Like almost every Miami Dolphins fan out there, I am waiting for the next great quarterback to emerge. Since Dan Marino retired at the end of the 1999 season, the players that have come in to replace him have either underperformed or simply not cut it.
Now, with the drafting of Ryan Tannehill with the number eight overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, I am wondering if he could finally be the solution Dolfans like me have been waiting for. While all indications point to him learning from the sidelines for at least this season, I wonder if the Miami Dolphins are going to be pressured into starting him before they want to.
Garrard Takes the Lead
Heading into training camp it seems that David Garrard is the man who has the lead in the Dolphins quarterback competition. This is ahead of both Tannehill and last year's starter, Matt Moore. According to NBC Sports, Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting just how well the veteran quarterback is doing in what is his first year with the Fins. However, there's plenty of time for things to change between now and the start of the 2012 season, and even if Garrard does land the leading role, I don't think it will last.
Heavily Invested in Tannehill
The Miami Dolphins have a lot invested in Ryan Tannehill, and this is something that I'm sure all Dolphins fans realize. He is the first quarterback to be drafted in the first round by the Miami Dolphins since they used their first-round pick back in 1983 to get Dan Marino. So, unless David Garrard or Matt Moore is winning nearly every game at the helm then the fans are going to be clamoring to see Tannehill.
Pressure Might Mount Quickly
When looking at the Miami Dolphins' schedule, it's one that is not all that easy. There are a lot of quality teams on the schedule, and with the Dolphins residing in the AFC East and playing teams like the New England Patriots twice per season, the chance for them to lose a good number of games is probably pretty good. It's that kind of pressure that could mount in an awful hurry and have the fans, media and critics alike all calling for Tannehill. While the Dolphins' brass don't have to cave in to those calls and play Tannehill, they do have to consider their fans who do not historically like to back a losing entity.
As much as I want to see Ryan Tannehill come in and be the next big thing in Miami, I also want him to come in when he is ready. With NFL quarterbacks it is a delicate balance of grooming and playing that is often needed, but, unfortunately, for Tannehill, he is playing in a place where the fans have waited far too long for a marquee quarterback. So, like it or not, Ryan Tannehill may be almost forced to come in and play quarterback for the Fins in 2012, even if it is a bit premature.
Jimmy Collins has been a loyal "Dolfan" and fan of the NFL since he was six years old when he met Dan Marino and several other Miami Dolphins players. Still a resident of South Florida, he attends numerous Miami Dolphins games each season and enjoys writing about the NFL and the Miami Dolphins in particular.
More from this contributor: