The Miami Dolphins are a very proud franchise that has won 2 Super Bowls back to back in 1973-74 (VII and VIII), and have appeared in 5 throughout their history (losing in Super Bowls VI, XVII and XIX). They had the highest winning percentage in the 1970’s in all of professional sports.
They have also have had two Hall of Fame QB in Bob Griese (QB from 1967-80) and Dan Marino (QB from 1983 – 1999). Both took teams to Super Bowls, Griese quarterbacking the two victories and completed amazing careers playing just for the Dolphins.
There is also one thing they have also had that is not as promising, a revolving door since 2000 at the quarterback position. The Dolphins have had 16 different quarterbacks start at least two games since Marino retired after the 1999 season. The Dolphins also have not taken a QB in the first round since Dan Marino was taken with the last pick in the QB heavy draft of 1983, which is why the selection of Texas A&M quarterback is most likely the most important draft pick in almost 30 years for the team.
The 6’4”, 220 pound quarterback is being seen as the future and hope to bring the Dolphins back to respectability and more importantly the playoffs. Being one who felt the selection was a reach in the first round let alone the 8th overall pick, why would the Dolphins feel he is the one to replace Marino, instead of another in a long line of let downs.
Tannehill started out at A&M competing and losing the quarterback battle with Jerrod Johnson after red shirting in 2009. He stayed as a WR through that season and the half way through the 2010 season until Johnson continued to be ineffective. He finished out the season starting the last seven games going 6-1 and cemented his role as starting QB for his junior year. The problem is the team only went 7-6 and 4-5 in the Big 12, and while Tannehill did have a good season throwing for over 3,700 yards with 29 touchdowns in the air, 4 on the ground, how can you mortgage the future on this player’s shoulder.
The Dolphins have put themselves in a play now mentality at this position. What choices do they have? They either sit Tannehill and play either one of the two veterans on the roster in last year end of the season starter Matt Moore, a cast off from the Carolina Panthers, who only played when Chad Henne was put on injured reserve. The other is someone who did even play last year and was cut just before the season by Jacksonville in David Garrard. Does either of them instill confidence?
The Dolphins would like to let Tannehill sit and learn this first year, but if the either Moore or Garrard have issues and the team starts off 0 for 3 or 4, the fans will push for the rookie. What will the team do then either succumb to the pressure or insert him into the lineup, or they do the smart thing and let him have a year to get up to speed. They can’t fall for the pressure and think he is like Marino and can handle the pressure.
They should let him watch and learn from two veterans, but the way the Dolphins are talking he will most likely be starting from game 1. GM Jeff Ireland had better find some players he can throw to, and I am not talking about reported signed Patriots cast off Chad Johnson.
If Tannehill starts, this will be another year in the basement and leaving the Dolphins scratching their heads where they will be looking for the next future QB and Tannehill will be another player going on and off the carousel.