We at Dolphins Truth try to remain positive. We try not to rain on everyone’s parade. We’re happy with great plays and even more happy with victories. But sometimes, even positive outcomes need to be scrutinized.
Last year, for example, while everyone was celebrating how great Miami was because we had just defeated the mighty Steelers, we at Dolphins Truth were the only ones who seemed to point out (rightfully) that Pittsburgh wasn’t even a playoff team. They were average, barely 8-8. PLUS, we only won that game because Antonio Brown stepped out of the bounds (on his own and untouched). We should have lost that game. It was among the luckiest wins in Dolphin history, yet the media and non-DolphinsTruth-readers were acting like we just dominated a Super Bowl.
Let’s get right into the first play of the first drive of the first pre-season game Friday night at Atlanta. Everyone is saying how great Tannehill looked on a 6-for-6 opening drive that led to a touchdown, and we will not take those kudos way from him.
HOWEVER, the first play on the drive demonstrates just how far Tannehill has to go. Let’s take a look.
It was first down, and Miami started from the shotgun and Tannehill got set. See the screen shot below.
Tannehill’s head INSTANTLY gave away where he was going to throw it. That needs to be corrected immediately. See the TWO Falcons right behind Miller? They read Tannehill’s eyes just as easily as I did, and they are already moving toward MIller before Tannehill is set.
Now for the pass itself.
As the ball is in mid-air, the same two Falcons (who already figured out who the target was) are already pursuing said target. The lack of any head fake by Tannehill gave away this play, and at best the Dolphins can expect a 5-yard gain. You see this coming a mile away. Surely Tannehill saw it too.
But what I see (and Tannehill doesn’t) are the 2 other Dolphins who have huge plays ahead of them. Look at the 25-yard line. Sims is WIDE open, with a defender 10 yards away. An easy pass to him for a big gain.
But even better, look at the 37-yard line. Brandon Gibson is wide open with no one to the left. It’s not only an easy completion, but it results in an easy touchdown.
Not on purpose, of course, but Ryan Tannehill chose a 5-yard dump pass rather than an easy touchdown. THAT needs to be corrected immediately.
Still not convinced?
Here’s a final shot just as Miller catches the pass. Gibson is even more open. Sims is screaming for the ball still. There’s not a single Falcon anywhere near Tannehill. He had soooooooo much time to look for the wide open guys, but instead he did went back to the Mike Sherman in him, and threw it for the shortest possible gain to the only man in double coverage. NOTHING about that makes sense.
This is just one play out of an otherwise excellent drive, and it’s nothing to panic about. Tannehill needs to get used to the fact that he has a decent o-line now. He simply is unaccustomed to having time. Once he gets used to it, he’ll be able to spot the same things we did.