Each year, the local media that covers the Miami Dolphins selects various award winners. This year, the Dan Marino Most Valuable Award Winner went to quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who has had a break-out season and is well on his way to establishing himself as the quarterback of this franchise for years to come.
Tannehill has thrown for 3,786 yards with 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He has a 67 percent completion percentage and his quarterback rating is 93.2 percent. With those numbers, the choice was obvious.
“It’s huge. It’s huge for me and the guys around me I think because in order for a quarterback to play well the guys around him have to be playing well also. I think it’s a huge honor. I love that I got it, but at the same time, you have to give a lot of credit to the guys around him,” Tannehill said. “Coaching plays a huge part of it, getting me ready to play each week, putting in a good plan to get not only me put the rest of the guys in a position to make plays. I think they’ve done that all year. The guys around me really stepped up and made plays for me. I think that’s where you see the increase in production.”
Joe Philbin would agree with Tannehill that it has been a collective effort with everyone to get Tannehill to take the next step in his third year in the NFL.
“Well, Bill is the offensive coordinator. Obviously, it’s a collectively effort. I think Bill would be the first one to tell you it’s not just him. (Quarterbacks Coach) Zac Taylor and (Assistant Quarterbacks Coach) Ben Johnson work with Ryan closely every single day. The offensive staff puts together the plan. Everybody contributes. Certainly, Bill has done a good job. It’s all really team-related.”
Ever since Marino retired, every quarterback that has started for the Dolphins has been compared to him and Tannehill is no different. Unlike others though, Tannehill isn’t feeling the pressure.
“It doesn’t affect me one way or the other. I respect Dan and what he did in his career. He had an amazing career. He accomplished so much. It’s great to have him around now. But comparisons, I don’t compare myself. That’s something that people do in general. It doesn’t affect me one way or the other.”
Tannehill said that Marino still pops in and out of meetings throughout the course of the week and he welcomes his presence. Like Marino, Tannehill is built tough and has endured some rocky seasons already behind a shaky offensive line.
“Toughness is something you have to have at quarterback, being able to take a hit, being able to get up mentally and physically. Quarterback is a strenuous position. You have to be able to handle it and get up. I don’t know the definition, but being able to get up, play the next play and be productive.”
Philbin, who said that the award for Tannehill is well-deserved, agrees that his toughness has been outstanding, hasn't missed a single practice and has been available for every game that he's been part of the Dolphins.
“There’s two dimensions really. There’s the physical and the mental part of it. I think they are kind of intertwined a little bit. I think (Ryan Tannehill) has displayed in both of those categories. He’s really done a nice job.”
It’s common in the NFL to gain respect after being beat up so much and being able to still get up and play the next play. That’s why Tannehill hopes that he has gained the respect of his teammates through that way.
“I don’t know. I hope so. I don’t ask them. That’s just part of who I am as a player and a competitor. I want to be in there. I want to compete. Those guys are out there fighting, and I’m going to fight too,” he said. “You never know what happens when you get back together. I want to take advantage of this time we get to share the field together and go out and win.”
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter; @PhinManiacs