The knock on Miami Dolphins rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill entering training camp was that his lack of college experience would cause him to struggle with the speed of the NFL game and give him difficulty in learning how to read pro defenses.
Five games into Tannehill's career as the Dolphins' starter, his ability to read defenses and make the right line checks and audibles has been his strength, and it's the engine that keeps Miami's offense going.
Tailback Reggie Bush estimates there are at least 25 plays per game that Tannehill is changing the play at the line of scrimmage, putting the Dolphins in a more ideal situation.
"He's getting better every single week, and you can see it just in the way he puts us in the right spots, checking the plays and putting us on the right people to block," left tackle Jake Long said. "When stuff breaks down, he's able to make plays, and the opponents we've faced in these first five games have been great defenses and really tough. He's handled it well and has been playing well in crunch time."
Tannehill's passer rating has slowly improved from the first game at Houston (39.0) to 70.4 overall after he put together a career-best 92.3 rating Sunday in the Miami's 17-13 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Tannehill, whom the Dolphins selected eighth overall in the 2012 draft, is 2-0 in games in which he did not throw an interception. He's thrown 19 passes of 20 or more yards. Only five quarterbacks have thrown more this season. Only 10 quarterbacks have thrown for more yards this season than the former Texas A&M standout, who has 1,269 passing yards after five games. Tannehill's yards per attempt (7.5) is the 13th highest in the NFL heading into Week 6.
"Very seldom does he make the same mistake twice," said offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, who coached Tannehill at Texas A&M. "You tell him you need to do this, he does it, so I think that his maturation throughout the course of the NFL season going into Week 6 is very evident. He's taken steps every single week, and he'll continue to do that throughout the course of the season and throughout the course of his career."