Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
It's almost like the forbidden label in the NFL. If a quarterback is labeled as a game manager, then he has been given a ceiling and he's not supposed to pass that ceiling. This season, some have been calling Tannehill a game manager but Joe Philbin doesn't put too much stock into it.
“When I hear ‘Game-Manager,’ (I think of a) good decision maker, a guy that plays situational football well, intelligent, smart. But I haven’t really thought about (using the term ‘Game-Manager or any term when applying) that relative to Ryan Tannehill. I haven’t spent any one second thinking about describing him in those terms," he said. "His completion percentage is up. I think it’s roughly around 65 percent. That’s the highest it’s been. We’re pleased about that. He has seven interceptions right now. I think his interception ratio is a little bit lower than it’s been at any point in his career. So those are positive things and he’s making good decisions. His decision making has been good. I see development, I see progress and certainly there is still more room for growth, but we like the trend that we see right now.”
Tannehill said that he isn't concerned with labels and doesn't think about it as a bad thing when he hears that term.
“I don’t know. I don’t really think about labels or anything. I think about wins. At the end of the day, you want to be a winner and that’s what it comes down to. It doesn’t really matter how you get it done, as long as you get it done and come out with a win.”
Bill Lazor said he doesn't know what that term means but to him, Tannehill is a player and that negative context shouldn't be bestowed upon someone as good as him.
"What we want Ryan to be is a winner and one of the things I love about Ryan is he is willing to do it however he has to do it. Hopefully, if you watch the games, you can tell he enjoys running. I probably want him to run less than he wants to run because I want to keep him healthy, but he’ll do it any way he has to do it. He’s willing to throw it deep, throw it short. I thought one of the things Ryan did great against Buffalo, we talked about it going into the game, was complete a whole bunch of passes at the beginning of the game. We know what kind of defensive front they have. We know they have a chance to sting you a bit early, get off on the count early, disrupt things and get you out of rhythm. So we felt like one of the important things for Ryan would be just throw completions. He threw those first eight completions. To me that took a little bit of an edge off of what was going to happen with their front, who we think is a fantastic front."
"To me, when you are talking about what kind of quarterback is Ryan, I thought that was one of the absolute keys to us being able to have success on offense in the game was the way he started the game. It was exactly the plan. He took it. He did it. If anything, one of the things we were probably disappointed about was we tried not to put it in a negative context, but let’s not have any negative plays in the first drive. We did have a sack, but we overcame it. What was it, third-and-24? It was third-and-too much, but we got it. He did a great job executing a hot when they had an unblocked blitzer come, so I thought it was great by how we started the game. To me, he was offensive. He wasn’t just handling things. He was carrying out the game plan. He got us started the way we wanted. Even though we didn’t score a lot of points in the first half of the game, I think we had great confidence as an offense that we were going to move the ball.”
This year, the Dolphins have asked Tannehill to do a few different things, such as taking off and running with the ball a lot more out of the read-option package. Philbin said that they are in a different scheme this year, although it's not dramatically different than it was in years past. One of the reasons for Tannehill's recent success is the fact that he's been more comfortable with the offense, according to Philbin.
Tannehill will face a big test on Sunday against the Denver Broncos defense but if there's anyone who can give them fits, it's him, especially because of his recent success.