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Tannehill's late-game issues; Canes players lash out at NCAA; Fins, Canes notes

FRIDAY BUZZ COLUMN

 

All football talk today:

It’s way premature to make conclusions about Ryan Tannehill; despite his recent slump, there’s reason to feel hopeful about his future. Nevertheless, Tannehill eventually must elevate his late-game play to address questions that Jon Gruden and others previously raised red flags about.

Gruden said in August his “big concern” with Tannehill at Texas A&M is “you would like to see a quarterback that finished games better, that dominates in the third and fourth quarter.” That has remained an issue in his rookie season, though he is hampered by factors beyond his control: personnel shortcomings around him and shaky pass protection. Consider:

### Over the past 15 months, Tannehill is 3-9 in games decided by seven points or less: 1-5 at Texas A&M, 2-4 with the Dolphins. And his teams had double-digit leads in all three of those wins, including 17-6 fourth-quarter cushions against the Bengals and Rams.

In his defense, Tannehill put the Dolphins in position to win the first Jets game in overtime, but Dan Carpenter missed a 48-yard field goal. He helped Miami tie that game with a late fourth-quarter field goal but was 2-of-8 for 13 yards on that drive.

### As a rookie, Tannehill is completing just 49.1 percent of his passes (26 for 53) in the fourth quarter of games with a margin of seven or less, including two interceptions in the final two minutes against Buffalo.

In that situation, his 62.5 rating trails the other rookie starters: Robert Griffin (88.8), Russell Wilson (87), Andrew Luck (81) and Brandon Weeden (71.6). It’s well below the likes of Christian Ponder (121.9) and Sam Bradford (119.7) and ahead of only Philip Rivers, Carson Palmer, Mark Sanchez and John Skelton.

For perspective, last season at Texas A&M, Tannehill completed only 14 of 36 passes in the fourth quarter with a margin of seven or less, with one touchdown, one interception and a lost fumble.

### The Dolphins thought playing in a no-huddle offense would make Tannehill more proficient in two-minute drills. But Tannehill has the league’s worst numbers in the final two minutes of halves: 8 for 24 for 102 yards, no touchdowns, four interceptions and an 8.0 rating. He has a 45.8 rating in overtime.

“That’s the thing that makes quarterbacks [great] – at the end of the half, at the end of the game,” said Colts interim coach Bruce Arians, talking about Luck and not Tannehill. “You will your team to win. All-Star players have it.”

ESPN analyst and former Colts general manager Bill Polian said off the air that “you look past” Tannehill’s late-game struggles “for two reasons: One -- he’s a rookie and has to learn in those situations. And two – you have to protect him.”

So when it is fair to expect him to engineer game-winning drives? “When he has a complete team,” Polian said. “When he has smooth protection and receivers who can get open and make big plays. Coaches would tell you he’s playing with a short stick at receiver. They need a speed receiver.”

Former Browns scout and Sporting News draft expert Russ Lande said Tannehill’s late-game play, going back to college, “is a concern, not as consistent as you would like, but you sort of have to give him the benefit of the doubt it will improve.”

Actually, Tannehill’s biggest problem has been on third down, where his 56.8 rating is next-to-last, ahead of only Skelton (42.5).

CHATTER

With Jabar Gaffney cut, we get to see more of receiver Rishard Matthews (who debuted against the Bills), and Dolphins cornerbacks say everyone will be surprised how good he is. “He made this diving one-handed catch for 40 yards in practice,” Sean Smith said. “He’s been making plays all year in practice. He’s got size, speed, strength. It’s crazy he was [only] a seventh-round” pick. He caught 91 passes for 1364 yards at Nevada in 2011.

### Dolphins’ local TV ratings have plunged again; the 12.3 against Buffalo (which combined the cable and non-cable audiences) was by far the lowest for any NFL home market last week and one of the team’s lowest ratings in years.

### Former Hurricanes are lashing out at the NCAA for threatening to believe Nevin Shapiro if ex-players don’t talk to the NCAA. “The NCAA is a joke,” Greg Olsen, who wasn’t accused of violations, said on Twitter. “Assume guilt if kids don’t agree to talk to you? Are we not still in America?” Olsen’s tweet was re-tweeted by Jonathan Vilma and Kellen Winslow Jr., who were accused of violations by Shapiro and Yahoo!

Packers executive and Canes great Alonzo Highsmith ranted on Twitter: “Trying to understand why Miami is allowing the NCAA to run roughshod over the program… At some point, [UM president] Donna [Shalala] needs to take a stand. Amazing a school like Miami won’t stand up to the cartel and tell them to bring it! Now it’s time to tell them what you think and fight.

“The NCAA hates Miami anyway, so why would you think they were going to be fair to Miami? They [couldn’t] care less about self-imposing and they want our [butt]. Bet Vilma is glad he didn’t listen to all those jack offs [in the NFL bounty base] about sitting and not fighting? Some people have no balls.”

Olivier Vernon, who served a six-game suspension last year after meeting with the NCAA, said: “They’re believing a liar, and to do this during the season? It’s ridiculous.” Said Lamar Miller, who wasn’t accused of violations: “It’s unfair. It’s crazy.”

### Though he will be rumored for several jobs, Al Golden sounds genuine when he says: “The thing people don’t understand and accept is I want to be here for a really long time. We’re destined for great things here. I like the people, diversity, climate, urban setting, [proximity] to the Keys. My kids enjoy it. My wife is happy. Miami fits who we are.” He’s signed through Feb. 1, 2020.

