Ryan Tannehill. The name of an up and coming quarterback for the Miami Dolphins who enters his fifth season.
While the 2016 season got off to a rocky start, the measurement of a complete season statistically was incomplete due to a late game knee- injury versus the Arizona Cardinals.
Dolphins fans, for the first time felt something pure and legitimate as Tannehill lay on the ground in pain clutching his knee and walking gingerly on the sideline, sitting down, and draping a towel over his teared up eyes.
Those were tears of anguish and a competitive fire that not many football players reveal on the sidelines.
As a fan, one could not help but feel something of despair as Matt Moore put on his helmet with the green dot on and had to get the offense going in a tight game.
However, now there was a real possibility that the Dolphins dream season could result in dashed playoff hopes.
Playoff talk began to disappear until the miraculous of all throws happened from Moore to Stills setting up the game-winning field goal. In fact, with Moore at the helm, he looked unflappable and prepared as the Dolphins earned three wins during that meaningful march to the playoffs, one against the Cardinals and the other against Buffalo.
Back to Tannehill, he did more than watch in between rehabbing his knee and coached up the team and the offense. Tannehill did something that he had never done in the NFL, watched from the sidelines learning from an even greater perspective.
Fast forward to the eve of camp in 2017.
Tannehill has clearly taken over the Dolphins with his strong voice, confidence, and presence.
When mentioned by his peers he’s viewed as a leader.
Tannehill is a football player. Not that he wasn’t before, but he earned every ounce of football credibility on that very field in December, injured but not deterred.
For all the criticism he earned from the media to Miko Grimes (publicly), Tannehill stands above all that.
With his head coach and team in his corner, he gets to take the field, knee brace and all as a smarter and wiser player.
A man on a mission.
A football player playing a football game he stands to win, up for the challenge in 2017.