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Personnel evaluators, ex-quarterbacks assess Tannehill; Heat, Canes, Marlins chatter

FRIDAY BUZZ COLUMN

Ryan Tannehill’s first four days of camp have looked much like his first season – some good (including a few throws that were perfectly lofted over defenders) and some not-so-good (not seeing some open receivers, an interception that Chris Clemons returned for a touchdown).

But none of this should be overstated, and the people who have seen Tannehill all offseason – including Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman – insist he’s a better player, especially in deciphering defenses.

So what will Tannehill ultimately become? This offseason, we asked a panel of longtime personnel executives and respected quarterbacks-turned-analysts. Their reaction varied widely, from very good, to solid, to not a long-term solution.

### Among the most effusive: longtime general managers Bill Polian and Charley Casserly.

“He’s going to be a very good quarterback,” Polian said. “You don’t just want a game manager. He’s not. He can win for you. And as he gets better people around him, all his numbers will go up.” He has gotten those better people now, starting with Mike Wallace and Dustin Keller.

Said Casserly: “I would feel really encouraged if I were Miami. If he was coming out in this year’s draft, you would have been talking about Tannehill with Kansas City with the No. 1 pick. I saw a lot of positives: athleticism, the ability to read a defense. At times, he can be inaccurate, but he’s not an inaccurate passer.”

### With Wallace on board, Joe Theismann says he could see him becoming something similar to Andy Dalton. That wouldn’t be enough to satisfy the Dolphins. Dalton was 13th in passer rating to Tannehill’s 27th.

### On his ongoing ESPN series, Ron Jaworski ranked Tannehill 24th among all starters. “I expect to see significant improvement with a better supporting cast in 2013,” Jaws said. “For a rookie, Tannehill was very good throwing with bodies around him in what I call a muddied pocket.

“The area [where] Tannehill and the entire Dolphins offense must improve is third down. He had the worst rating among all starting quarterbacks, including 7 of his 13 interceptions. Some resulted from pressure, others from poor reads, others from ill-advised throws. Overall, he showed many positive traits. With more experience and better weapons, I would expect Tannehill to have a big year and move substantially up my big board.”

### CBS analyst Rich Gannon, a former NFL MVP, said with the talent around him, “now you will see who Tannehill is. Wallace will put the fear of God in safeties.”

Gannon believes Tannehill “can be a pretty solid player” because of his intelligence (“you don’t see him get surprised by a lot of blitzes”), arm and mobility.

But… “The completion percentage has to go up from 58.3 to 64 or 65,” Gannon said. Robert Griffin was 65.6, Russell Wilson 64.1.

And Gannon wants the Dolphins to have Tannehill throw more on the move and use bootlegs: “You want to see him move to his left, not just his right. The good ones can do it either way.”

### Others were more measured. “What I saw was intriguing,” CBS’ Phil Simms said. “He has a presence. But I’m not going to rank him in the top 20 quarterbacks. What can he do for people around him [to make them better]? I can’t say it’s not going to work or that you’ve got a big-time star, either.”

### Before leaving NFL Network for the Cleveland Browns, Mike Lombardi told us he was “somewhat encouraged” about Tannehill but not entirely convinced: “When he gets a better supporting cast, we can make a better determination.”

### And former Raiders/Packers/Falcons executive Ken Herock was skeptical, saying: “Tannehill should be one of those starters for five, six years that won’t really get you better than 9-7. I don’t think he will carry a team.

“I don’t see the consistency. I don’t see him in the same class as [Andrew] Luck, Griffin and Wilson. You say, ‘He’s just OK.’”

CHATTER

### As many of you know, Bryant McKinnie would be the Dolphins' left tackle if he had accepted an offer from Miami instead of a comparable one from Baltimore. So this development today was noteworthy: McKinnie, a former UM standout, is being held out of Ravens practice because the team says he is too heavy. "I'm not sure who's more disappointed --- Bryant or I," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.

### The Heat is among teams that has shown some interest in free agent point guard Mo Williams. And Williams is said to have interest in Miami if he doesn’t get an offer higher than the minimum.

### Some Heat officials oppose offering Greg Oden anything more than the minimum because of his history of knee problems, though some teams could offer more. The question is whether Pat Riley can be persuaded by Oden’s camp, in the next several days, to dip into his $3.2 million mid-level exception.

