Showing 1 - 7 of 7 posts found matching keyword: ryan tannehill

The Miami Dolphins have made the NFL playoffs! They play the Pittsburgh Steelers at 1PM EST on Sunday.

The last time the Dolphins played a playoff game was January 4, 2009. They lost that game 27-9. I'm not convinced that this year will be any better.

In 2009, the team lost mainly because NFL Comeback Player of the Year Chad "Noodle-Arm" Pennington threw four interceptions. That can't happen again, right? I mean, Pennington has long retired, but starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill is still out with a bum knee, leaving backup Matt Moore in his place. Moore has a fair arm, but he can be a bit reckless. Surely he won't be four interceptions worth of reckless. Right?

If the Dolphins do manage to get past round one — they did beat the Steelers 30-15 back in October — they'll head into a second week rematch against the New England Patriots. They've played the Patriots twice already this year, losing 31-24 (with Tannehill) and 35-14 (with Moore). Yeesh.

So go Dolphins! (And better luck next year!)

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The Miami Dolphins are guaranteed a winning season for the first time since 2008. It's an unusual sensation. I'd forgotten what it felt like to cheer for a winning NFL team.

If the Dolphins win on Christmas Eve in Buffalo and on New Year's Day versus the New England Patriots, they'll definitely make the postseason. There are scenarios in which they could lose one or both of those games and and still have a shot at playing for the league title. Given the Dolphins' history of poor performance in the snow and against teams much, much better than they are, I'm not holding my breath.

(It doesn't help that starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill busted his ACL in week 14 and may or may not return before September 2017. Great timing, that.)

However, don't let my pessimism about the future fool you into thinking that I'm not excited about the present. I am, indeed, very happy that the Dolphins won't finish the season as losers, something I predicted before the season started.

That's the best thing about being a pessimist. It's always a pleasant surprise when you're wrong.

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The train wreck that was the 2015 Miami Dolphins didn't end today with the season's closing bell. Even before even taking the field to play (and defeat!) the New England Patriots, the team had fired Dennis Hickey, its General Manager of the past two years. Hickey is the same man responsible for overpaying Ndamukong Suh and Ryan Tannehill. Too bad he won't be taking the balance of those contracts with him.

To be fair, Hickey was also responsible for bringing in two players I like, Brent Grimes and Knowshon Moreno. By any metric, he was a far better judge of talent than his predecessor, "Blind" Jeff Ireland. I don't think its any coincidence that in the past two years that Ireland has been scouting for the New Orleans Saints, they've fallen to the bottom of the talent hole in the NFC South.

Hickey is being replaced by Mike Tannenbaum, the man who brought superstar Darrelle Revis into the league when Tannenbaum was working for the Jets. However, Tannenbaum also drafted Mark Sanchez, a quarterback bad enough to ride the bench for the snakebit Philadelphia Eagles. In the five years Tannenbaum was guiding the Jets, the team went only slightly better than .500. In the Dolphins' case, that would be an improvement.

Speaking of drafting talent, the Patriots have won the AFC East for 7 consecutive seasons in part because at draft time they have plenty of picks they've hoarded from trades with other teams. It's no coincidence that they keep reaching Super Bowls with players no one has ever heard of. As a general rule, you should emulate the best teams, not do the opposite of what you see them doing.

Tannenbaum has a pronounced history of giving away picks, averaging about 4 per Jets' draft compared to the Patriots' 8. It's hard to find talented players to fill the roster when your already-talented opponents have twice as many picks as you do. I hope Tannenbaum has learned that lesson. Given that the Dolphins think so highly of him, I'm pretty sure he hasn't.

UPDATE 2016-01-04: Tannenbaum will apparently remain in an executive role ("Executive Vice President of Football Operations," whatever that means), as the Dolphins have announced that the new General Manager is the previous Director of College Scouting, Chris Grier. I am not going to pretend that I understand the difference between an EVPoFO and a General Manager. My guess is that it just gives Tannenbaum someone else to fire before he feels any heat himself. Grier has been with the Dolphins since 2000, which means he's seen just about every possible wrong way to build a team, including the draft busts of Ted Ginn, Dion Jordon, second-round quarterbacks John Beck and Pat White, and many, many other questionable decisions that didn't pan out. I hope Grier has learned his lesson. Given that he's still with the organization, I'm pretty sure he hasn't.

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NFL preseason kicked off on Sunday, and the league seems to think I should be excited about that. I'm not.

