26 APR 2012: Commissioner Roger Goodell poses with Ryan Tannehill of the Dolphins during the 77th NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Photo by: Cliff Welch/Icon SMI
Forget Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez of the New York Jets, its time to start a new quarterback controversy in the AFC East—Ryan Tannehill or David Garrard/Matt Moore.
The Miami Dolphins picked Tannehill with the number eighth overall pick in the draft. Though many don't think Tannehill's ready to be the starter for the Fins in 2013 I think the Dolphins should give the rookie the starting job and here's why:
1. Tannehill's got talent
Tannehill started his college career as a wide receiver and therefore has had less experience playing quarterback than many other quarterbacks entering the NFL. While some see this as a weakness I think the fact that he played wide receiver is further proof of Tannehill's raw talent not just as a quarterback but as a football player. He's fast, (he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.62 seconds), he can throw the long ball and is athletic enough to make big plays, the Dolphins need that.
2. He's played this playbook before.
One thing that makes the transition from college to NFL quarterback difficult for many young players is learning a new highly complex NFL playbook. Tannehill doesn't have to worry about that.
The new Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman was the head coach of Tannehill's college team at Texas A&M University. The Miami playbook is basically the same one Tannehill ran for Sherman in Texas. After the first day of the Dolphins mini camp The Miami Herald quoted Tannehill as saying that "80 to 85 percent" of the offense looked familiar to him. Though, a rookie when it comes to running Sherman's offense Tannehill might just be the most veteran player on the Dolphins.
3. Experience is the best teacher.
Critics of Tannehill starting in 2013 say he lacks the necessary experience to start in the NFL. They say he could eventually mature into a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers but that like Rodgers he should spend his first few years on the bench. I say hogwash. Rodgers is a great quarterback and did not play his first three seasons because he was backing up one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time Brett Farve. Whether you love or hate Farve you can't compare him to either Moore or Gerrard. Sitting on the bench didn't make Rodgers a great quarterback, being a great quarterback made him a great quarterback.
If Tannehill needs experience the best and quickest way to get it is by playing in the NFL. Yes they'll be some rookie mistakes and some missteps but the Dolphins can afford that because they have nothing to lose, Garrard is not carrying this team to the Super Bowl.
4. The Dolphins need more than Moore or Garrard
Though he was considered the third best quarterback in the draft most analysts and scouts didn't consider Tannehill one of the top ten players in the draft. The fact that the Dolphins drafted Tannehill when there were arguably more talented players available at different positions tells me that the Dolphins have no confidence in their other quarterbacks. The Fins know that to be a true contender they need new blood at quarterback, Tannehill provides that. He might not make them contenders this year, but the sooner he starts the sooner The Dolphins will have a shot at the Super Bowl again.
5. The Dolphins fans deserve some hope
The Dolphins have suffered through several bad seasons in a row and a miserable off season that saw the departure of star wide receiver Brandon Marshall. The acquisition of Tannehill has been the one bright spot and the fans deserve the chance to see him in action. With or without Tannehill starting I don't see the Dolphins making the playoffs this year, but with him there's a chance, albeit a small one, and it's a chance the Dolphins need to take for their fans and for their team.
What do you think? Should Tannehill start for the Dolphins?