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The Miami Dolphins did not have to start Ryan Tannehill in 2012. They had a capable quarterback in Matt Moore and could have given the rookie signal-caller time to develop.
Tannehill proved to be capable of leading the Dolphins and outplayed the veteran Moore.
Tannehill had a decent 2012 campaign, passing for 3,276 yards and 12 touchdowns in 15 games, not including a game against the New York Jets in which he was injured immediately. Like Andrew Luck and Brandon Weeden, Tannehill did most of his work in the pocket, gaining valuable experience.
While Weeden had no choice, Tannehill and Luck have the physical ability but chose not to feature the running facet of their game. Tannehill, who has 4.59 speed, per Pro Football Weekly, ran for only 211 yards on 49 carries during his rookie campaign. In contrast, Russell Wilson ran the ball 94 times while Robert Griffin III ran the ball 120 times.
Last year, the Dolphins did not provide Tannehill with too many receiving weapons, as his top options were Brian Hartline, Davone Bess and Anthony Fasano.
Miami also had issues with their offensive line, as Jake Long's play was subpar before missing the final four games of the season and Jonathan Martin was a rookie.
Mostly due to the offensive tackles, Tannehill was sacked 35 times, which tied him for eighth in the league. Of the five featured quarterbacks, only Luck (41) was sacked more. While Tannehill may have held the ball too long on occasion, no one can deny that Long and Martin had rocky seasons.
Despite everything, Tannehill showed poise and promise, leading what was expected to be the worst team in the NFL to seven victories. With the additions of Mike Wallace, Dustin Keller and Tyson Clabo, among others, Tannehill will shine in 2013.