Saturday, July 28, 2012
Count Ryan Tannehill out of Miami QB race
By James Walker
DAVIE, Fla. -- I'm calling my shot right now: I don't see any scenario where Ryan Tannehill, a rookie, shows up to camp late, beats out two veterans and starts in Week 1.
A contract dispute is perhaps crippling Ryan Tannehill's hopes of starting in the season opener.
Put Tannehill on ice. Hand him a clipboard. He's finished -- at least for the early part of the season.
Any chance Tannehill had of playing right away disappeared after his recent contract dispute forced him to miss the first two days (maybe more?) of training camp. Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland says both sides are making progress, but time is already not on Tannehill's side.
Tannehill probably wasn't going to win Miami’s three-way quarterback competition anyway. He looked like a rookie in spring practices and was clearly the No. 3 quarterback. Tannehill knows the offense well but wasn't used to the speed of the NFL game. Things were moving fast and Tannehill's reads were shaky. That's not a knock on Tannehill, who has the tools to be a great quarterback. But he only had 19 career starts in college and is not ready. It’s expected.
But there was some optimism that a full training camp and four preseason games could be enough time for Tannehill to get up to speed against Matt Moore and David Garrard. The Dolphins do not play the Houston Texans in the regular-season opener for another six weeks. That's a lot of time and a lot of reps for a talented player like Tannehill to make progress. He definitely has the highest ceiling of the three quarterbacks. The sooner his learning curve matches his ceiling, the better it will be for Miami.
Tannehill has missed two days worth of practice time, meetings and time with his teammates. ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports Tannehill is working out at a private academy. It's a wise move by the rookie, but it can't simulate an NFL training camp.
There is no question Tannehill is Miami's quarterback of the future. But for now a contract dispute killed any chance of Tannehill becoming Miami's quarterback of the present.