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Tannehill changing how he attacks deep throws

Some things are so obvious even the secretive men inside Stalag Dolphin have to admit to them. And the difficulty the entire NFL has witnessed Ryan Tannehill have throwing the deep ball since he joined the Miami Dolphins is one of those things.

Last year we saw Tannehill miss a wide open Brian Hartline a handful of times when the receiver was open deep behind defenders. This year, Tannehill is armed with dynamic deep threat receiver Mike Wallace. But 10 games into the season, Wallace's deepest catch went for 49 yards.

And fans have seen Tannehill miss Wallace, open behind the secondary, on at least five ocassions -- either by underthrowing the football and forcing Wallace to fight for it against defensive backs, or underthrowing it and having a sure touchdown result in a mid-range completion, or throwing out of bounds, or just missing short altogether.

“The one the other day, let’s talk about the one the other day, that’s the most recent," coach Joe Philbin said Wednesday. "The guy is open, you have to get the ball to the receiver. You have to put a little more air under it so he doesn’t slow down and the DB doesn’t have a chance to break up the pass.  It’s not that complicated, throwing the ball down the field.

"It does take the right timing, the receiver has to leave enough space, especially when you’re throwing the ball outside the numbers which we had on that particular play. You have to make that throw, [Tannehill] knows that, I know that, everybody who was at the game knows that. Those are the facts, we have to keep working at it and I’m confident we will start making more of those."

Confident or not, Philbin was concerned enough about the issue to talk to Tannehill about it this week. It's become more than just a rare happenstance now. It's an issue -- one that Tannehill got advise on how to solve.

"We talked to coach Philbin yesterday and that’s one of the things he told me," Tannehill said. "Just go out there and let it rip. When a guy gets that open, sometimes you kind of tense up and you don’t want to overthrow him so you end up underthrowing him. I just have to go out there and let it rip and not overplay it."

I asked Tannehill if he's likely to take Philbin's advice and attack the situation differently this week.

"Yes, I think so," Tannehill said. "We had a couple other shots in the game where he got behind guys and one time I got flushed out got bumped and flushed out and I had to throw it to (Rishard) Matthews over the middle and another time I got sacked on it. We had a couple more opportunities where he got open, just wasn’t able to get him the ball.  You’ve got to hit the ones that are there, if you only get one shot a game to get him the ball I have to just throw it out there and let him run underneath it.

"That’s what he’s here to do.  He’s got the legs to run underneath it and it’s on me to just throw it out there and let him get it.” 

Here's the thing: Tannehill is a young quarterback and he's still learning the job. But I get the feeling he's trying to be too fine and too perfect for his own good. He needs to trust his instincts more. He needs to use his many gifts -- one of which is the ability to throw the football a long way.

He's been aiming the ball. He needs to simply pass it.

"Yes, I think I just get conservative," Tannehill admitted. "You see a guy, like I said with so much space and separation between him and the defender, he had five yards or something on the guy.  You see that space and you're thinking just get him the ball. Instead of, just throw it out there, play football and let it rip."

This can go one of two directions now.

Tannehill, reined in for too long, can feel free and start playing rather than thinking. And we'll start to see his deep completion percentage improve.


Tannehill, despite given the freedom to rip it, simply hasn't the touch or deep ball accuracy that must be inate to a quarterback to be the launching point for a deep passing game.

There is some reason for hope here. Last year Tannehill completed zero percent of his attempts of 41 yards or more. He was 0 for 3. This year he has completed 16.7 percent of his 6 throws of 41 yards or more. That still isn't good enough, but it suggests some improvement.

The question is can Tannehill make a much more significant improvement.

You have to consider that Wallace averaged eight touchdowns per season and 17.5 yards per reception his four seasons in Pittsburgh. In Miami he's basically been turned into a possession receiver who has one touchdown and is averaging 12.1 yard per catch.

But in Pittsburgh, Wallace played with a quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger who completed at least 33.3 percent of his passes on throws of 41 yards or more the past three years and in 2009 completed a whopping 46.2 percent of such passes.

Big Ben can wing it.

Can Tannehill match those numbers? Impossible to tell.

But he needs to bring his numbers up soon. Otherwise, what everyone sees as an issue that needs work could soon be viewed as a fatal flaw in Tannehill's game.




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For all you Matt Moore fans - he tested the open market. Not one of the other 31 teams were considering him as a starter, so he stayed here.

