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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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Thing I admire about Manziel is, surely he has a ways to go in terms of "being coached up" at the NFL level of competition. But, what he does have is "totally uncoachable".

"That's called, IT!" The oh, so undefinable IT!

Or, if Tannehill sucks in 2014, hope he and the team sucks well enough to get Jameis Winston. :)

Posted by: SAM I AM | April 16, 2014 at 12:50 PM

There is apparently another allegation of Sexual misconduct against Winston at FSU.

Neither of the Manning's, Big Ben, Brady, Brees, or any other QB you might classify as elite won the SB last year.

Was it because they sucked? No it was because as a "team" they weren't good enough.

Tannehill wasn't the only Dolphin that sucked the last two games of the season. I get that you expect / hope your franchise QB to rise up and carry you in that situation and not implode though.

At the end of his second year in the NFL is too soon to have that expectation of him imo though, as frustrated as we all were to miss the post season again.

Thats not to say that he's off the hook and he's by any means a given to keep that position.
The coaching staff appears to have faith in him and it is after all Philbin's job thats on the line. Let them give it the ol college try.

One thing in our frustration I think we fail to look at is the integrity of these individuals we've been blasting the past year or two.

While I know it doesn't win games, Tannehill, Philbin, and Hickey all seem to be sharp, hard working, decent people. I could think of worse people to have to root for.
I agree like Sam and some of the others that Tannehill could show more moxie at times but considering where he's at this stage of his career I haven't seen enough to rule him out just yet.

I have only posted as "A Regular Here" i always post so my name is a regular here nitwit.

Anyways Sam I Am I like your idea of taking Johnny M @19 it would be my dream but he isnt going to fall that low and if he does Hickey wouldnt have the balls to take him.

IMO Johnny Football will be a better pro than Tannehill when there careers are done and over with. Johnny took the same squad THill had and make them a contender in the SEC whereas THill had them as bottom feeders.

The thing I admire about Tannehill is his ability to find himself a winner of a wife. Next season when he becomes a backup QB, will she still be there by his side. Who cares as long as the Dolphins do not have a liability at QB.

Posted by: fin4life | April 16, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Watching how Marino performed at the CBS tv desk, I'm fully inclined to agree with you. The qb position seems the only thing Marino will ever be great at.

At the game analyst desk, seems everyone was running over Marino with 18 wheeler big mac trucks. It seemed he had the lowest amount of testosterone at the analyst desk. He was definitely "small balls".

"That's called, IT!" The oh, so undefinable IT!

Posted by: SAM I AM | April 16, 2014 at 12:58 PM

One thing I will say about Manziel is he has great pocket awareness which Tannehill lacks in spades! I know alot of people say J.Matthews is the best Tackle in the draft but last Yr. I watched A&M Vs. Bama, LSU, Aubun and Mizz and Matthews gave up a ton of blindside pressure which Manziel feels in the pocket when he moves. In the replays you never see him take his eyes off what was happening downfield just see him move-roll away when he feels it.

Of course his are is not as strong but Dilfer won a Super Bowl without great physical skills.

Posted by: Promichael | April 16, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Yeah! It helped a great deal he had arguably the best D in NFL History or a Top-3 all-time group!

No single player ever wins a Super Bowl. All these, 'he's won x amount of Super Bowls' arguments I hear when comparing QBs are some of the stupidest arguments I've ever heard. Some pretty lousy QBs have 'won Super Bowls' and some great ones never did.

Well said Mass.


Well yes but Dilfer also had some QB skills like where to go with the ball at the right time and quick release skills. Also Dilfer was accurate and that is critical. T-hill is so inaccurate that it negates his strong arm. Clearly having a strong arm and not being able to hit a fast receiver who is open is a huge liability that will be exploited by defenses.

Posted by: Dolfan Rick | April 16, 2014 at 01:00 PM

Best worded post on the subject and agree with it verbatim!

Posted by: Promichael | April 16, 2014 at 01:18 PM

Did you watch them at all prior to that SB? In the run up and through the Playoffs I saw that team plenty given Sugar Ray was one of my All-Time fav Canes! Dilfer basically accounted for one play a game that would go for 6, just 1 while the D held everybody! In the AFC Championship after Siragusa (purposely watch the extra Umff he puts into it) flattens Gannon were the Raiders played the game with aback up QB the flatline play of Dilfer had that game in doubt anyway. The TD that wins which was an 80-plus Yarder to S.Sharpe was a screen about 4 Yards in front of him were Shannon did all the work. He was lousy and the reason they moved on Grbac a month after getting crowned.

promichael... tannehill in 2013 was superior to Moore's "MVP" season in just about every way except one.... Moore aveeraged 0.4 more yards per attempt.

But attempts, completions, yards, tds, fewr turnovers per attempt, completion %, all were better under Tannehill in 2013 than "MVP" Moore.

So much for the importance of the "deep ball".

Thanks F4L. I also agree with your take on Marino. He had a sense of urgency as a QB.

I haven't seen anything to make me believe he would have the same passion in a front office. He has too many other things going on.

I don't necessarily think his a addition would be a bad thing though.

Just stop using the word great and Trent Dilfer in the saem sentence... unless you want to say he's a great analyst.

Funny Tannehill's deep ball numbers his rookie season were quite good, but regressed signicantly with the addition of a deep ball threat in Wallace.

I thought Philbin traded away Brandon Marshall because he did not want a diva WR corrupting his offensive scheme.

Then he goes out and gets Mike Wallace for half the GNP of Greece.

We should have kept Marshall, Bush, Long & Dansby...would have made the playoffs for sure.

I realize trading Tannehill this year isn't going to happen in 2014 but...

who would generate a 1st round pick plus other lower pick or players?

1. Tannehill
2. Jordan (since there's been rumors about him)

Tanne struggled in college with deep ball accuracy so he may never fix it.



A whole season due to injury - that is why every team needs a capable backup.

32 Miami Quarterbacks since Dan Marino

NO offense to Tannehill (Offensive line should get Fixed.

Can he take the Sacks this season and stay healthy?
The Back up Quarterbacks are Back ups?

Miami needs to get serious about QB Back up?

Round Six

6. Tajh Boyd (threw for 11,904 yards and 107 touchdowns in 40 career games at Clemson, BEST QB in this Draft.

Jordan Lynch QB Northern Illinois Huskies Jordan Lynch ( height 6-0, wt. 216lbs, 2013 season 2892 yards,24 TD JORDAN He is the REAL DEAL Under RADAR

Bring to camp as undrafted free agents.

Missouri QB James Franklin Missouri

lead his team to defeat Johnny Manziel Texas A&M to play in the SEC Championship Game against Auburn 2013.


Dont forget the 2013 Dolphins started 3-0 and ended 5-8,if you dont think that 3-0 start makes a difference go back and check the last decade for teams that started 3-0.
In my mind the biggest thing THE ENTIRE FRANCHISE has to prove is that they can win consistently otherwise in this business they will still be closer to the bottom than the top IMO.

If lee is available when it get to the phins should they take him? We wrote about this here!! http://phinsnews.com/should-the-phins-take-usc-wr-marqise-lee-with-their-1st-pick/

RGIII has a playoff game under his belt already. Tannehill doesn't.

If RG didn't blow his knee out, I think they would have won the superbowl that year. Up until he blew out his knee, that game was in the bag for Washington.

love the fact that all the troll hating dolphin fans accomplish in this blog is line Armando Salguero pockets with cash from all the blog hits... nice going trolls!

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