Ryan Tannehill has been scrutinized in a big way throughout training camp by Miami Dolphins fans calling for a much-needed step forward in 2014. And while reports coming from practice haven’t been encouraging, Tannehill showed that he might just be ready to take that step with his big game on Friday night against the Atlanta Falcons.
The third-year quarterback is expected to come into the season with weight on his shoulders, but he didn’t appear to be carrying anything but confidence with him against the Falcons, impressing more than many expected.
His opening (and only) drive went swimmingly, going 6/6 with 62 yards including a touchdown strike to Brandon Gibson. With his urgency, accuracy, and arm-strength, Tannehill was able to show off in the Georgia Dome and quiet the critics for at-least one more week.
Here’s a transcript of what Tannehill was able to do on that first drive:
Pass complete to Miller for 6 yards
Pass complete to Matthews for 4 yards
Pass complete to Gibson for 8 yards
Pass complete to Miller for 2 yards
Pass complete to Matthews for 36 yards
Touchdown pass to Gibson for 6 yards
The Dolphins QB didn’t miss a beat on his first 2014 drive, and while it’s a small sample size, he certainly did enough to restore the faith in Miami for now.
The offensive line play will have to get more consistent, the receiving play must step up in a big way, and Bill Lazor’s new offensive scheme has to be comfortable, but if everything can come into place, the critics might stay silent for a lot longer than just one week.
It’s no secret that Tannehill has the talent to play in the league at a high level, it’s just a matter of consistency. Mistakes have to be minimized, no matter what’s going on around him. It’s hard to make concrete predictions in an exhibition game, but it certainly appeared on Friday that Tannehill looked ready to take matters into his own hands moving forward.
The Dolphins have the faith – it’s up to their leader under center to take them as far as they want to go.