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Friday, February 7, 2014
Report: Tannehill on shorter leash in 2014

By James Walker

CBS Sports national NFL reporter Jason La Canfora wrote a column on the Miami Dolphins Friday with several interesting nuggets. But perhaps the most intriguing note comes at the quarterback position.

Tannehill
La Canfora reports Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin told general manager candidates during interviews that Tannehill could be on a shorter leash in 2014. A source indicated Philbin wants to have more competition at quarterback to push Tannehill, and Philbin won’t be afraid to make a change next season if needed.

Both Philbin and Tannehill are 15-17 in Miami and enter a crucial Year 3 together. Here is what La Canfora wrote about the situation.
Philbin's job is riding on Tannehill progressing. I wouldn't doubt a little more pressure from highly paid back–up Matt Moore ($4M salary; $5.5M in cap) in 2014, with Philbin professing his belief in Moore to several of the GM candidates and demanding more from Tannehill.

"He definitely wants to push Tannehill more," said one source who has spoken to Philbin about the quarterbacks, "and if he doesn't see improvement he said he might go to Moore at some point. He definitely has a lot of faith in Moore, and they're paying him a lot of money."

If the report is accurate, I think it’s bad news for Tannehill and the Dolphins to have discussions about a shorter leash in February. Moore clearly is not the long-term solution in Miami, and benching Tannehill would only be a panic move. Tannehill is the best quarterback option the Dolphins have and has the higher ceiling.

It’s still too early to say whether Tannehill is the answer in Miami. But the organization must be 100-percent behind Tannehill this season in order to provide him the best chance to succeed.