Ryan Tannehill was drafted the same year the Dolphins were featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks. If you’ve never seen it, the show is a documentary on how NFL training camps work, with lots of candid behind-the-scenes conversations that fans rarely see.
My first impression of Tannehill came from a simple conversation he had with Matt Moore, and the cameras were rolling. I don’t remember the exact words, but it went something like this:
Tannehill was new to the Dolphins, and Moore was talking to him about the AFC East and the upcoming schedule. Tannehill did not know what teams were in the AFC East. Moore laughed, almost in disbelief. Moore asked him if he knew who the Dolphins’ biggest rivals were. Tannehill guessed the Kansas City Chiefs.
Moore couldn’t believe it. Tannehill went on to say that he was never much of a pro football fan, having instead followed college football only.
Right then and there, I knew we were in trouble.
This was a talented kid who could throw the ball and who had good running ability for a QB. But he had extremely limited knowledge of the NFL. That is not my opinion. It’s a fact that he himself admitted. Along with that came a seemingly lack of emotion and desire to win at all costs. Instead, he seemed stoic, doing what was asked of him, but never taking the lead.
5 years later, I think Tannehill probably knows the 3 other teams in the AFC East. He probably knows that Kansas City is not a hated rival. But he still lacks the killer instinct. We’re still waiting for him to lead. To grab a teammate by the facemask and yell at him for a mistake. To take control in the huddle and tell his men how it’s gonna go down. We just don’t see that.
When the Dolphins pick at number 11 next month, some QBs will be available. I’m not opposed to drafting one in the first round…if. Here’s the part where you expect me to say “IF the quarterback has a strong arm” or “IF the quarterback is fast.” No. We should take a quarterback with a burning desire to lead and to win. THAT is what we need from every single Dolphin.
We can find out about a college QB’s mental state-of-mind by conducting interviews. I don’t care what he runs the 40 in, as long as he knows about the NFL (Tannehill did not). As long as he has a fire burning in him. As long as he has a desire to win. As long as he has a chip on his shoulder and something to prove. THESE are the intangibles to look for.
No more spoiled rich kids. No more showboats. No more druggers. (There is NO WAY IN HELL that Dion Jordan began using drugs after he was drafted. He used drugs before, and the Dolphins scouts never bothered to look into it nor ask him to pee in a bottle for them. Horrendous scouting.)
So we can begin the debate of should we take a QB? And if so, which QB to take? Which will be available at 11? But before you decide on which one to take, let’s hope and pray that the Dolphin management does their homework.