Living in South Florida and attending several Miami Dolphins home games each season as a huge Dolfan, it seems to me that the team is in desperate need of filling a hole that was left when Dan Marino retired after the 1999 season. However, as most Dolphins fans know, the team has had limited success at the quarterback position since Marino, but hopes are once again high as the Dolphins drafted Ryan Tannehill eighth overall in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Now it seems there are two schools of thought on Tannehill, especially with the many Dolphins fans I know. Either fans want to see him start right away or they want him to be groomed properly and wait just a bit. I am in the camp that wants to see Tannehill wait for several reasons.
The new offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins is Mike Sherman, who was Tannehill's head coach in college at Texas A&M. Sherman is the man who recognized Tannehill's abilities at the quarterback position prompting him to switch Tannehill from wide receiver to quarterback. Just as I think Sherman knew when Tannehill was ready to take the reins at the quarterback position in college, I think he will be able to tell when he is ready at the NFL level.
Head coach Joe Philbin was the offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers for the past few seasons. This means he has worked intimately with Super Bowl winning quarterback Aaron Rodgers. I feel this is significant as Rodgers too was made to wait and learn. While Philbin wasn't the offensive coordinator when Rodgers was learning, he was the offensive coordinator for every season that he was a starter, which tells me he knows how to work with quarterbacks who have been groomed.
Pressure and First Impression
While there have certainly been stories where first year quarterbacks come in and make an immediate impact, I feel there have been many more that involve a first year quarterback coming in with disastrous results. This can be attributed to the amount of pressure that such a young player would feel. Having the weight of the team's success on your shoulders is always present for a quarterback, but when a quarterback is thrust into that position before they are ready, that's when the disaster can occur. Now add to that the fact that many Dolfans are waiting for the second coming of Dan Marino.
In this way, I think that the Dolphins only get one shot at allowing Ryan Tannehill to have a great first impression. Should his first impression be a bad one then he is likely to go down as a quarterback bust. But, should the Dolphins take their time and groom him for a season or two then he just might be the first quarterback for the Dolphins since Dan Marino to actually become beloved in Miami.
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.
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- Ryan Tannehill
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- Offensive Coordinator