So forget your argument that Moore is better. If 32 GM's don't think he is starter material, a long term solution, then he ain't. 1 GM can be wrong. 5 can be wrong. 32 can't be wrong. Certainly no bloggers opinion trumps theirs.

Posted by: Ian | November 21, 2013 at 06:21 AM

Uh, no he didn't. He was the first agent we signed, minutes after FA even began.

Gotta love the lack of credible information some bloggers here post to try to push thei agenda and validate their opinions.

I love when people just make up shite and take it as fact. You know where we rank in the 3 and out stat in the NFL? 17th IN THE FUKKING LEAGUE. AVERAGE. The offense is not a 3 and out offense. HALF THE FUKKING LEAGUE HAS MORE 3 AND OUT DRIVES THAN WE DO....

This blog can become the epitome of ignorance and foolishness. DO SOMEFUKKING RESEARCH BEFORE YOU SPEAK. IGNORAMUS INC AROUND HERE....

It's easy to point fingers when things go wrong and that's just human nature.

I also like to point out positives including what our team did to the Pats in the first half of the game a few weeks back....we dominated them on both sides of the ball.
We also beat CIN, which is a clear division winner along with SAN and CLE who are in the playoff hunt.

We are not JAX or could you imagine being a WAS fan today? I'd hate to be on the Washington Post blog this week as RG3 is stinking up the joint...this with a Superbowl winning coach!

5-5 is not great and most of us know we SHOULD be 6-4 or even 7-3.

A few tweaks here and there can squeak us in the back door of the playoffs, which is where most of us thought we'd be when the season started.

So, let's continue to point fingers where applicable, but also show kudos when things go well.

THe truth is, you think teams are only made aware of others' interests in them only after free agency opens???

Boy, that's naive....

If there was a team that wanted Moore to be their starter, he would've known about it months before free agency.

People knew Wallace was coming here since last October...

ahhhh SHEET son...Mark be droppin stats on you fools!!! Wreck-a-nize suckas!

I really don't understand the Tannehill haters unless it's related to the Henne failure. Could it be some are just gun shy and a little quick on the trigger?

Personally, I'd love to see this kid with some decent coaching and a mentor like Marino. It could be Tannehill is not the chosen one. But who could tell will these coaches?

Agreed....Moore has his warts as well. Guy had one good year in Carolina.

Tannehill is our starter for the next year and a half so let's keep hope alive that he continues to progress.

NH @ 9:19-

It would be interesting to see this team play for a different coaching staff. There is talent on the team on both sides of the ball; the coaches don't seem to know what to do with it. The receivers line up in the same spot every play for f$ck's sake!

One way or another the Dolphins have to score another 10 POINTS A GAME in order to stay in the playoff hunt. I see it as simple as that. If hitting the long pass for a TD is what its going to take then then go for it. The team needs to play like they have nothing to loose because if they continue doing what they are doing now its going to be 8 & 8 or 7 & 9. The D. is fine. but how many timeS can you go to the well before the well runs dry?

DC@8:47AM: Sure, it's an indictment of the GM. That's my take, anyway. Deal never should have been done.

Tannehill; the coaching; game play; the offensive schemes- nothing matched well for the narrow brand of football that Wallace plays (1-trick pony).

..Marco. I think that the reason we aren't a great screen team comes down to Tannehill, the personnel, and perhaps the coaching. There is a reason the Pats, Manning teams are great screen teams.. Jeff Saturday broke it down as ability to recognize and exploit what the defense is giving you. For instance...The OC can call a screen and get lucky, that sometimes works. Catch em' in a favorable personnel grouping and the screen looks great. Sometimes..It works the opposite. The play gets called, it blows up, and everyone goes nuts on the OC.

Listening to Saturday break down Peyton Manning and what he does at the line of scrimmage shed some light on me about the good screen teams and the others.

He went on to say a lot of what happens is from game film study...Manning-Brady know exactly what the defenders are going to be(most of the time)..so when they(the defense) are shifiting, or causing chaos pre snap..Both understand where those defenders will be post snap..So it becomes a numbers game, and if you can process this. You can take advantage when you recognize these numbers call for a screen.

It also takes being in step with you line. They are the real keys to getting out and blocking these plays. In essence what you are setting up is a return wall..You have to have lineman that can get out in space..another part of the equation.

