Five Reasons Quarterback Ryan Tannehill Failed With the Miami Dolphins | New Times Broward-Palm Beach


Five Reasons Ryan Tannehill Never Worked Out in Miami

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Photo by George Martinez
After years of the Dolphins trying and failing to make it work, it's clear Ryan Tannehill's seven-year tenure with the Miami Dolphins is about to come to an end.

And following the Denver Broncos' trade of Case Keenum to the quarterback-needy Washington Redskins, there are officially zero NFL teams in the market for a mediocre, injury-prone quarterback with a $20 million price tag.

So the Dolphins will likely cut him and receive nothing in return. Here are a few reasons why Tannehill and Miami never seemed like a match made in heaven.

1. Tannehill was handed the starting job as a rookie and has never had competition since. Since the day the Dolphins drafted Tannehill, he's been the starter. His big challenge to win the job in his rookie training camp was to beat out Matt Moore. The Dolphins had signed David Garrard, but he didn't even make it to the regular season. That left Moore between Tannehill and starting his rookie season. Not the biggest hurdle to clear.

One would think if Matt Moore couldn't beat out the rookie Tannehill, the Dolphins would have found a way to get someone better as a backup. That might have lit a fire under Tannehill's ass. But it never happened. For most of his career, Tannehill had Moore behind him on the bench. Not once did the team find anyone remotely capable of threatening to take the job away. That was a mistake.

Tannehill was never pressured to play better. The lack of motivation always showed.

2. Tannehill was never truly a team leader, and it didn't seem to bother him that much. Ryan Tannehill would probably tell you he's a lead-by-example type of guy. He doesn't talk much, and when he does, it's less than impactful. Tannehill never commanded a room or exhibited charisma.

Tannehill never reminded anyone of Dan Marino, on or off the field.

A prime example of Tannehill's reputation as a vanilla leader was when wide receiver Jarvis Landry, after being traded to the Browns, knocked Tannehill for not working out with other players in the offseason. It's not that Tannehill was a bad guy or a bad teammate; it was that he never stepped up and took control of the Dolphins. He was fine with just being one of 53. Football teams are much better when the rest of the team falls in line behind a leader QB.

3. Every time Tannehill got on a roll, he ended up being injured. The one season a Ryan Tannehill-led Dolphins team made the playoffs, he didn't play. That says it all — this dude just couldn't buy a bucket. No luck whatsoever. It seemed like every time he got hot, he tore a knee ligament or suffered a mysterious shoulder injury.

Tannehill's best moments were usually followed by a Matt Moore appearance. Call it unlucky or call it Tannehill being injury prone, but that's how the story went.

4. Tannehill and Miami were a terrible fit. Off the field, Tannehill never meshed with Miami — the city, not the team. That may seem unimportant, but it felt like a tiebreaker. Off the field, he was like a bowl of vanilla ice cream that had been left out in the South Florida sun. He never made you root for him, and a vast majority of Dolphins fans wanted him gone a long time ago.

His personality wasn't a fit with Miami. Someone else might have received a bit more leeway with Tannehill's statistics. This city is either spectacularly great or unbelievably terrible, never anything in the middle. This quarterback did everything, on and off the field, in a very un-Miami way.

5. Tannehill never got a chance to settle in with a head coach. It can't be all Tannehill's fault, right? I mean, we're killing him for his play, his health, and his personality, so there has to be something not his fault that contributed to his seven-year mediocrity in Miami.

There was. It was his coaches. All of them.

Tannehill was drafted by a team coached by Joe Philbin, got a few games under interim coach Dan Campbell under his belt, and, eventually, had to learn an entirely new system under Adam Gase. If he sticks this year — and that's a long shot — he'll be coached by Brian Flores and another new staff.

There was more. Tannehill had twice that many offensive coordinators. You'd need two hands to count them. Different voices and schemes. Nothing the same.

These are just a few of the reasons Tannehill didn't work out in Miami. There are plenty more. 
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Ryan Yousefi is a freelance writer for Miami New Times, a lover of sports, and an expert consumer of craft beer and pho. Hanley Ramirez once stole a baseball from him and to this day still owes him $10.
Contact: Ryan Yousefi

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