How Ryan Tannehill is quietly putting together an “Elite” career
It’s that time of the year when we have run out of Dolphins stuff to talk about. Training camp is about two weeks away and any news we hear at this time of year about our players would probably be bad news. (Injuries, arrests, scandals, etc) No news is good news during this period but that doesn’t create interest on this board so I decided to try my hand at stirring the pot a little.
No subject seems to generate as many posts and responses on here and other Dolphins sites as the performance of Ryan Tannehill. Fans seem to either like him or hate him with very few in between.
The “Haters” and “Tanne-shills” have been at it going on 6 years now with little or no movement towards the middle ground. Because I am a shameless homer and Kool-aid junky I am going to attempt to show how Tannehill is currently on par with some of the “greats” up to this point in their careers. A few years from now when the Dolphins have seen more TEAM success and have a couple of Rings this will all be generally accepted.
As we all know Ryan Tannehill came into the league as a fist round draft pick but had very little starting experience as a QB in college, having elected to play wide receiver rather than sit behind the QB’s already on the roster so he could, you know, play football. He started off his career playing average to below average football as might be expected from a QB with so little experience in college. His detractors pointing out his flaws relentlessly. He couldn’t throw a deep pass, he couldn’t read defenses, he had no pocket presence, he was a terrible red-zone passer, etc. etc.
Then something happened. He started getting better, every year, at things that were is weaknesses in previous seasons. Go figure! A young player actually developing? His deep ball improved greatly, his red-zone play improved, his ability to read defenses and beat the blitz increased, to the point where he is among the top 5-10 QB’s in the league at these things.
He keeps getting better. This brings me to the comparison to “elite” Quarterbacks in the league. The Tom Brady’s, Peyton Manning’s, Ben Roethlisburger’s (and argued by many) Matt Ryan’s & Andrew Luck’s of the NFL did not start out as “elite” players. They started out as “average to below average” players. They just continued to get better at their trade as time went along until one day they were considered “elite”. If you look at the chart below you will see that Tannehill’s stats are on par or better in some cases than those of these players at this point in their careers (5 seasons)
Player Att Comp Pct Yds Avg TD TD% Int Rating
Ryan Tannehill 527.40 330.60 62.82 3,691.00 7.06 21.20 4.04 13.20 86.56
Big Rape 381.00 237.80 62.80 2,994.80 8.02 20.20 5.48 13.80 91.26
Matt Ryan 527.40 330.80 62.36 3,791.40 7.20 25.40 4.76 12.00 90.18
Peyton Manning 563.40 349.80 62.06 4,123.60 7.34 27.60 4.92 20.00 85.90
Tom Brady 509.00 315.20 62.00 3,605.80 7.14 24.60 4.86 13.20 88.60
Drew Brees 361.80 225.00 60.82 2,469.60 7.08 16.00 4.32 10.60 86.64
Andrew Luck 530.20 314.00 58.96 3,815.60 7.12 26.40 5.00 13.60 86.26
** Note: Average stats have not been adjusted for missed games due to sitting or Injury
The chart above shows the AVERAGES of the first five years in the league for Ryan Tannehill and 6 other quarterbacks who many argue are the “Elite” of the NFL; Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisburger, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Andrew Luck and Matt Ryan. Here is what I see when I look at these stats;
- Ryan Tannehill is the MOST accurate passer of the bunch through the first five years.
- He has the third least Interceptions per year and 3rd lowest Interception percentage
- He has thrown for the 4th most yards per year of the bunch. (Average)
- He has thrown the 3rd most completions per year (Average)
These numbers are not compared to rank and file of the NFL. These are comparisons with the so-called “Elite” of the league and in this company he stacks up pretty well.
The most encouraging part of this comparison is this: Ryan Tannehill keeps getting better and better. Just like these other “Elite” QB’s have.
Ryan Tannehill has accomplished this with a lesser supporting cast than many of these other quarterbacks while being one of the most sacked QB’s in his first 5 years. Imagine if he wasn’t throwing all those passes from his back!
Now that he is working with a Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator who understand his strengths and weaknesses and know how to maximize the first and correct the second, the SKY IS THE LIMIT! GO DOLPHINS! GO TANNEHILL!
I know this article will not sway anyone one way or the other, but it will generate discussion, which is what most of us come here for. We will have to wait until all is said and done before we can say for certain that Ryan Tannehill is an Elite QB, but based upon the evidence he is on the right track.
Let the discussion (arguments & ridicule) begin!
Get your ice cold Homeraide heeeeyaaaarrreee!!!
Thank you, Rockphin we appreciate your submission. Camp starts soon!