Miami Dolphins: Tannehill Needs More Production from His Tight Ends

Connor McKnightSenior Analyst IOctober 11, 2012

CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 07:  Tight end Anthony Fasano #80 of the Miami Dolphins fumbles the ball as he is hit by cornerbacks Leon Hall #29 and Adam Jones #24 of the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on October 7, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Ryan Tannehill has slowly gotten accustomed to the NFL. With each week he seems more poised and comfortable in the pocket, and has found his receivers (particularly Brian Hartline and Davone Bess) with much more consistency.  

However, there is still one more facet of the offense that must improve if Miami wants to contend this season. The tight ends must perform at a higher level.

Currently, Tannehill has not found any sort of rhythm with his tight ends. With a rookie quarterback under center, the tight end position should be exploited for quick gains and first-down yardage. Considering that tight ends are typically covered by linebackers who are less adept at pass coverage, quarterbacks generally feel more confident throwing to them as opposed to wideouts. 

However, Anthony Fasano and Charles Clay have not been reliable options for Tannehill. Fasano has been the more effective of the two, amassing 18 catches for 143 yards and a touchdown, while Clay has just four catches for 37 yards.

Both tight ends must find new ways to get open in order to minimize risk in Tannehill's game and serve as easy completions. If Tannehill can trust these two weapons on 3rd-and-long for a simple 10-yard gain, the Dolphins will be able to prolong their drives more effectively. 

Also, considering the strength of the Dolphins' running game, the play-action would be much more effective with the tight ends in motion and running short routes.

But again, it is all up to Fasano and Clay to make those opportunities happen.