For us..This offense is still far from being complete. It is still evolving. I don't know if this regime will have a chance to see it through. I don't know if Tannehill will ever be able to master this offense should the staff be retained. I just now most screen teams are experienced...It isn't just as simple as why don't we do it.

We are 24th in the NFL on third down conversions. This is what I've been saying about the apathy and acceptance of a mediocre output from this team year after year.

The same people come on this blog and stated they are happy with some of the worst performers in the league at their positions, ha ha. Quite sad.

Then they really show their maturity by being rude.

According to ESPN, which some of you love, our offense is ranked next to LAST in the entire league. Maybe we should rejoice at this and celebrate the way you guys do in Canada,

Nah, I say its a bloody disgrace and not good enough. We agree again to disagree.

How much influence does Sherman have over this team?

Think about it...he's the oldest guy on the coaching staff and has some weird control over Philbin. (Kinda reminds me of Dick Cheney over George Bush).

Then there's the complete control he has over Tannehill...I mean Ryan can't take a dump without checking with Sherman first.

Initially I liked the experience that Sherman bought to the team...now I believe he's holding back the growth of both our HC & QB.

New GM will infuse fresh blood into the organization and cannot wait for Ireland's departure.

cocoa @ 9:25, I don't understand it either. Maybe some fans just want to complain. Fact is the guy is pretty much where you expect a 2nd year qb to be. he moves the team, scores TDs, executes extremely well in the red zone (three things that Henne could never and still doesn't do). Yes, he turns the ball over too much but given the lack of support he has on that offense and his lack of experience, is that unusual - far from it... I guess people would only be happy with the 2nd year Dan Marino but that didn't do us a whole lot of good either besides those who wanted Dolphins on their fantasy teams and pick the team when playing the old Tecmo Bowl video game...

NH fan.

Why not point fingers, if the product is balls. You go to a resturant and order a steak and get kitty food. Do you eat it like a good chappie or call for the waiter ?

As of now the Dolpin fans are being served chopped liver by the coaches and the Thill machiene.

Oh aye, the game is played over all 4 quarters. The Pats and other games we have blown as the D collaspes or Thill has given the ball over.

Although the Pats did have the refs in their pocket that day we still killed ourselves in the fourth.

Marco, the offense is next to last because of the running game and the o line. Tannehill is 13 th in the league in passing and 13th in the league in passing touchdowns. So he is doing his part. I take great offense to you because you pin all the blames of this team on him when he is the furthest thing from the problem with this team.


No, this offense is not good enough. Nor is the defense. If the Dolphins make the playoffs, it's because they are the best sh$tty team in the AFC. Akin to being crowned "King of Fools."

The Valedictorians of Summer School!

mark, the t3+out team is 5-5 and soon 2 b 5-6 when the panthers d bum fux tfumble right after the 1st phinz o series,hooray homer 5-6 hooray

Ha ha. New best joke of the season from Canada.

"Dan Marino in his 2nd year didn't do us awhole lot of good".......

Yeah our only Superbowl appearance in 30 years and one of the greatest seasons ever by a player in NFL history ha ha.

Thill is ranked below all of the current second year starters. He also has a one of the worst turnover to TD ratio's than any QB in the league who has started the last 25 games.

Yet again this point is brushed under the carpet by the apologists.

Now let your insults flow dear boy !!!

the same homers who wanted henne 4 4 seasons want tmiss
2 funny

Every victory moves us one step away from successfully REBUILDING WITH A NEW GM & COACH. Draft Position is the ONLY LEGITIMATE GOAL. We already have Jax Clev Houston (!) 'n others ahead of us. Tanking is the only honorable way to close out this miserable "season"

what better place 2 learn how 2 throw a deep ball than u'r 2nd season in the nfl

...Marco..It is easy to figure out why we are such a poor 3rd down offense. I do not blame Ryan Tannehill. Can he do better? Yup. But I blame the identity of this team. The identity built by Philbin this pre-season when he admittedly said that the run game was not a point of concern in the early pre-season. WHAT????

We cannot run the ball with any consistency on any down, let alone short yardage situations. We are brutal when it is third and less then 2 yards. To me it is all about the offensive scheme that is struggling to work. Spreading the field is fine. But sometimes you have to be able to lineup and run it when the whole world knows this is what you want to do...We have to play trick ball on third down..always trying to outsmart the opposition, instead of just having the ability to dumpster fu($ them.

