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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.

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FF Rankings of 2012 QB's

Drew Brees QB - NO
Aaron Rodgers QB - GB
Tom Brady QB - NE
Cam Newton QB - CAR
Robert Griffin III QB - WAS
Peyton Manning QB - DEN
Matt Ryan QB - Alt
Tony Romo QB - DAL
Andrew Luck QB - IND
Russell Wilson QB - SEA
Matthew Stafford QB - DET
Andy Dalton QB - CIN
Josh Freeman QB - TB
Joe Flacco QB - BAL
Eli Manning QB - NYG
Sam Bradford QB - STL
Carson Palmer QB - OAK
Ben Roethlisberger QB - PIT
Matt Schaub QB - HOU
Ryan Fitzpatrick QB - BUF
Philip Rivers QB - SD
Christian Ponder QB - MIN
Jay Cutler QB - CHI
Ryan Tannehill QB - MIA

If he can move up 8-10 spots this team will be playoff bound.

Eh Markey Fantasy stats doesn't really produce winners. Example: Brandon Marhsall

Rabblerouser here!
All this year will bring is another year closer to showing this Coaching staff and GM the door. This team improves once the owner sells.

Rabblerouser here!
All this year will bring is another year closer to showing this Coaching staff and GM the door. This team improves once the owner sells

Yeah, right....let's change coaching staffs every year, eventually we'll get it right. That's your plan? Putz

FF reflects who the true playmakers are in the sport. If you doubt that look at the top players in any FF position and you will find the best players in the game it's no coincidence.

Brandon Marshall head case and all is still a top WR in the game but what he fails to understand is the WR is not more important than the TEAM. No matter how good that WR may be.

So Cam Newton is the 3rd best QB in the League? No.

Fantasy is individual stats, football is a team game.

4th...

I am sick of Tannehill being compaired to Luck, RGIII and Wilson. NOW your going to throw in Foles?

Miami Dolphins as a team last year were at best a AAA franchise. We had virtually zero offensive threats. Not one of our receiver core would have started for any other NFL team.

Luck, RGIII and Wilson all had a top 10 RB, and at least one WR that would have started on any other franchise in the NFL.

So stop the hating. Tanehill did a good job. He will be better this year with real targets.

Markeyh you're preaching to ghe choir bro !! And for you dolphin fools to really believe that #17 is better than Wilson&RG3 hahaha !! Fantasy Football do tell you who the real ballers are in the NFL. And other than Wallace&Wake the dolphins will have nobody in the top 150 in the fantasy rankings Hartline=1td sorry that doesn't cut it !

Don't worry when THill fails this year we can bring back Chad Henne to be the starter in 2014.

Can't wait to come back as the Dolphins starting QB and leading them to another terrible 4-12 season

While I like the player and enjoy watching RGIII play, it is quite hard to believe he will be a QB in the NFL five years from now. Ditto Colin Kaepernick. Thinking back over Randall Cunningham and Michael Vick, running QBs are brilliant fun to watch but they just get injured, miss a lot of games and have short careers.

The only running QB I ever saw with a long career was Fran Tarkenton and that was only because he ran around scrambling in the back field.

I do not want to see Tannehill running for yardage at all. If he does, he should slide. I want him in the pocket finding receiver and winning the game with his eyes and his arm not with his legs.

I feel that we are forgetting one more thing as well. Tanny put us in position to win against the JETS, CARDS and Patriots. It was our kicker who failed us or we woldhave been a playoff team; furthermore, with Tanny's blitz completion percentage being 2nd highest in the league, Miami's offense may become a nighmare to defend.....jus sayin.

Armando, you need to get a life!!...
I there anything that you can write on this lame newspaper THATS POSITIVE!!
every sentence, every word always twist and turn to make it something negative about the team, members and coaches.... GROW UP, YOU ALONG WITH THE REST OF THE POSTERS!!

Ryan's upside is through the roof watch out nfl there is a new sherif in town

Afc east champion will be the miami dolphins

Yeah yeah yeah

All he said was he will be the most improved qb of all qb's based on his hard work. Your writing about nothing.

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Tracy,

Have you watched any video of Dallas Thomas?

I was real high on the pick after listening to all the pundits and reading all his scouting reports.

I need somebody else to watch the tape and tell me I'm seeing things(or something). I hope I was just to tired and was being too judegemental and harsh.

But there's just no other way to say it. Dallas Thomas looks as close to being a sure fire bust as I've ever seen.

I hope I'm wrong. I'm even going to watch some more on him tonight just to try and prove myself wrong(if that makes any sense).

Bummin Big Time!!!!

The Dolphins can't sell tickets because they suck. They will suck again this year because they have done nothing to improve the worst offensive line in the NFL.

Tannehill makes good decisions. A lot of those pics were tipped at the Dline.

It's funny how this is trying to seem like an unbiased column, but if it were unbiased it would take into account that Tannehill didn't have the people around him to allow him to truly excel. If you would have thrown those quarterbacks into the Dolphins system last year I think only luck makes it out alive. Ponder would have died by week 8 due to a fan uproar. He's awful. Teams were putting 8 guys in the box every single play. If you don't remember how one dimensional the dolphins looked last year, you were bumpin ether.

MARC FROM NJ! I AGREE MAN ! AFC EAST CHAMPIONS THE MIAMI DOLPHINS!! UNTIL THAT ANSWER IS SETTLED THAN "WHY NOT US" F BRADY! WE HAVE A GOOD A CHANCE AS ANY ONE AND AS FANS WE SHOULD NOT EXPECT ANY LESS. GO FINS AFC EAST CHAMPS!

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.
Posted by: MDDolfan | May 09, 2013 at 09:52 AM

Speak for yourself.... i expect greatness or at least close to it.

I think rg3 will fall off some after that injury! Scrambling qb's are very hi risk...i bet coach shanahan will tell rg3 to stay in pocket more...then we will truly see his passing skills...

This young hungry dolphins team have nothing to loose and everything to gain...hearing qb tannenhill say its not good enough to just improve says the guys mentally tuff and hungry to show theworld he is gonna be good..love to hear tanne hill show confidence to his teamates...i feel very confident in him as our qb..i truly think tannenhills a smart level headed qb...he has handled eveything very level headed....lets go phins...

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