Is Ryan Tannehill Showing Reasonable Progress in Miami Dolphins Training Camp?
Since that week has encompassed all of training camp, the main question asked is of Tannehill's progress and if he has shown reasonable progress.
The answer to that is no.
The reason for this answer is because Tannehill has gone above and beyond what has been expected of him.
Despite being drafted at No. 8, many draft scouts had Tannehill graded as a second-round quarterback.
His time in college (where he played his first two years as a wide receiver), only adds to the opinion held by many that Tannehill is more of a long-term project than a stud quarterback ready to win now.
The Dolphins organization themselves even seem to think this way (based on the fact that Garrard has taken the majority of the first-team snaps), even though they haven't come out and said so publicly.
Yet during training camp, Tannehill has shown signs of being Miami's franchise quarterback—with the Dolphins scrimmage on Saturday being his coming-out party.
On Saturday, Ryan Tannehill was the best quarterback on the field for the Dolphins. It wasn't even a close competition.
How would you grade Tannehill's performance in Dolphins training camp thus far?
While David Garrard—the presumptive opening-day starter—went a pedestrian 9-of-17 for 57 yards and a touchdown, Tannehill shined, going 10-of-13 for 114 yards and a touchdown.
Tight end Anthony Fasano praised the quarterback for his touchdown pass during the scrimmage, which went to Fasano on a 26-yard play-action pass that had just gotten past linebacker Gary Guyton and had also included Tannehill rolling out to the right:
"It was really impressive. It was a great touch pass on the run. I've said it all along and I think everyone has said it. He doesn't really play like a rookie quarterback. It's a great sign to see and he's only going to get better."
Look at those numbers again and remember that this was a wide receiver in college football until two years ago who had just signed with Miami last week. Impressive doesn't even begin to describe his play.
In case you're wondering, he also did better than Matt Moore, who was a semi-disastrous 10-of-20 for 65 yards and a touchdown while making some curious plays (including a fourth-down play where he spiked the ball).
Does this mean Tannehill is ready to start? Before the scrimmage, I was leaning towards no, even though he impressed many in training camp leading up to it.
But after the scrimmage? I might be more inclined to endorse him.
I won't step on that ledge yet, but I will say this: Ryan Tannehill is so far surpassing my expectations and is progressing at a greater than reasonable rate.
It will certainly be fun to watch how he progresses throughout the rest of training camp (thanks to Hard Knocks, we'll get a first-hand look at his progress) as well as the 2012 NFL season.
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