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Tannehill much to prove, but not the most to prove

This is the time of year we get caught up in bottom of the roster free agent signings and the visits of college prospects that will be drafted on May 10 (in rounds 4-7) or picked up as undrafted free agents.

Can we be honest?

All that is well and good, but the difference for the Dolphins in 2014 will rest mostly in the hands, and right arm, of quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

Entering his third season and first season away from the Mike Sherman offense he's known and sometimes but not always loved the past five years, Tannehill has a ton to prove. Is he ready to make a jump from mediocrity? Is he the future of the Dolphins franchise? Can he be a winner?

Tannehill recently told ESPN's Keyshawn Johnson that, "I've got to make a big jump."

So the Miami quarterback understands the grace period of the past few years is over. Fans want to see more from him -- in the pocket, in big games, on his deep throws, on the leadership front. And coaches, who are counting on him to produce so they can stay employed, are similarly going to ask him to raise his level of play.

But as with all things, the local focus clouds the reality that even though Tannehill is under the microscope in South Florida, he's not nearly under as much pressure as other quarterbacks around the league.

ESPN's NFL live today had a segment on quarterbacks with the most to prove in 2014. It was an interesting exercise. And it showed why Tannehill may feel the need to show significant growth ... but he's not under the kind of pressure other QBs are about to face.

Consider the Salguero list of QBs with the most to prove in 2014:

10. Tony Romo ... He's coming off back surgery and he has the weight of the Metroplex and America's Team on his back. His defense has been terrible and if he doesn't play well, his team will stink. Oh, and by the way, critics don't trust him in late-game situations and he hasn't gotten his team in the playoffs since 2009.

9. Joe Flacco ... That $120 million contract was a wonderful reward for winning the Super Bowl in Feb. 2013, but what did he do for an encore? Flacco's defending champions missed the playoffs last year and were actually eliminated from the playoff hunt in a game Flacco threw three interceptions. Flacco finished 2013 with 19 TDs and 22 INTs.

8. Jake Locker ... This is probably his final chance to prove he's a franchise quarterback before the Titans move on to finding a new franchise quarterback. Locker, going into his fourth season, not only must prove he's a good player but that he's also durable. He played only seven games last season and hasn't played more than 11 in any of his three NFL seasons.

7. Andy Dalton ... It's no longer about the regular season for Dalton and the Bengals, although he's had some notable failures there as well. But Dalton has been terrible in getting what is considered an otherwise very good NFL team to play well in the playoffs. And if you cannot play well in the playoffs, you aren't elite.

6. Eli Manning ... He had a terible season (27 interceptions) behind a terrible offensive line. And he's recovering from ankle surgery. The fact he recovered from his last terrible season with a Super Bowl win and has won the Big One twice is good enough to give Manning the benefit of the doubt for now. But keep playing poorly in 2014 and New York will turn on him.

5. Geno Smith ... Terrible quarterback play was a thing in New York last year. The difference between Smith and Manning is the Jets went out and got a guy to replace Smith in Michael Vick. So the job is Smith's for now, but he has to prove he's better than slightly terrible to keep it.

4. Josh McCown ... Remember him? He was in the Dolphins' 2008 training camp but became expendable when Chad Pennington decided he wanted to play for Bill Parcells. Well, last year McCown was the Godsend, this time to the Bears. He was amazing in throwing 13 TDs and only one INT. And now he's Tampa Bay's starter. But he has to stay on the course he plotted last year to keep the job. And given his career history, that will require hard work.

4, tied. Sam Bradford ... The Rams are committed to him as their franchise quarterback and are paying him $14 million this year as a result. But that takes a lot of faith because Bradford has been unable to stay on the field long enough to convince many people outside the Rams organization he's elite. Pressure is on to do that this year.

3. Colin Kaepernick ... He's been good and he's helped a very good team get good results. But he wants a new contract that pays around $18 million per year and doesn't have the benefit of a championship or classic QB style to drive home the point. So what's it going to be? Are you an $18 million QB? Are you championship caliber? Or not?

3, tied. Matt Schaub ... In 2009 he threw for the equivalent of 2.7 miles (4,770 yards) and was considered a solid if not spectacular starter. But last year, playing for a talented team with great receivers, a fine running back and behind a solid offensive line, Schaub became a human pick six machine. And that got him benched and eventually cut. He's been exiled to the NFL version of Siberia (aka Oakland) now were he must play well to simply stay in the league.

2. Johnny Manziel ... He's not even in the NFL and already he's a magnet for controversy. Does he have a bad attitude? Does he feel entitled? Or does he indeed have that magic he showed at Texas A&M and will it translate to the NFL? Is he the next Russell Wilson or Fran Tarkenton? Oh yeah, whatever QB needy team that takes him will be under immediate pressure to play him.

