Throughout July and August, all we heard was how Ryan Tannehill was taking command of the huddle and showing leadership on this team. He showed leadership the week leading up to the Oakland game when he indirectly told his coach he should publicly name him the starter. And there’s no doubt Tannehill is the quarterback of the immediate future for the Miami Dolphins – at least through 2016.
With that said, shouldn’t Tannehill be doing more to keep Mike Wallace in Miami? Obviously I’m not in Davie everyday so I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. What I do know is that if I was Tannehill, I wouldn’t let half of my touchdowns from 2014 go away easily. The draft will be deep with WRs so the Dolphins could draft one. WR Kevin White out of West Virginia is a guy the Dolphins could potentially pick up. At 6’3” 210 he’s got good size and had 109 catches for 1447 yards and 10 touchdowns. Those are great numbers but I think this team has bigger holes like defensive tackle or corner.
Well what about free agency? You can forget about Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas. They’re not going anywhere. Randall Cobb is 5’10” and not exactly a huge red zone target. The only top tier receiver left is Jeremy Maclin. Maclin is essentially the same player Wallace is, except slower. He had a great year coming off of an ACL injury but he wasn’t jumping over corners in the end zone.
Tannehill needs to step up. Last season, Tannehill drove the ball 75 yards and then hit Dion Sims for the game winning touchdown. After that game, Tannehill let everyone know that was his play call. He said, “I suggested that one. It was something I liked. Coach Sherman agreed. He thought it was a good idea.” That was another example of leadership. He felt confident in what he saw and he executed it.
The situation with Wallace presents Tannehill with another opportunity to be THE leader on this team. He could approach Philbin and Hickey and request for a chance to make it work with Wallace. He could approach Wallace and say, “Look Mike, I know we ended the season on a bad note. I think you’re a dynamic player and I want you on this football team. Let’s get together and figure out how we can make this work.”
Tannehill should take the example from Dan Marino. Marino is arguably the best Miami Dolphin of all time and he works in the building. He frequently sits in on position meetings with the quarterbacks. He can tell Tannehill how he used to get in teammates faces and as Mark Malone from ESPN stated at the time of Marino’s retirement, “challenge” the great Don Shula.
In order for the Dolphins to be successful, Tannehill needs to be surrounded with talent. In my opinion, getting rid of Wallace is counterproductive and it’s definitely not addition by subtraction. This situation is something the quarterback can and should handle. It is only in Tannehill’s best interest to do what he can to fix this and keep Wallace on the team. If other leaders like Branden Albert see it, then Tannehill should too.
This column was written by Carlos Hernandez. Follow him on Twitter: @LosDez