### The Heat will get two early looks at arguably the most improved team in the Eastern Conference. The Nets announced Thursday that they will play two preseason games against the Heat: Oct. 17 in Brooklyn and Oct. 25 in Miami. The Heat has not announced the remainder of its preseason schedule, but it was previously disclosed that Miami will play Charlotte Oct. 11 in Kansas City.

### Whereas the Marlins’ Logan Morrison and Dolphins’ Richie Incognito serve up the most creative tweets among South Florida athletes, UM offensive coordinator James Coley has that distinction among local coaches.

Among those from Coley this summer: “It’s our U-niverse!!! Get U-se to it!!!!”

And “We are what you feared!!! Take cover from the STORM – you have been warned!!!”

He welcomed a new recruit this week with “#I Pledge Allegiance to the Swagg!”

Coley, by the way, likes to show his quarterbacks film of the Patriots offense, as his predecessor, Jedd Fisch did. “I have Tom Brady on all the time; guys think I have a man crush on the guy,” Coley told us.

“Everything from [calls at the line] to watching his technique when he throws the ball; he’s very sound with what he does. He does subtle things that affect defenses -- how early he puts his hand under the center, how he fake kicks in the shotgun to watch the safeties.”

Coley hopes studying Brady's nuances can help Stephen Morris and the other quarterbacks.

### Brooklyn four-star defensive tackle Cory Johnson picked Kentucky over Miami. But St. Thomas Aquinas' coach said Class of 2014 four-star defensive tackle Anthony Moten is considering UM after de-committing from Florida. 

### Not only is Giancarlo Stanton’s average (.240) third-worst among all National League starting right fielders, but his home runs per at-bat have dipped to one every 19.4, down from 14.2 entering this season. The Marlins initially thought he could get $8 million in arbitration this winter, but that seems a stretch now. The Marlins keep rejecting the Texas Rangers’ repeated inquiries about Stanton.

### Couple quick broadcast notes: WMEN-640 general manager Steve Lapa said he still hasn't decided whether to hire former WQAM host and ex-UM defensive lineman Dan Sileo full-time but will extend his on-air audition for a fourth week, from 10 a.m. to noon next Monday through Friday. That's a time period Sileo could fill full-time if he gets a permanent gig.... Fox, which is launching an all-sports cable channel Aug. 17, hired Gary Payton, Donovan McNabb, Andy Roddick and former NFL lineman Ephraim Salaam to be nightly panelists on a highlights/roundtable discussion show that will air at 11 p.m., opposite SportsCenter on ESPN and Keith Olbermann's ESPN2 show, which debuts Aug. 26.

Comments

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rbleigh

Barry, I'm confused. Are you suggesting that the Marlin's brass want Stanton to do poory so they'll have to pay him less in arbitration? Go figure, that saved money will definitely be spent on the 1st overall pick they're fight for, right? What a joke.

Ed

My guess is Tannehill will be average, nothing more. Like Brandon Weeden.

Barry Jackson

Rbeligh: I am not suggesting the Marlins want him to do poorly so they have to pay him less than $8 million. And he will still get a big raise even if his numbers remain subpar.

Dom

Bryant McKinnie likes Chinese buffets.

Cual?

Bryant McKinnie played superbly at left tackle for the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.

Enjoy Jonathan MArtin.

swag my arse

Choosing Kentucky over Miami ... Yeah that sounds about right.

Loser

You're reading about second tier recruits who didn't even pick UM...

killakell

dolphins took the wrong texas a m qb,shooda waited on manziel

killakell

tannehill is the same bulsh*** we had for years at qb. INCONSISTENT

mike

eisenberg suks on air he sounds stupid not that knowledgeable and definitely not funny(defo wannabe) get him outta there lapa sileos much more entertaining only reason i put sports talk on

gman

once again, its early. last preseason. looked like utter garbage, yet as season approached, this team looked respectable.

We witnessed two days with pads on. People cannot be serious. The good reports are the ones who know in time what will be.

Once the season comes around, things will be clicking. Not 30 points a game clicking...but clicking. 3rd down will improve greatly. too many veteran receivers around with some TE's this goround.

benz

maybe the Dolphins wouldnt consider it enough if Tannehill was similar to Dalton in passer rating and I wouldnt be thrilled, but with what we've had here at QB for the past 10 yrs, I'd take it for the near term at least.....most Fin fans wouldnt be pleased if he ranked in the top 12-13 for passer rating?--that gives you a chance to win and makes you competitive to very competitive......playoff caliber.....or better if the defense is really good--count me in.