I like THILL very much and believe he will be a top tier QB very soon. He is still young and learning but he has all the physical and mental attributes of a great QB. There is a very good article on the Bleacher report that breaks down the timing of the long pass which address that this is not just a QB problem and that it can be corrected. Also it points out that THILL was rated as the 7 most accurate QB in passes over 20 yards last year. Check it out very good read

tbum will b raining long ballz on the 3rd ranked d who allows 13.5 pts a game in carolina
hooray homers, hooray

Thill has a QBR that ranks him as the 22nd QB in the league. This will change on ESPN, the prefered choice for some as other QB's qualify, McCown, Fitzpatrick, Keenum and a couple of others.

Look this is good enough for some fine I get that you have lower expectations for the team than others including me do. What confusses me is when you think going to the Superbowl doesn't do much good as previously stated ?

True he is 13th in passing yardage, so what ?

QBR is the rating which reflects the players overall performance.

Thill is 22nd, thats 22nd....Got it ?

mental is right, tmoron runs out of bounds to stop the clock when u have to run the clock out,
in pop warner they learn this but tstupid is going 2 premed huh oscar?

NFL league wide the average ratio of turnovers to pass attempts is 4.2%. below is a table of the full time starters across the NFl that have a below average turnovers to pass attempts ratio. Yes, Tannehill is on the list. Look at the others, glory boys and super bowl winners a plenty. Up to you, you want to condemn Tannehill turning the ball over too much even though he produces above average yardage, pass completion %, and TDs and excellent red zone conversion. then I guess you must want to get rid of all these other guys ... Eli, Big Ben, Russell Wilson, RG3, Flacco, kaepernick, Dalton, and Cutler should all be looking for new jobs according to you, boy wonder....

Geno Smith, QB NYJ 7.8%
Christian Ponder, QB MIN 7.5%
Terrelle Pryor, QB OAK 6.7%
Eli Manning, QB NYG 5.8%
Robert Griffin III, QB WSH 5.4%
Carson Palmer, QB ARI 5.3%
Ryan Tannehill, QB MIA 5.2%
Russell Wilson, QB SEA 5.1%
Joe Flacco, QB BAL 5.0%
Michael Vick, QB PHI 5.0%
Colin Kaepernick, QB SF 4.8%
Andy Dalton, QB CIN 4.6%
Brandon Weeden, QB CLE 4.6%
Jay Cutler, QB CHI 4.5%
Ben Roethlisberger, QB PIT 4.4%

If Mark was Omar Kelly, after his last post he would have typed *Drops the Mic*

Daryl D,

Im not on Thill for the third and short, that wouldn't be fair, thats on Philbin and Sherman all the way.

Philbin and Sherman are my real problem, even when it comes to Thill and his performance.

the product they have out there at next to last in the league is overall. Thill is at the helm of this offense, so he has to take his considerable role in the mess.

Its not all on Thill, because of the nature of the game, which includes coaches and other players. He doesn't make things any better only worse.

Somebody should also tell Marco that even the great Peyotn manning turned the ball over 47 times in his first two nfl seasons - wonder where he ranked in tds to turnover ratio during that time?

Drew Brees also had a 19:37 td to turnover ratio his first three years. Wonder where he ranked??

Goes to show you, sometimes you jsut have to let the story play out...

Below average performace though, unacceptable for Miami Dolphins fans ... sheesh

Again apologist boy tells us that Thill is only the 7th worst QB in the league at giving the ball away, only seventh.

That changes everything, well done for making my case for Thill being a liabilty even clearer.

As to your question of would I get rid off the others, do I have to answer that one ? Some would be yes, some are injured, some are rookies, some have an incredible resume that Thill could only dream off.

Thanks for that turnover stat though. Thats a nice one for my future Thill critique.

Nice now Thill is the next Payton Manning.

It gets better and better ha !!!

..Marco..I get it...You expect a bulletproof quarterback. He should at this point in his career be able to overcome all the shortcomings of the team. Rise above these deficiencies and lead this team, he should be able to stand alone and be better. Am I right?

I don't think anyone here is satisfied with his play. Maybe I am wrong. But I think to a man(or boy, or cross dresser..whatever) Everyone thinks there is room for improvement. There has to be if we have any hope for future success. We all want to point fingers, place blame, and put labels on everyone..Especially the quarterback. I am guilty as well.

