That is the question that has had Miami Dolphins fans pondering for 7 years. Well, there’s no need to ponder anymore. Because, I am going to step by step show you exactly who he is. You may like it. You may be indifferent to my answers. You may totally hate it but you are not going to convince me otherwise because the Tannehill debate has been picked apart, spun around and spat back out again so many times that I wanted to once and for all, figure out exactly who Ryan Tannehill is and we are going to figure it out together.
First thing I did was look through all the starting QB’s for the Miami Dolphins throughout history. To be clear, I went season by season and looked at all the QB’s who had majority starts for that year. Tannehill is the 14th starting QB for the Miami Dolphins. Jay Cutler was 15th and I have a feeling Brock Osweiler will be the 16th because I doubt Tannehill is going to play again this year.
I, then looked at some of the more popular stats. I started with his touchdowns. He ties Gus Frerotte with 114 TDs. I, then looked at his interceptions. There is no exact match, but the closest comparison is Jay Fiedler’s 66 career interceptions and Tannehill has 71. I, then, looked at passing yards. Tannehill is right in the middle between Chad Pennington and Frerotte.
Chad Pennington: 17, 823
Ryan Tannehill: 19, 427
Gus Frerotte: 21, 291
It’s also worth noting that Pennington played in 89 games. Tannehill currently sits at 82 career games while Frerotte played in 147. Next, comes the passer ratings. Tannehill sits with an 86.8 passer rating. The closest comparison to that is Dan Marino as he has an 86.4 passer rating.
Another stat that I felt was relevant to the Tannehill situation was rushing yards. Tannehill has 1,156 career rushing yards. That’s currently in second place for Dolphins starting QB’s. Jay Cutler is the first with more than 500 yards to his name. Bob Griese comes in third at 994 career rushing yards. David Woodley who only played in a career 58 games had 856 rushing yards as opposed to Fiedler who had 854 rushing yards in 76 games.
One thing I look for in QB’s is how well they push the ball down the field. We all know Tannehill can run the ball but how well does he actually throw it? The best stat that I can determine that tells me this is yards per play stat. Tannehill has an even 7.0 career average. No other Dolphins QB has that but here are the closest comparisons:
Jay Fiedler: 6.9
Gus Frerotte: 6.9
Ryan Tannehill: 7.0
Jay Cutler: 7.1
*Matt Moore also has a 7.1 career average.
Obviously, Moore and Woodley are the outliers of these stats, but I think it helps prove my point. Tannehill compares more favorably to journeyman QB’s, one-year rentals and backup QB’s more than he does to the more famous QB’s in Dolphins history like Bob Griese and Dan Marino.
“He does things that I have never seen anybody else do.” That may be true for Dolphins HC Adam Gase but for Miami Dolphin fans, Tannehill is the same QB we have had to put up with for the last 20 years.
“He hasn’t reached his ceiling yet.” Yes, he has. He is hurt all the time. What you see, is what you get at this point. He’s starting QB who wouldn’t cut it on most NFL rosters but because this is the Miami Dolphins who hire inexperienced people to run their football program, they think they know a franchise QB when they see one when all I see is a QB who can run the ball well but has had a knee injury that has derailed Tannehill’s career for 2 seasons(2016,2017) and who is falling a part at the seams because it’s 2018 and he is still not playing because he now has an injury to his throwing shoulder.
Let’s look at this another way. Let’s look at this from a business perspective. Your starting QB’s best asset is his running ability. If he manages to come back next year and the doctors say he is healthy and everything, are you really going to want to put your starting QB at risk by incorporating more read option plays for Tannehill, knowing full well what his injury history is?
Look, we all love Ryan Tannehill the dude. He has given everything including his body to this organization. But, it absolutely 100% makes no sense for him to be in a Dolphins jersey next season and shame on this organization for not planning ahead for the QB position given what they have already known about Tannehill’s injuries.
I’m not a fan of Brock Osweiler by any stretch of the imagination but win or lose, I’d rather see him play. I know what I have in Tannehill. Now, I want to figure out what I have in Osweiler. I wish Tannehill well and speedy recovery during the rest of his career, but I honestly don’t know what more needs to be seen from Tannehill.