A common complaint by many media pundits over the past couple of years has been the fact that quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been consistently inconsistent. One game he would put up amazing numbers and look like a superstar quarterback, and then the next game he would put up a mediocre performance and the "start Matt Moore" fans would make themselves heard and implore the organization to draft the next "star" quarterback coming out of college.
Finally, in his third year as an NFL starter, Ryan Tannehill appears to have turned the corner and is putting up solid performances even in less than stellar conditions.
"I feel like I’m improving and just want to keep improving." said Tannehill. "There’s still a lot of room for growth. I just want to take those strides as we hit the last five games of the year.”
Last year, the Dolphins offense struggled mightily to make plays, and in their last two games they failed to score more than seven points total, which completely knocked them out of the playoffs and allowed the San Diego Chargers to make an incredibly unlikely playoff berth.
In those games, Tannehill struggled to handle the pressure coming his way and couldn't do much of anything. Now however, his pocket presence has improved immensely in offensive coordinator Bill Lazor's offense, and it's been showing as he's handled pressure far better as he's adapted to the offense.
"That’s only natural. If that’s not happening, then you’re not getting better." said Tannehill. "The less you think out there and the more you’re reacting and trusting what you feel and what you see, then you’re going to be making plays.”
It's not all on Tannehill though. The offensive line has done a much better job protecting him as opposed to last season, and the running game has been much improved as well as the overall ability of the receivers. Tannehill is well aware of this and has given his teammates the credit they so richly deserve.
“I think the guys around me are playing well and that’s what makes it fun for me, I can just go out and play my game, get the ball to the guys around me and let them make plays.”
Tannehill has been putting together good games for quite a few weeks now, and everyone is trying to figure out exactly when it was that Tannehill turned the corner. But Tannehill says there wasn't really a specific time per say.
“I don’t think there is a moment. I think you learn as you go. Obviously, with the new offense, early on there were some growing pains, some learning curve to overcome. But I’ve finally settled in and gotten comfortable and started playing the game and not thinking about trying to make everything perfect. It’s working out for me.”
It certainly is working for him, as his numbers over the past few weeks has made him stastically a top fifteen quarterback in the league. If Tannehill's growth continues at this pace, and he continues getting the help that every QB requires, there will be very few who could even consider doubting Tannehill's ability to finally become the franchise QB the Dolphins have been looking for for fifteen years.
"I don’t know exactly how my numbers look. I feel more and more comfortable the more games we play. The guys around me are making plays right now. The Dolphins line is protecting me. The run game is going pretty well. So when the guys around you are making plays and you can just get them the ball in space, it makes it a lot more fun to be a quarterback.”