1. Robert Griffin III ... The Redskins in this draft will continue to pay the ransom of draft picks they gave up to get him and hope that after a terrible sophomore campaign, RG3 can return to his rookie form. The question is will he prosper under QB whisperer Jay Gruden? Will he stay healthy? Will he be more than a spread option, one-read thrower?

So you think Tannehill has a lot to prove? He's not even in the top 10.

It's all relative, folks.


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promike, moore was shopped around the last two off seasons but no team would give him a shot at starting. do you know something the other 32 gm's do not?

moore is a decent back up. be glad for that.


You argue against your own opinions daily. Tannehill beat Brady Ben and Luck, so I guess he is better.

Dude, let some gas out of the bag...

Posted by: Seltzer | April 15, 2014 at 07:01 PM

TCHOKE17 is a decent 3rd stringer,be glad for that eH?.the 2014 QB draft class is loaded with talent.YES TALENT, THAT's what WINS GAMES eH?. NOT FKN WR'S masquerading as QB's eH?

Gene, stop the nonsense on the field Moore played QB for Todd Bowles. Remember that prior to the T-hill experiment. On the field Moore won and was the 12th rated passer in the league so stop the BS.

promike, ltwo summers back moore was shopped around. he wanted a shot at starting. 32 gm's said no. so he signed as career back up. answer my question, what do you know that 32 gm's don't know? the nonsense is you thinking you know better.

tannehill has a much stronger arm than moore, much more mobile, much better on the run, and far tougher, he proved that. moore is a great #2. two teams and 4 coaching staffs did not see him as a starter. he finished the preseason last when tanne was a rookie.

Lot of people missing the point of this article.
Good piece. Nice to get some wider perspective. The grass is always greener on the other side - until you get there.

Whilst I don't like that Tannehill always says 'the right thing' (would rather he kept a low profile and just worke hard - not saying he isn't working hard), I do think he is better than his stats have shown. There have been too many variables, weak OL, bizarre coaching/plays etc.

Tannehill had good passer accuracy before those last too games. Even average long ball accuracy.

I think learning a new system will force him to grow where he missed out on that stretching opportunity by having a familiar playbook and coach. I suspect he will relish the opportunity to challenge that mind we know he has. Might help him to come alive more.

It's all speculation of course, but here's the bottom line, I'm a Dolphins fan, and I don't care who wears the uniform (as long as your a decent person) I'll have your back.

Too many fans are happy in their fantasy teams. I choose to support a real one.

Making corny jokes is another sign of the Troll.

Geno Smith Thad "WTF is that"? Lewis eH?

The probability is very, very high that if Devlin or some other QB plays well in the pre-Season, Matt Moore will be traded for a good Player.

Gene, you really are clueless. The last two games of last season was evidence of what Tannehill can not do; win when he has to. Tannehill has a slow release, is unaware of how to move in the pocket, is inaccurate on passes over 10 yards and was one of the main reasons why he was sacked so much. He holds on to the ball to long.

Let Dustin Keller throw some option passes to THOLE eH? JAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJ eH?

No one purchases tickets to see Tannehill

even his jaded oblivious ignorant homer supporters NEVER go to games

just lonely tv watching guys that also believe in santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and Tanneeehill's upside coming soon

devlin is interesting, but let's face it, he hasn't been able to crack 3rd string for 5 years now - on a bad team! why? weak arm.

Which of these four scenarios will Tannehill's career follow?

Assuming Hickey picks Manziel at #19 like some predict he will.
Manziel becomes backup QB.
Manziel is put in because Tannehill get injured or Phins are 4-4 or 4-5 even with the new o-line and new talent (Philbin's job could be in jeopardy with another losing season).
Manziel turns team around and team makes the playoffs.
Tannehill is traded in the offseason for two low round picks if this scenario happened.


Tannehill plays out the whole season and team ends 8-8 or worse. The 1st round pick in the 2015 draft will most likely be for a QB. Tannehill is shipped out Henne-style.


Tannehill remains the #1 QB with a 9-7 record regardless of the number of sacks and QB rating.


Tannehill proves he's the man.

Rather have Ocho Cinco would be a better QB than Ryan Leaf, . . .er, um, . . . . . Tannehill

promike, you have ignored my question twice now. you can't handle a debate. your problem. the subject is not tannehill, its 32 teams, many of which need qb's, haven't seen moore as starter material. only you do, a person with zero nil scouting and coaching experience.

Yeah T-hill has a strong arm; he over throws a wide open Wallace racing down the sidelines, how many times. That is a throw that most good prospects make coming right out of college. T-hill still can not complete the pass to one of the most expensive receivers in the league. The Sherman-Ireland experiment is over, they are gone and Tannehill will be also if he does not show great improvement in the preseason.

Aaron Rodgers little brother looks promising.

