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Well, Mr. Tannehill, here it is. Your first NFL start. No pressure, it's on the road, against a presumable Super Bowl contender with one of the toughest pass rushes in the NFL. It's going to be tough, but if there's any consolation, it is in your home state, about 450 miles east of your hometown of Big Spring, Texas. Hopefully you will have plenty of family and friends on hand.
It's also the same building where you played the final game of your college football career.
Texas A&M won the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas 33-22 over Northwestern. Ryan Tannehill was named MVP after going 27-of-40 for 329 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Now a performance like that in Week 1 will get Dolphins fans excited to be sure, but it would be tough to ask for that type of performance from the rookie. Tannehill has to be efficient, but it will be tough.
More important for Tannehill than his performance in the game itself is how he handles it afterwards. If he has a good game, the hope is that he doesn't get too high off of it and gets ready for Oakland at home in Week 2. If he delivers a bad performance, the hope is that he's able to move past it and focus on the Raiders the next week.
He has shown improvement every week of the preseason, and has shown the ability to handle the pressure.
Houston's head coach Gary Kubiak has coached two Hall of Fame quarterbacks in his career (Steve Young while he was QB coach with the 49ers, and John Elway while he was the Broncos' offensive coordinator. Kubiak had this to say about Tannehill via the Miami Herald: “I think he’s going to be a great player, I’ve been very impressed. There’s no doubt in my mind you’re talking about a franchise player.”
High praise, but it also shows that the Texans will not be taking it easy on the rookie.
How Tannehill plays, and how he handles the pressure, will be on display not just on Sunday, but all season long.
Sunday is just our first glance at it.
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