To me..The whole team is flawed. From the way we were built. To the way we play. If you want to place the blame on Tannehill..Go right ahead. You certainly would be within the relm of sanity. I have my questions too. But IMO...The way we have handled him is pathetic. The way we built this offense around him is pathetic. Sure we added weapons. But the idea that we would be an offense that would forget about the run. An offense that would put the weight of its success on a 2nd year guy who is clearly in need of futher development. Is an inditement of this coaching staff...

They may get away with it. We may ride it out. Tannehill takes his lumps along the way(which isn't a bad thing) and Philbin and his offensive scheme ultimately triumph..How many second year quarterbacks have had success when asked to do what Tannehill has been asked to this year? We throw it too much..Plain and simple..Again we throw it tooooooo much. It is to the point of ridiculousness.

Would Tannehill be more efficient of we had say a 60/40 pass to run ratio(I would be happy with that) I don't know. I would like to think just by default he would..Nope..Even after the injuries, and evidence we can't pass protect...Pass pass...I can't pin this all on Tannehill.


You made me look it up congrats.

Manning had a +5 difference after two year.

Thill is -7.

Thats season changing WHOPPING +12 to Manning. Next dear boy !!!!


You sure you can pin this all on Tannehill, its easy. Just remove any form of logic and BAMMMM...you can blame him...We should just go ahead and blame his wife too...

..Marco@ 10:01...Discard my longwinded post @ 10:09...You certainly addressed the point I was making

Ok now Thill is Drew Brees ?

You like attaching him to some pretty good players.

How about we start using his pattern to some pretty unsuccessful players with a similar turnover ratio through the years eh ?

gonna be a fun off season. sticking to my guns in august, 2014 gonna be a fun year for us

Time to play Matt Moore. The Tannehill experiment isnt working.

Mark T = Dense


I've never stated I wanted a bullet proof QB, nor have I put it all on him mate.

He is the QB. I judge him on his play. You could balme poor coaching for Henne, Beck and Fielder if you wanted to aswell. It gives him a pass on every turn.

Are you then convinced Thill is the man. Are you happy will what you have seen so far ?

mark,what did u do wit u'r henne jersey?

miamis 2014 opponents home= pats,jets,bills, kc, sd, gb, minn,afc north same place finisher (hopefully browns), away= pats,jets,bills,den,oak,det,chi,afc south same place finisher (hopefully jacksonville)

How come no one on the Dolphins realized Tanny's long pass problems BEFORE the draft.



No worries mate.

Marco, the point is those two guys went from rough beginnings to being the best in the game.

If a guy is performing but committing turnovers, he can clean that part of his game up in the future and become successful.

The list of qbs who were proficient at moving the team in the air and scoring Tds in their first few years but committed turnovers and went on to have success later in their careers is very long.... there is a high probability of long term success there.

mark, put on u'r skype, let us c the steam com'n from u'r scalp

mark, how do u like u'r bbq'd tfumble
or well done?

Mark tosses Tanne's salad, yes?

Replace 2 people and this whole team is turned around:

1. Jeff Ireland
2. Mike Sherman

agree nhfin, new gm will replace the coach also

Tannehill is a raw QB and he was expected to be that way when we drafted him. Nothing shocking here. The problem is the person molding the clay of this raw QB and it starts with Sherman.

Every issue Tannehill has this season is a product of the coaching of the offense he plays under IMO.

..Marco..I think the Tannehill debate is one worth having. He is the most important player on the team. To answer your question honestly..My gut tells me we missed with Tannehill.

Now..I want to be clear that I am conflicted with what my gut says, and what I see. I defend Tannehill because I want to be wrong about him. I defend Tannehill because I think the coaches are as much to blame for his shortcomings as he is. I think he has ability to be a competent quarterback. I just think that times are different. I don't know if he will get the time he needs to succeed. If there isn't huge improvement from this year to next..It is going to be controversy city here in Miami. And with the way things are going here, with the likelihood that 3-4 lineman may be new next year..The chance the OC is new, possibly HC...I think the deck is stacked against him..

Now..I could be totally wrong..It won't be the first time. I hope I am. I hope a light comes on that shines bright on the coaches and reflects down to the rest of the offense. I gave you may honest answer.

WhoYH is Miami's QB Coach?

Ryan Tannehill has the ezact same stats as Chad Henne did at this point in his "career".

Mark in Toronto has a man crush on Tannehill

It is not true what Tannehill said that Wallace was open by 5 yards on that missed long ball; he was open by only 3 yards.

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