Few mention Tannehill on a national level compared to draftmates Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson. The most recent example is ESPN.com’s in-depth piece on rising young quarterbacks. Tannehill was not included.
Consider Tannehill the “other” second-year quarterback in Sunday’s intriguing matchup between Miami (1-0) and the Luck-led Colts (1-0). Luck already has playoff experience and eight career fourth-quarter comebacks. He's considered the next great signal-caller in the NFL, while Tannehill remains under the radar.
“It doesn’t bother me,” Tannehill said. “It’s kind of fun just being able to go out and compete. We are trying to do the same thing. We are all trying to go out and win, and that’s what it comes down to.
“I’m looking forward to all of us to increase our play this year, to be better and compete when we get a chance to compete against each other.”
Tannehill threw for more yards than Griffin in 2012. Tannehill also beat Wilson in their only head-to-head meeting as rookies, in Week 12. He showed many of the same flashes as his draftmates as rookies.
However, winning trumps everything at the quarterback position. Luck, Griffin and Wilson all led their respective teams to the playoffs as rookies. Tannehill had a losing record at 7-9. That creates a gap in terms of national perception.
Luck is 1-0 against Tannehill so far. The Colts beat the Dolphins 23-20 last season in a game where both quarterbacks played well and combined for 723 passing yards.
The difference in that game was Luck was able to finish in the fourth quarter -- an early hallmark in his career. Tannehill is still learning how to finish games, and made strides last week with a 23-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns.
Tannehill has a chance to make a major statement Sunday if he can beat Luck in his house. Tannehill said this week that he is looking forward to the challenge.
“I think it’s fun. I have a lot of respect for Luck and the things he does,” Tannehill said. “He’s a great quarterback. I watched him at Stanford and watched him last year, and he did a great job in our game last year. It’s really fun to be able to compete with him, maybe not directly. We aren’t on the field at the same time, but it’s fun to compete with him.”