Thursday, September 5, 2013
QBs Tannehill, Weeden under spotlight
By James Walker
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill played against Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden several times in college. However, Tannehill only views his record as 0-1 against Weeden.
“The other times I was playing receiver,” Tannehill said this week. “It was a good game. We lost by two points, I think.”
Tannehill (Texas A&M) and Weeden (Oklahoma State) played in the Big 12 conference for four years together from 2008-11. But as Tannehill mentioned, he started his college career as a wide receiver and transitioned to quarterback for his final year and a half. Weeden’s Cowboys beat Tannehill’s Aggies, 30-29, in their only meeting in 2011 -- Tannehill was off by one point -- and both quarterbacks were drafted in the first round one year later.
Tannehill and Weeden are the forgotten quarterbacks of the famed 2012 draft class. They didn’t put up the same numbers as Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III or Russell Wilson as rookies. But Miami and Cleveland’s quarterbacks both showed flashes.
They will face off for the first time in the NFL when the Dolphins travel to play the Browns on Sunday. If both players develop into franchise quarterbacks, this could be the first of several meetings in the pros.
“Brandon is a great guy, got to know him a little bit after we were done playing,” Tannehill said. “I think it was in New York and at the Manning Camp. He’s a great guy, a lot like me, and I know he wants to be good.”
A lot will be on the shoulders of both quarterbacks. The front seven on defense is a strength for Cleveland and Miami, which means Tannehill and Weeden must make plays with their arms at some point to be successful.
Former Dolphin and current Browns slot receiver Davone Bess caught passes from Tannehill and Weeden in the past year and sees potential in both players.
“They are two different players, and a big part of that is they’re in two different systems,” Bess said this week in a conference call. “I would say from a mental standpoint they are both sharp players, very poised and don’t get too high and too low. Those are great attributes to win in this league. I wouldn’t say one is better than the other in any particular category.”
Tannehill and Weeden will both be under the spotlight on Sunday. The Dolphins and Browns hope they have the right quarterbacks, and a good performance right away in Week 1 would be a step in the right direction.