Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 9/11/12
DAVIE, Fla. Not that Ryan Tannehill is hanging his head too much. But this might offer a bit of reassurance. In his first NFL game, Tannehill had some similar stats to what Peyton Manning put up in his debut 14 years ago. And we all know Peytons place in history. Tannehill completed 20 of 36 passes and had three interceptions in Sundays 30-10 Miami loss at Houston. On Sept. 6, 1998, Manning completed 21 of 37 passes and had three interceptions in Indianapolis 24-15 home loss to the Dolphins. Hopefully, well get the same guy after this game, Miami center Mike Pouncey said after being informed of the similarity. (Manning) had one heck of a career, and I hope Tannehill has the same one. Tannehill hardly can be judged on his first game, and perhaps not even on his first several outings. Manning in 1998 threw 11 interceptions in his first four games, and the Colts lost them all. Like the Colts of 1998, who finished 3-13, the Dolphins are a crummy team that is rebuilding. Thats why it was a no-brainer to make Tannehill the first Miami rookie quarterback to start an opener. Legendary Dolphins signal caller Dan Marino supports starting Tannehill, but he said the risk is he loses some confidence with a bad start. But Marino doesnt think that would be such a big deal, saying the Dolphins always could go back to a veteran (Matt Moore is the backup) before returning to Tannehill. But if theres any sign Tannehill lost some confidence during his tough opener, its not apparent. Not right now, Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said Monday. I spoke to him on the plane (going home Sunday night from Houston). I walked into the back, and we chatted for a while . Visited with him and said, Look, now you know where youre at. The big thing is weve got to make a dramatic improvement between Week 1 and Week 2. Week 2s foe is Oakland on Sunday at Sun Life Stadium. And theres no question what the main focus will be in practice during the week. Tannehill had six balls batted at the line of scrimmage by the Texans, two of which were intercepted. While Philbin stressed its a team effort to eliminate that problem, part of it is working with Tannehill so he better finds his passing lanes. Tannehill, taken with the eighth pick in last April's draft, threw for 219 yards and didnt lead the Dolphins to an offensive touchdown. But there were still some positives. Tannehill started 5 of 6 for 36 yards in giving the Miami a 3-0 lead. But soon disaster struck. In the final half of the second quarter, Tannehill threw all three of his interceptions and the Dolphins lost a fumble, leading to a 24-3 halftime deficit. He was calm, wide receiver Davone Bess said of Tannehills demeanor during the stretch. He was the same person. It was an unfortunate situation, and we just got to rally with him and help him through them times, man. After the game, Tannehill sure didnt sound like a guy whod lost any of his bravado. I felt like we hurt ourselves more than they really just stopped us," Tannehill said. "That's a good defense. So being able to move the ball on a good defense like that gives us some confidence. Obviously, we have to fix a lot of things and eliminate those turnovers. But I think it gives us a look at what we could be if we played to our full potential." Tannehill no doubt will get better even if the Dolphins havent made it easy on him. Its been well chronicled what a poor job Miami did during the offseason restocking its receiving corps after trading Brandon Marshall to Chicago. It looked even uglier when no wide receiver other Bess, the teams only upper-echelon wideout, grabbed even a single pass until the fourth quarter. Philbin said he would like to see better distribution against the Raiders. I think the next game will be huge for him, offensive coordinator Mike Sherman said about Tannehill. I think from the first game to the second game, for any team, its huge, especially for a young quarterback . Hell be much better next week. Maybe not. Even Manning also had a disastrous outing in his second NFL game, going 21 of 33 with three interceptions in a 29-6 loss at New England. Make no mistake. This is a long-term situation the woebegone Dolphins are looking at with Tannehill. Chris Tomasson can be reached at christomasson@hotmail.com or on Twitter @christomasson
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