Written by Matthew Cannata at 8:00 AM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Last season, we saw what Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles did last year under the leadership of head coach Chip Kelly and quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor. That’s why many people expected the same type of success from Ryan Tannehill this year when Lazor came to the Miami Dolphins. Although it’s taken a few weeks, Tannehill is finally turning the corner and is evolving into one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.
“I think as an offense we’re growing. I’m getting more comfortable in the schemes and the things that we’re doing,” Tannehill said. “I’ve gotten to know him over, what has it been six months now, seven months, and it’s been good. I think our relationship is just continuing to grow, continuing to understand each other and what we’re thinking schematically the more we play together. He’s getting to know me and the other players as well, and what we’re good at and creating ways to do what we’re good at.”
Tannehill is aware of his development and knows that he is progressing from week to week. Although he says he’s nowhere near where he wants to be, he’s seeing the hard work pay off and the schemes work in his favor.
“I’m definitely progressing. I think that I’m not where I want to be at by any stretch, but I’m progressing. I’m seeing improvements, see better throws, see the ball coming out quicker, creating some of the pocket. It’s just a matter, I think we always say, of make the plays that are there, take advantage of the looks that we get, making the throws when we get a shot and give our guys a chance to make a play. I think you see the kind of playmakers that we have on the outside. So it’s just a matter of me getting them the ball.”
Tannehill, who is taking part in No Shave November, said that there’s no correlation to the fact of being called out before the Oakland Raiders to his development and progress now. Instead, he chalks it up to being more comfortable in the offense as well as the others around him being more comfortable in it as well.
When asked to compare this year’s system to last year, Tannehill said it was hard to do so because they are two completely different systems.
“It’s a completely different system. Obviously, the verbiage in the system is completely different. The run game is a lot different as well. So it’s tough to say one specific thing. So we’re doing a lot of different things - run game is different, pass game’s different. It’s completely different, so it’s tough to compare the two.”
One element that has been evident over the past several weeks has been the fact that he has been running a lot more out of the read-option. Tannehill likes it and understands the impact it has on the offense and the opposing defense.
"It definitely helps us out I think. It helps our run game, sparks some big plays, keeps their back side honest, and creates more running lanes for the guys inside. It’s just a matter of taking what’s there. I think, whether it’s making a play with my legs on a pass play, scrambling through the middle or, like you said, a designed read play – just taking what’s there and making the best of it.”