Ryan Tannehill has had control of the Miami Dolphins' offense for three years now and entering his fourth, chemistry is beginning to build, and the team is solidifying an identity with him leading the way. Similar to Eagles head coach Chip Kelly and his roster overhaul, (but to a much lesser extent,) the Dolphins have made an effort to remove players who did not fit into the system or the plan, and the locker room is better because of it.
Tannehill spoke to the media after training camp and had this to say concerning the new feeling in the locker room and on the field:
“There’s always excitement on day one. There’s always excitement to get on the field, to be together. But you feel it in the locker room, you feel it out on the field." Tannehill said. "This is a good group of guys, good people and we want to win. We want to win a championship. We’re all here for the same reason. I feel like we have a selfless team of guys that are here for the right reasons. It’s going to take us a long way.”
I would love to believe that unity and friendship are bringing this team together, but I would be lying if I didn't say that urgency is playing an equal role in this new sense of comradery. Although his contract was extended, Joe Philbin needs to turn in a winning record or major changes will have to be made in the front office.
When pressure is put on the head coach and general management it is felt all the way down to the players and everyone in between. This team is full of talent and they have been provided with the tools needed to succeed, and now it’s time to provide results.
Management has gone to great lengths to provide Tannehill with players that will help this team improve in the offensive game, as well as help the young quarterback grow and take the next step. When asked about his new weapons, and who he is most excited to play with, Tannehill expressed his excitement for the new additions:
“It’s tough to pick one because we have so many." Tannehill said. "We really have a stacked group all of the way around, from our backfield, to our tight ends, the receiver group, everywhere you look, we have weapons. It’s going to be fun for me to be able to spread the ball around.”
Tannehill is a very unselfish quarterback, and this is seen in his pass distribution from game to game. Last season Tannehill threw the ball to over 8.5 different players per game (a high number considering the teams that the Dolphins faced last season on average only threw to 6.9 different players per game.)
So not only will Tannehill have a great set of weapons around him, he will use every single one of them and defenses will have to take notice of every offensive threat on the field. Tannehill’s numbers will reflect this as these new and improved weapons will maximize the potential of Bill Lazor’s quick-hitting offense, putting the ball in players’ hands and letting them do what they were brought here for.
Stephen Ross fronted the bill for Tannehill’s $96 Million dollar contract, but if that wasn’t enough of an endorsement, he had this today after day one of training camp:
“Ryan has all of the ingredients to be an elite quarterback. If you look at his performance, he’s gotten better every single year. I think with the tools he has around him now, he will continue to get better and I think you’ll see that with our wins and losses." Ross said. "You’ve got to start with the quarterback. I can’t think of a better person, a guy with the talent, the brains and the athletic ability combined to really lead this team.”
Ross strongly expressed his desire to see this team reach a championship, and he is doing what he can to put that winning team on the field. After the first day of camp, players and coaches alike are optimistic and excited for the upcoming season. This is a new Dolphins team and it looks very different from last year’s team, but the new additions, paired with the development of Tannehill should help them get over the hump and into the playoff picture that has been painfully close the past two seasons.
This story was written by Efrain Ramos. Follow him on Twitter: @EfrainRamos
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