Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Almost every day, you will see a story about Ryan Tannehill and how he needs to improve in his third year if he wants to become the franchise quarterback for the Miami Dolphins. With the season just about under way, that scrutiny has increased more and more every day.
“I am at the point in my career now where progression has to be made fast and there are no more rookie mistakes,” Tannehill told the Miami Herald. “You can’t play quarterback and have excuses.”
According to the Herald, Tannehill has 2014 and 2015 remaining on his four-year, $12.68 million rookie contract. But the Dolphins must decide by next May whether to exercise his fifth-year option. Because he was a top-10 pick, that option would entail paying him, in 2016, the average salary of the NFL’s 10 highest-paid quarterbacks, a figure of about $15 million.
Backup Matt Moore said Lazor “has opened up Ryan’s eyes to some things” and is “more demanding” than Sherman was: “He sets the bar high and lets you know if you’re not reaching it.”
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald talked to several coaches and analysts around the league and they weighed in on Tannehill while having high praise for him and the way he plays the game.
“You're seeing someone who hasn't had a ton of reps at the position who may not have had the same amount of work a lot of his peers had, based on his college playing time. He's very smart,” said Sean Payton, head coach of the New Orleans Saints. “When we prepared to play them last season, we saw him as someone who is very athletic and can move. Time will tell, but his future is bright. I've heard nothing but good things from people who have been there that have worked with him.”
“I really expected more out of Tannehill last season,” ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski said. “I loved what I saw his rookie season and thought he was a potential superstar. In 2013 he held on to the ball too long and wasn't decisive with his reads. To be fair, he also had a historically bad offensive line blocking for him and was sacked 58 times (10 more than any other QB). That certainly had an impact. Lazor will help him with an up-tempo offense, and Tannehill should be improved this season.”
Tannehill has all the tools to be successful in 2014 and there are no more excuses. It’s time for him to take his game to the next level and prove to everyone that he can be a franchise quarterback in the NFL.