Maybe I'd be excited if I was a fan of a team that didn't look like the same mediocre club that's gone 8-8 the past 2 years. Maybe I'd be excited if we weren't going into year 4 with a coach who has still lost more games than he has won. Maybe I'd be excited if we didn't have the most boring uniforms in the league.

In the offseason, the Dolphins gave Ryan Tannehill, an unproven quarterback, $96 million. They also gave Ndamukong Suh, the league's dirtiest player, $114 million. You get what you pay for, and what we've got is mediocrity and dirt. Hooray.

Of course you can't win games without receivers and running backs, and I challenge anyone who hasn't been paying attention to the Dolphins to name one of either on the current roster. Hell, I've watched every game for decades, and I can only name a couple. (Poor Knowshon Marino has to take the year off for his bad knee and might not ever return to the 'Fins. There goes even that reason to watch.)

So, no, NFL, I don't care that your football is coming back right now. Try me again when the wins and losses start counting. I'll want to know just how bad my Dolphins really are.

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All week long, Miami Dolphins' rocket scientist head coach Joe Philbin has refused to name the starting quarterback for Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders (in London!). Tired of waiting for his coach to state the obvious, Ryan Tannehill went ahead and made the announcement for him.

I suppose that Philbin was trying to light a fire under Tannehill after a weak start to the season, but seriously, who else is he going to start? Matt Moore? Not only hasn't Moore started a game in 3 years, he wasn't healthy enough to play in the preseason.

Where else is Philbin going to find a new quarterback 4 days before kickoff? The NFL has flown mediocre — and that's probably too generous a term — teams from Miami and Oakland across the Atlantic Ocean for this glorified exhibition game, leaving any potential replacement quarterbacks stateside. Where in London can Philbin find a rocket-armed wife abuser at this late date?

Of course, this whole debate is moot. Even if Philbin had a replacement who could complete a pass, Mike Wallace would just drop it anyway.

Tannehill called your bluff, Philbin. Your move.

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I woke up on Friday to a voicemail message asking if I wanted to attend the Dolphins/Falcons preseason opener that night. I had turned down the opportunity when Mom asked months ago, but in the pressure of the moment, I gave in and accepted fate.

This was all I saw of Stephen Jackson

The tickets had come to friend Brian through connections at his job, and he says he had a hard time finding someone to accompany him at the last minute. ("I said to myself, 'I'll call Walter. He'd never pass up football tickets!'," Brian explained.) Judging by the thousands of empty seats at the Georgia Dome, most people passed on the opportunity to pay $59.00 to watch a glorified practice.

The last time I attended a preseason game, it was to see Dan Marino take about 5 snaps. Not quite a decade back, I tried to get Eagles/Falcons Monday Night tickets, and ended up buying four Ravens/Falcons preseason tickets. (I blame that snafu partly on TicketMaster and partly on sleep deprivation.) I couldn't give those tickets away! The way I see it, going to this game for free is cosmic compensation for that wasted $300 all those years ago.

Preseason games in Atlanta draw about as many fans as reals game in Miami

I got my money's worth as the first-team Dolphins and first-team Falcons looked great last night on their opening drives. That wasn't too surprising. Offsenses always perform better than defenses at the beginning of the year. I considered it a better sign that the Dolphins' rebuilt O-line was able to protect Tannehill for a few plays. (The Dolphins didn't start giving up sacks until late in the game.) Maybe we'll be able to score some points this year.

Others were even more optimistic. "I think we could win the AFC East this year," said the Dolphins' fan behind me. "It's either us or the Bills." Given that the Bills haven't made finished better than .500 since 2004, I'd say those are pretty good odds. I wonder what the Patriots — division winner for nine of the last ten seasons — will have to say about that?

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Hard Knocks week 3, and I think I've decided that Dolphins assistant quarterbacks Coach Zac Taylor is probably a better leader than Head Coach Joe Philbin. Taylor doesn't hem and haw about communications and relationships. He simply tells last year's starter Matt Moore the truth once the decision has been made that rookie Ryan Tannehill will be the starting quarterback when the season starts.

That's the best thing about this series so far: seeing the professional athletes act like professionals. Moore takes the news of his benching as well as Chad Johnson took the news of his firing last week and Derek Dennis took his cut in week 1. These players know their business and act like men when their time comes. That's one of the only things I've seen to admire about the 2012 Dolphins so far. Certainly far more admirable than the news that the Dolphins will start the 2012 season with their 17th starting quarterback since the 2000 season. Ouch.

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To be continued...

 

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