  

Comments

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CaneRock

That's the problem with the NCAA being exclusively an enforcment body, they want it both ways. They want to hit Miami with "lack of institutional control", while at the same time, they want to hold the institution hostage with veiled threats, such as what was in that letter that was sent out.

At some point, and I don't know if it'll go that far, the NCAA needs to be taken to the highest court in the land, and come up with an agument to a simple question, "Is it, or isn't it...A JOB?!"

expat in brasil

There is an AP article about how a Judge in Los Angeles has ruled that the NCAA was "malicious" in its investigation of USC. It is going to be interesting to see how the local Judges will rule when the former canes bring their suits against the NCAA for the rather heavy handed investgative approach.

WOW!

Damn right CaneRock....all UM has to do is use what the judge deemed as dirty tactics in the USC case as a platform.

Richard Morisson

The NCAA is a joke. PERIOD

Ron

THe NCAA is College Sports. Operated by College Presidents with a ruling committee.
This committee should take a hard look at how the NCAA is operating. I understand there has to be a controlling entity to maintain some semblance of fairness among participants but this control should be exposure of "illegal" actions and impose established punishment.

Not the Gestapo tactics it operates with today. PSU case comes to mind.

Jo jo

Again.......with all due respect....Miami s own Paul Dee was NCAA President at THAT time and he railed and wanted USC to be hit hard every chance he got.Guess the current NCAA folks remember that irony now.Sadly....it seems like pay back time.Too bad for Miami.

AnonymousCane

I think the Herald and the Sun Sentinel should be biding for my services as a reporter! I have been saying for months that Al Golden is cut from a different cloth than most of his colleagues. At the risk of repeating myself over and over he is a man of character and fully understands the meaning of the word "commitment."

He has been saying ever since he got here that he views Miami as a "destination," job, that,"he and his family love it here," the key is that his wife "loves it here," and then his,"kids love it here," and then that "he," loves it here.

He turned away overtures from his alma mater, Penn State, UCLA and others. What does a man have to say and do to show you folks?

Let's move on to our favorite topic the National Collegiate Association of the Hammer and Cycle!

AnonymousCane

Okay so I misspelled Sickle, since when is spelling a requirement to be a Herald Reporter, lol!

Felix El Gato

I think Tannehill's main problem is the offensive line.

dirty bird

Love it. They tweet how outraged they are with the treatment they're recieving from the NCAA but when asked to explain themselves they run behind the apron strings of their laywers and cry harassment.

LOL, what a bunch of hypocrites.

Victor Barney

I have NEVER seen a rookie quarterback look better than RG3 in my life & I'm 65 years old! I was there on the charades on past rookie quarterbacks, including number#1 pick Terry Bradshaw, who then took like 5 years to become a winning quarterback! However, I have never previously seen a rookis quarterback as great as RG111! WOW! RG11 as a rookie looks like all the greats already at the height of their careers! No wonder he was upset by having been only compared to previous black quarterbacks! I'm saying that RG111 is the BEST ROOKIE QUARTERBACK THAT I'VE EVER SEEN IN OVER 40 YEARS! THAT'S FROM A TO Z! Just saying, what is, is...Again, WOW!

rboud

I don't think Olivier Vernon should be saying anything about the NCAA investigation. He was part of the problem. I also don't think it's helpful for former UM players to be screaming at the NCAA. Knowing how they operate, they may be even more vengeful after seeing some of these comments. Save the criticism for when the final verdict is reached.

UMike

FEAR NOT UM FANS...UM is not stupid...I guarantee you that UM's legal team is working up some rebuttal to the NCAA's COMMUNIST TACTICS.

I've said all along that the NCAA is far dirtier than any school that they ever investigate...and, they LOVE SOME SCHOOLS (Notre Dame, Michigan) and HATE OTHERS (UM).

F**K THE NCAA...I hope UM gets to sue them and show them that everything that they do and say is not etched in stone and unable to be questioned and/or investigated. Can you imagine how much $$$ the NCAA gets away with POCKETING every single year? Probably unimaginable amounts!!

Screw the NCAA!

Yes, UM is guilty of some infractions...but, to have the NCAA make COUNTLESS VISITS to campus (last year)...grasping at straws because they KNOW THAT THE EVIDENCE THAT SH*T-PIRO has is just that, SH*T, is deplorable.

Someone show me, if I have a receipt for dinner at a restaurant or jewelry store, where that receipt says WHO I BOUGHT DINNER OR JEWELRY FOR...!!! Stupid A*S CLOWNS!!

doobie

wow the Ncaa has nothing !!! Yet the dumb cane board of directors take away two bowl games and a shot at the acc title....???
Geez I don't get it ?? Gosh maybe they hate the football team too?
The ncaa ask former players to refute claims against them and their beloved school. They all claim Shapiro is lying (well most of them) and yet they won't do it...geez I don't get this either, why not????
oh well I know what I can get and that's another leftover turkey sandwich....peace out!

Life is good!

Whelp, 1 AM on a Friday night, time to read up on the Miami Hurricanes and try to troll their fans into talking to me!

Lem

Why would anyone want Golden anyway...pur mediocrity

ex-cane player

Shapiro's a lier, please allow the former players to speak to the NCAA. We can prove he's lying.

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