Last year, Ryan Tannehill had a very solid third season in the NFL. He had career-highs in attempts (590), completions (392), completion percentage (66.4), yards (4,045), and touchdowns (27). He also had 12 interceptions, this after throwing 17 on just two fewer passing attempts in 2013.
So yes, Tannehill was clearly trending in the right direction.
This year, however, the progress hasn’t been there. Tannehill is on pace for a career-high 29.7 touchdown passes, but he’s also on pace for a career-high 20.6 interceptions. And, after going 8-8 the last two seasons, the Dolphins are 3-4, still have to play the Patriots again and may very well finish with a losing record.
Has the 27-year-old Tannehill reached his ceiling?
“I think you see flashes from Tannehill,” Palm Beach Post Dolphins writer Andrew Abramson said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “I think there’s times you see a good quarterback. I still think he has some of the same issues he’s had in the past – the pocket-presence issues, pocket awareness. I think his deep ball is improving. I think he can make the throws. I’ve always thought this is a good quarterback. I don’t know if he’s ever going to be a great quarterback. I think he needs a good running game to complement him. I think that’s why he played so well the last couple weeks. I think if you can take the Dolphins running game out, I don’t think this is a guy you necessarily want throwing the ball 40 to 50 times. I don’t think he’s hit his ceiling. I do think he can still get better.”
Tannehill threw for 300 yards against the Patriots on Thursday, but he also finished without a touchdown, threw two picks, was sacked five times, and the Dolphins lost, 36-7. As a team, Miami rushed 13 times for 15 yards.
“Like I said, when you took out Lamar Miller in this game,” Abramson said, “it was going to be a challenge for Ryan Tannehill.”
While we’re not quite sure what to make of Tannehill, the jury is still out on Dan Campbell as well. Campbell took over the 1-3 Dolphins and promptly led them to back-to-back wins over the Titans and Texans – by a combined 46 points.
But Thursday’s 36-7 loss to New England was a wee bit sobering. It’ll be interesting what the Dolphins do with Campbell at the end of the season. Bring him back? Demote him? Fire him?
“Yeah, it’ll be interesting,” Abramson said. “If they go .500 the rest of the time, I think it’ll maybe depend on how they do in those games. Are they getting blown out? Is it close? What’s happening the rest of the season? I know the players really love Dan Campbell. They want to play for him, but there’s big names out there. (Mike) Tannenbaum is going to want to put his fingerprint on there and hire someone . . . so it’s going to be interesting. I do think if it’s up to the players, they would bring Dan Campbell back. But let’s see how they finish and how much they’re still buying into him at the end of the season.”