannehill becoming a top 2-3 QB (like Brady or Rodgers), but I do see him being a Flacco-type that can still win a few SBs with the right talent around him over the course of his career.

But that's a pretty special draft class he's in. I know we've had the conversation before about the Marino/Elway class, and if Tannehill can be Elway in that scenario (the lesser talented player but the one who wins more SBs) I'll be thrilled.

RGIII and Wilson will take steps back this year. Luck a step or two forward. Anyone that thinks RGIII and Wilson will come out in year two with the Pistol, Spread Option offense and do the same thing they did last year is nuts. It aint happnin.

Another QB I wouldn't mind Tannehill being reminiscent of is Eli. What's he won, 2 SBs so far? Yeah, I'll take that (with some flop years in between). More than Marino did.

1 2 3 4 »

The comments to this entry are closed.