Keepin it real always

No weapons whatsoever around Tannehill last year and impossible to see a good offense as a result.NOT comparing him to Marino but Marino had the best wide receivers in the NFL.Big difference.THAT said......Tannehill will obviously be improved but how well overall will the Offense jell and will the Phins really be a scoring machine as indicated now by their ...."potential"??????That has yet to play out and until Game 1.......officially ends.........NO ONE will really know what Tannehill will be bringing now into each game he plays.

Sunny Dee

Yes, we will find out if Tannehill is any good this year. He has enough weapons and a solid, although not great, offensive line. No excuses this year when similar age quarterbacks such as RGIII, Kaepernick, Luck and Russell Wilson are thriving.

tropicbob

Don't forget people- we knew Tannehill needed a few years and we became impatient after a few games.

Joshua Reidy

I keep thinking that draft is very much like the '83 draft, with Luck being Elway and Wilson being Marino. Unfortunately, we got stuck with Ken O'Brien.

playthefreshmen

Moten to the U-niverse...;-) Count on it you cow tipping freaks...LOL..

Dirty U

Wow! Biogenesis was injecting high schoolers too. Funny how the high schools named (Columbus, Gulliver, South Miami) are considered feeder schools to UM baseball....hmmm. No wonder the state attorney turned a blind eye.

Keith Hurley

I am more concerned with Sherman's play design and play calling then I am with Tannehill. After all there is a reason he was booted out of the NFL and out of Green Bay as well.
BTW, even the great QBs tend to miss wide open recievers from time to time.

TK SWANN

IF THE O-LINE CAN GET INTACT AND PRODUCE A 12-1500 YD RUNNING ATTACK FROM MILLER MIAMI WINS 10-12 GAMES EASY AND T-HILL STATS WILL IMPROVE FROM 12-13 TOUCHDOWNS TO 20-25 TOUCHDOWNS. T-HILL IS GREAT AT PLAY ACTION AND WITH MORE WEAPONS AND A GOOD RUNNING GAME PLUS A DEEP THREAT IN WALLACE, THE SKY IS THE LIMIT. SOMETIMES A SIMPLE "WEAPON ADJUSTMENT" IS ALL AN OFFENSE NEEDS TO IMPROVE. IN 1984 COACH SHULA INSERTED MARK CLAYTON AS A STARTER TO TEAM WITH DUPER WE KNOW HOW THAT TURNED OUT. WHAT WAS GOOD ABOUT THAT MOVE IS IT KEPT TEAMS FROM DOUBLING DUPER,OPEN THE FIELD UP FOR ROSE,HARDY,AND CEFALO AND NAT MOORE. NOW WITH WALLACE TEAMING WITH HARTLINE YOU HAVE 2 SUB 4.4 WR WHO CANNOT BE DOUBLED WITH OUT OPENING UP THE FIELD FOR KELLER, GIBSON OR THE RUNNING GAME WITH MILLER/THOMAS. IF THAT AINT ENOUGH YOU ALSO HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT CLAY COMING OUT OF THE BACKFIELD MATCHED WITH A LB. IT'S ONLY A MATTER OF TIME TIL THIS OFFENSE WILL EXPLODE. IMAGINE A 4TH QT GAME IN THE HEAT WITH THE DOLPHINS UP 10 WITH THE BALL DRIVING ! IF YOUR DEFENSE IS GETTING TIRED KISS IT GOODBYE THERE ARE TOO MANY WEAPONS TO TRY TO STOP. YES T-HILL WILL IMPROVE THIS YEAR THE QUESTION IS WILL IT BE 20-25 TDS OR 30 PLUS ??.

jdbman

Swann is correct the key for Dolphs is the oline.

UMike

Like the UM "you've been warned" - no, LOVE IT!

I see UFelony lost another commit...probably fears for his life!

GO CANES!

F**K the Gayturds, Semi-holes, FIU (whatever that is), and all the rest!

This is UM COUNTRY - if you're not a UM fan, you're a hillbilly who has sex with your family members!!

GO CANES!!

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