Fights at Practice and fights at Dolphins Truth

Glad to see reports today of a tough practice, with more than one fight breaking out under first-day coach Dan Campbell.

I think toughness on the playing field is an asset, but not the only component of a successful team.  You also need smarts and discipline.  Sadly, the Dolphins lacked ALL of that under Joe Philbin, especially this season so far.

Now for the fights on our Dolphins Truth board, centering lately on Ryan Tannehill.


When I started this blog, I promised to not censor comments and to let you guys say what you want, and I will keep it that way.

Anyway, Tannehill denies talking about salary when calling out practice squad players, but he admits he made some jokes about a trophy case for practice squadders.

Or was it a trophy wife, which Ryan definitely has.

Smarter than Joe Philbin. (the rock on the right, that is)

Personally, I don’t care what he said.  If he wants to be a smug prick or a nice guy, it doesn’t faze me one way or another.  As long as he performs on the field.   But lately, he hasn’t been performing.  You could make an argument that he hasn’t performed well in 3+ years.

But I don’t think that’s accurate.

I am exactly 50-50 on Tannehill.   I won’t say he sucks and call for Matt Moore, but I also won’t say how awesome he is and we must keep him forever.

He was a 4,000-yard passer last year, with virtually no long balls.  That means he grinded out those 4,000 yards, and I don’t care how much you say he sucks, he does not.  4,000 yards is a huge accomplishment.  Some say he got cheap yards at the end of meaningless games that were already decided.  Which games?

There wasn’t a single game last year where he played poorly for 3 quarters and then turned it on in the 4th, when the opposing defense went prevent.  When he stunk, he stunk for a whole game at a time.   When he was hot, he was hot early and often.

His best showing in my book was the loss at Denver last year.  We had the chance to drive for the win, and T-hill hit Jarvis Landry on a perfect pass in the 4th quarter.  But Landry bobbled it for an interception.  It was an identical play that Landry caused an interception on this year in the Bills game.

Many of his interceptions clearly ARE his fault, and there is no denying that.  Also in that same Bills game this year, a safety started 17 yards away from Tannehill and ran right at him.  The quarterback MUST sense that coming, or at least look straight ahead for a second.  Tannehill did neither.

Plays like that force me to point out that his pocket presence is extremely weak.

He’s been nailed by some walloping blind-side hits, but he is also overly susceptible to straight on hits and hits from his right side too.  He just doesn’t see or sense or “feel” danger coming, even when right in front of him and telegraphed a mile away.  And even if he does see it coming,  he doesn’t get out of the way fast enough.  Or at all.

The accuracy on long passes is well documented and well deserved.  He clearly has issues.

His fade passes land 30 yard out of bounds.

He got Dion Sims concussed with one of the worst passes of all time.

He gets way way way too many balls batted down.

He is too hesitant to tuck the ball away and run for first downs.

He shows no intensity and looks confused, not angry, after his own bad plays.

Yet, despite all these faults–and I think I’m justified in pointing them all out– I see non-Tannehill reasons for some of those faults.  And I see potential.

Joe Philbin could impede the progress of a runaway train.

His schemes, his plans, his buddies (i.e., coaches he hired), his system, his philosophy…it all added up to proven failure.

Sorry to all you Tannehill detractors, but when you don’t give the QB time to throw the ball, your passing game will not be successful.  And the Dolphins rarely gave him time.   Some, not all, but some of the faults I note above are partly due to a crappy offensive line scheme.

Not crappy linemen, just a terrible way to use them.  We’ve all seen Sam Brenner and Jason Fox step in, for example, and do some great things.  But when they are overmatched and double-teamed with no help, that is the coaches’ fault.  I would never call Sam or Jason  a crappy player.

How many times this year have I pointed out the ridiculous frequency with which the Dolphins run the 4-wide set, and then send Lamar Miller out also.  That makes 5 men running routes…so someone has to be open, right?  Actually, if you watch the tape, 4 of the 5 usually are open.  but Tannehill never sees them because he’s on his ass thanks to shoddy blocking.

