Tannehill hits the rookie wall: Ryan Tannehill has played really well at times, but has also looked like a rookie at other times. Through the Dolphins first 8 games, the team went 4-4. During those games, Tannehill threw for over 1,700 yards, completing 58.9% of his passes for 5 TDs and 6 INTs. He also had a QB rating of 78.2, which isn’t great, but not terrible considering he’s a rookie. During the last 2 weeks, Tannehill has thrown for 358 yards, completing 55% of his passes for 1 TD and 5 INTs for a QB rating of 44.2.
Experts often talk about quarterbacks hitting a rookie wall and it appears that Tannehill has hit that wall. The wall refers to the point in the season when opposing defenses adjust to what the rookie QB likes to do, his tendencies. For example, does the QB like to throw to his right? Does he rollout a certain way? The defenses then change their defense to take away those tendencies, or strengths of the rookie QB. What’s troubling is that the last 2 games have been against terrible defensive teams. I expect Tannehill to adapt to what defenses are doing, but he also needs to get some help from the running game, his offensive line, and his wide receivers.
Coaching: I like Joe Philbin, I do. However, he has shown signs in recent weeks of being a rookie head coach. Philbin was the offensive coordinator for the Packers and did a great job. However, he now has all of the added responsibilities of being a head coach. He has to worry about the defense, special teams, scheduling, etc. I like Philbin’s philosophy, but I’ve disagreed with some of his tactics. Benching Reggie Bush for fumbling sent a message…..PROTECT THE FOOTBALL! But, did he need to bench him for an entire half? What about the next week when Brian Hartline fumbled? He wasn’t benched. I think Philbin can do some great things, but he needs to be consistent with his decisions.
I haven’t forgotten about the coordinators. I think the Dolphins have been way too reliant recently on Tannehill. I know the Dolphins are struggling to run the football, but to ask your rookie QB to throw the ball 40 times when you run it only 19, is a problem. The defense must respect the running game and right now they do not. It’s up to Mike Sherman to get more creative, to help his young QB out. Kevin Coyle has tried everything, but nothing has really worked recently. The Dolphins can’t stop the run and they sure as heck can’t stop opposing passing attacks. The Dolphins play a lot of zone coverages, but I’d like to see more press/man to man. Hopefully the 10 days off will give the Dolphins coaches some time to do some tinkering with both the offensive and defensive playbooks. (cont’d on page 3, click below)