The Miami Dolphins are 3-2 in the five games of the 2018 season and Ryan Tannehill’s future is in question with the Dolphins.
This is more than the usual Dolphins Twitter rants on Monday through Friday, because every Saturday brings hope on Instagram with the Dolphins travel itinerary in plain-view and Sunday brings enjoyment for a few big plays and maybe a victory formation or last second defensive stop.
The blood is in the water and the Miami media is the predator that lurks in the water with the rumor mill swirling of Tannehill’s future.
However, Ryan Tannehill is no longer labeled as the franchise quarterback, but the quarterback who keeps the Dolphins from winning again.
If the slogan is Make the Dolphins Great Again, some fans wonder when Ryan Tannehill will be Great Again.
Tannehill needs to bounce back in order to show that he himself is more than a starter on the Dolphins, but a viable option in free agency, which is at this point nearly inevitable.
With his cap number nearing 26 million next season, you can bet the Dolphins will hit the reset button and cut their losses for the QB who couldn’t get the team winning consistently.
Tannehill needs to get his swagger back from 2016 and make plays with his arm and his head-for most Tannehill critics, less is more as in yards and trying to do too much.
For Tannehill, think of him as a catalyst to winning football games, not the direct reason.
Celebrate those handoffs, the pitches, the runs with the ball secured to his body as he fights for yards and then slides.
For Tannehill, teams have to love his versatility and athleticism.
Tannehill needs to show the rest of the NFL he can play at a high level and he has 11 games to do so.
The Miami Dolphins, who have proven they cannot play meaningful football without Tannehill if 2017 is evidence, the Dolphins have shown they certainly don’t know how to win with him on the road.
For every somber with his head down press conference by Adam Gase when the Tannehill question comes up, it’s becoming even more clear, Adam Gase is struggling to find answers when Tannehill has just given the Bengals-Who are a good team, but not great-two turnovers leading to points and the difference in the game.
We’ve seen Tannehill struggle, but not nearly this badly since his rookie year-by struggle I mean he isn’t taking over a game and seemingly doing what a franchise QB ought to do, use that arm of his to lead the team to wins and big wins.
In each and every game, Tannehill has executed in stretches this season and I would liken his consistency to that of a baseball player who hits for several games and is labeled streaky.
With these winning streaks come some peaks and valleys, but only Tannehill can pull himself out of this rut.
What’s more, this truly isn’t about this 2018 season and coming back from injury, it’s about his future.
Think of 2018 as an audition for the NFL teams that need QBs next year.
To recap Tannehill’s tenure in Miami:
Tannehill was in the right place at the right time in college, he chose Texas A&M and Mike Sherman.
Consequently, Mike Sherman was hired to run the offense for the Dolphins after being fired by Texas A&M for the dynamic offense of Kevin Sumlin.
Joe Philbin and Jeff Ireland then drafted Tannehill where his attendance at camp was that he was not their until language in his contract was fixed, but he came in on his own volition-football meant something to him.
Tannehill was named the starter after David Garrard slipped and fell hurting his knee in and around his swimming pool.
Some pundits claim he didn’t earn his spot, but was rewarded the starting job instead of Matt Moore, the fan favorite at the time.
The rest is history, no matter how memorable or forgettable his career has been, Tannehill has shared the good and the bad as well as the plain ol’ ugly on Sundays and some Mondays with us as fans.
We know by now that Tannehill is a smart QB. He knows exactly where he needs to improve. We know how unflappable he can be, but sometimes, he has shown to seem nonchalant about some of his blunders on the field such as the pass off of Durham Smyth’s helmet into the waiting hands of Michael Johnson being no different than his 30 yard scamper through the Saints defense only to fumble while sliding and on Monday Night football in 2013. Both plays proved pivotal in the outcome of both games-a chance to stay ahead of the Patriots.
However, his leadership is in question and losses on the road, seemingly winnable, mount and they persist.
Falling on his proverbial sword and having the wherewithal to either not take a sack or just chuck it away is unacceptable.
Saying essentially that the poor pass and awareness falls on him when it truly does speaks volumes, it shows weakness if all he has is, just himself trying to win at a game that has seemingly determined his fate and his football career.
Saying a few “my bads” it won’t work in the long run.
As the season persists, ask yourself as a fan, what is acceptable to you as a Dolphins fan?
Do you want to win and just get into the playoffs or feel the confetti of winning a Super Bowl and see it with your own eyes?
Such is the journey of the avid Dolphins fan, we’re either in pain or elated.
(Photo credit: Las Vegas Review Journal)