Is Joe Philbin overprotecting Tannehill?

November, 27, 2013
11/27/13
10:00
AM ET
DAVIE, Fla. -- A day later, I'm still trying to decode a statement from Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin regarding starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

Here is the background: Philbin was asked by Miami Herald reporter Armando Salguero Tuesday about Tannehill's inability to take over games. Tannehill is 12-15 as a starter and rarely puts up huge numbers. It's a fair question.

Here was Philbin's response:
“Football is still a team game as far as I am concerned. I have never been around anybody that one person that can carry a football team. It takes 11 guys on offense, 11 guys on defense, 11 guys on special teams. I think [Tannehill] has had some very, very good games here, I anticipate that he will continue to do so. I have been coaching for 30 years, I have never seen one player win a game on his own.”

Philbin was then pressed by Salguero, who followed up by asking if Aaron Rodgers took over games when Philbin was offense coordinator with the Green Bay Packers?

“Not necessarily,” Philbin responded. “I am not going to comment on those specifics. I am going to tell you that in 30 years of coaching football is a team game and it takes 11 guys to execute in any phase.”

What exactly does Philbin mean?

Most would agree that Rodgers -- a Super Bowl-winning quarterback -- has taken over plenty of games in his career. He is an elite quarterback who gets hot, puts up big numbers and wins big games every year. The Packers are a mediocre team this season without Rodgers, who is currently injured. There is no debating this.

It appears Philbin went too far out his way to overprotect Tannehill for not taking over games. Either that or Philbin took a shot at Rodgers, which I'm sure was not Philbin's intent.

Philbin needs to take the kid's gloves off Tannehill, who is no longer a rookie. Tannehill must do more to lift his team down the stretch if the Dolphins (5-6) want to have a chance at making a postseason push. Having a big game Sunday against the New York Jets (5-6) would be a good start for Tannehill.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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