3 Areas in Which Ryan Tannehill Is Already Playing Like a NFL Veteran
He is a promising player with a bright future. Tannehill is taking an offense without an identity and molding it around his skill set.
At times the results are frustratingly slow, as the Dolphins ranks just 21st in passing yards, but there are great signs moving forward.
Let's look at three areas in which Tannehill is already playing like an NFL veteran.
3. Adapting Well to the Blitz
Rookie QBs have a tendency to get jittery in the face of an NFL blitz package. Guys like Ryan Leaf and Joey Harrington were famous for their "happy feet" in the pocket and inability to step up and deliver good passes in the face of a defender.
Tannehill is not one of those players.
He has shown time and time again that he will confidently look for open receivers even with someone like Dwight Freeney breathing down his neck.
2. Tempering His Rushing Ability
Coming out of Texas A&M all the talk was of how Tannehill is a dual-threat QB. A player with the ability break a game open with his arm or his legs. Not on the level of a guy like RGIII, but Tannehill is clearly mobile.
After all, he rushed for 1965 yards and 15 TDs with the Aggies.
However, his rushing prowess has been largely non-existent with the Dolphins. Not because Tannehill forgot how to move, but because he has tempered that ability and learned that he must be able to succeed from inside the pocket.
Tannehill has just 23 rushing yards this season and one score on the ground. He has allowed the running game to be handled by Reggie Bush, Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller.
When the situation calls for it he is not afraid to move the pocket laterally or occasionally head up field, but for the most part Tannehill has looked for receivers before bailing out and taking off with his feet.
1. Finding Multiple Receivers
The Miami Dolphins do not have the greatest set of receiving options to support a rookie quarterback.
However, Tannehill has made the most of Miami's situation and found ways to get many guys involved in the offense rather than relying on one WR every time he takes the field.
Sure, Brian Hartline is the clear No. 1 WR, with 49 catches for 741 yards, but 12 different Dolphins have caught passes this season.
Five of those players have double-digit receptions and six area averaging at least 10 yards per reception.
Tannehill knows that he needs to develop chemistry with more than just one or two guys in order to sustain success at this level.