But the kid gets up for more.

He never got any help from his line, nor the coaches, who could have adjusted the blocking assignments.  Impossible to show progress when no one is blocking well for you.

Instead of keeping Samson Satelle as an adequate center and matching him next to a Pro Bowl guard in Mike Pouncey, the Philbin squad instead decided to waste its first round pick on Davante Parker.   It’s a baffling, head-scratcher move that makes no sense.  Why get rid of a decent offensive lineman and replace him with a benchwarmer wide receiver?

Dropped passes have also plagued Tannehill.   This year alone, Greg Jennings has dropped two easy first down passes on our FIRST possession of the game.   Those drops set the tone, and the Dolphins never recovered.   Landry dropped an easy pass and gave the Bills the ball back.

Hell, even reliable players like Brent Grimes dropped a pick-6 that was right in his numbers this season.  None of these are Tannehill’s fault.

Tannehill has deceptive speed, but Miami runs few plays designed to use it.   Not enough rollouts.

And I can’t remember the last time the Dolphins tried a simple QB sneak.   Instead of running up the gut on 4th and inches, we always try that ridiculous spread formation that fools no one.

These are all drive killers that take Tannehill off the field due to no fault of his own.   Except for the 4,000 yard number, I’m not one to harp on statistics.  I don’t know his completion percentage or his QB rating, but I know that both are probably about average.  Average.

But…Is average good enough?   Actually, yes it is.  Many average QBs have become champions because of stars elsewhere on the team who pick up the slack.  We have plenty of stars, mostly on defense.  We have enough to win games, iof the players are used properly and motivated.

Under Philbin, we got neither.  Let’s hope it changes.  If Tannehill stinks it up in 10 days, I’ll be right back here calling for his head like many of our readers have been lately.

But let’s give him a chance…a REAL chance under a much smarter coach who doesn’t see, like he’ll tolerate “average.”




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  1. Tanny is very very accurate when he throws on the run.

  2. Lauren Tannehill is too skinny for this Cuban…I need a little more meat on MY Barbie.

  3. I think the crux of the problem with the offense (and Tannehill) is the flat-out REFUSAL to run the ball. The fins’ RBs are averaging over 4ypc, yet pass plays are called around 80% of the time. This leaves both the OL and QB as sitting ducks. My real hope is that Lazor was being overridden by Phailbin and his cluelessness. Tannehill should not be passing 40+ times per game…

    1. Author

      Running the ball can help, but it’s not as mandatory as in the 1970s. Tom Brady hands off about three times per game, and passes 99% of the time, and they put up 50 points. Running game is NOT required if the passer is good enough.

      1. That’s precisely my point. Tannehill is not Brady, and NEEDS a running game to be successful.

  4. I like that we drafted Devante Parker even though I liked Marcus Peters more. The problem is that he doesn’t play. Parker should be playing and not Jennings who is past his prime. I like Jennings as a veteran player but he shouldn’t be getting those snaps. Just my thoughts let me know how you feel.

  5. Tannepuke stinks. But keep making excuses for him….

    1. Author

      It’s making excuses if I say something like Tannehill had a sore left pinkie and that made him throw an interception. Those are lame excuses that we do not make. Pointing out that are offensive line schemes give him no protection is a fact, not an excuse.

  6. @admin
    Tannepukes QBR is 30th…..just so you know.

  7. It’s official- Dolphins just fired Coyle.

  8. This Just In Kevin coyles been fired

  9. big J you beat me to it by a couple of seconds nice job

    1. Author

      I was writing the next blog entry while you guys both beat me to it !

  10. Great analysis on the Denver game last year Admin. Only thing i’d beg to differ on is the interception in which you said Landry dropped the ball. It isn’t a drop, it’s a clear missed pass interference. Landry couldn’t make the catch because the db, Chris Harris, was holding his arm. That game pretty much turned at the end of the first half when Jamar Taylor bit on a double-move on 3rd and 22 and let E. Sanders get behind him.

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