It's a great year to be a dolphins fan and get autographs

Oscar how was your afternoon of love

promike, you are pathetic. you are stuck on tannehill, wasn't the subject we were debating.

now if you want to talk tanne-wallace, wallace dropped many passes delivered right on the money that could have changed the outcome of some games. they both screwed up equally.

anyway, come back when you are ready to address my question...which will be never.

Dolphins once got lucky with a QB pick at # 29.

Could they have the same luck with any QB that fell to # 19?

They had a QB (Woodley) that took them to the SB and still picked a QB.

What makes Tannehill so special that they wouldn't risk their #19 on a QB?

We will take a qb

hehe, the Troll is getting pissed.

Tabby is gonna go gangsta this year 32 Tds 4800 yds and a playoff appearance

few here have the ability to debate above a 4th grade level.

Everyone who says Tannehill is a bust knows absolutely nothing about football. #1- Football is a team sport and believe it or not, you have to understand some factors that are out of the QB's hands: Coaching, Offensive player weaknesses (Every player on O-Line minus Pouncey), The Defense etc... Tannehill would have been great last year if he had time in the pocket or a coaching staff that allowed him to play outside the pocket by game planning for it. Having a running game would have helped as well. If the Defense could stop the run, the offense would have also been able to control the game clock and allowed Tannehill to play with a balanced approach rather than dropping back to pass 30-40 times a game. Even with all of the team flaws, he performed admirably and should not be treated as if he lacks talent.

We are gonna be a team on fire this year



You are delusional. The argument of Tannehill or going to the draft for another QB came up long before I posted. Moreover T-hill will not be the QB without being able to hit Wallace in stride or pass accurately to any receiver over 10 yards. Look at the film from the last 2 games when Miami had to win. The guy was protected and did not come through. What was his passer rating for those two games? real low!

Ryan is the man go miami


not one gm in the entire nfl felt matt moore was worth a draft pick. he went undrafted.

Oh lord of monkeys, how is your boyfriend Ceasar?
Is he learning different languages?

I like Aaron Murray in the 4th perfect fit for us

promike, you don't get it. i could care less about your opinion or my opinion. the opinion of 32 gms was that moore was not even worth a 7th round draft pick. as of two years ago, no team would even give him a shot at starting. the pro's have spoken. your opinion that moore should start over tannehil is nothing but sewage. facts are facts

Gene, Wallace will be the starting WR for the Dolphins for sure but the status for T-hill is up in the air or will be determined in training camp. What does that tell you.....

The trolls come out at night ........... Just wait till we sign Chris Johnson

I CAN'T STOP JAJAJAJAJAJ eh Homer Pile jajajajajajajaj Eh?


The list?

promichael, you evade the questions time and again. go fetch some acorns before winter arrives again,

i leave you with two facts....

wallace dropped more on the money passes than tannehill overthrew him
tannehill completed more passes to wallace last season than ben ever did in a single season.

think about that squirrel.

If Miami s oline improves this offseason , the whole offense improves. Less sacks means less Tannehill fumbles and tipped passes mean more completed passes, and a better running game. . If He can't improve with these additions then he should be replaced. But if he succeeds . Cant wait to shove it up the naysayers fat lazy ass.


The list?

At the top of the story I was thinking, "Mando finally wrote something good here".
By the time I got to the bottom I'm thinking, "What an idiot".


How did they get a pass?


The list?

All those QB's are better than Tannehill.

Why isnt Tannehill and Henne on the list?


I am a homer but I ain't no homo and Ryan is the man go miami

Wish we had Matt Ryan.

The list?

1969 jets fans

Gene, you create your own premise to give your conclusion validity. Please your just clueless. The bottom line is that T-hill was chosen by two losers similar to yourself, T-hill will have to earn his starting job this season without Ireland and Sherman around. You should go join the two of them for a drink Gene. The Blind leading the Blind....


He's 24. He's a millionaire. He has a nice looking wife.
If all that isn't enough then he is also a starting NFL quarterback.
Because of the new CBA there are very few reps to go around in camp and so he'll be collecting an NFL paycheck for 15 more years at more than $1mil/year.
Mando will not make $1mil altogether in the next 15 years.


Mark Sanchez hahahahahaahaaahaahh, geno who mike Vick woof woof the jets blow

AtlFin@ 8:09

We did have Matty-Ice.
We had him for 18 years.
It was the longest jerkoff in sports history.
When we had him he went by the name of Dan Marino.

Tannehill is our quarterback like it or not so you might as well root for him

gene, glad to know you know better than 32 gm's, I suggest you send the nil your resume. until you get hired, you are nothing but a dumb loser blogger with no valid experience in anything.

"...T-hill will have to earn his starting job this season without Ireland and Sherman around." -promichael @ 8:15

Who is he competing with for the job?

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