Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Miami Dolphins [Print without images]

Thursday, January 2, 2014
Would new offense hurt or help Tannehill?

By James Walker

This much we know: Ryan Tannehill will be starting at quarterback for the Miami Dolphins next season. He set career highs in yards (3,913), touchdowns (24) and passer rating (81.7) in 2013.

Tannehill
This much we also know: Tannehill only played in one offense since joining Texas A&M as a teenage freshman under then-head coach Mike Sherman.

Now that Sherman, Miami’s offensive coordinator, is on the hot seat, this is the perfect time to examine what a potential change means for Tannehill.

Would switching to a new offense in 2014 help Tannehill or stunt his growth? That is a major question Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and coach Joe Philbin must ponder over the next several weeks.

We still do not know enough about Tannehill, who is entering a crucial third year. Next season could be make or break for the 2012 first-round pick to determine if he’s Miami’s long-term solution at quarterback.

Sherman has been side-by-side with Tannehill since recruiting the quarterback out of high school. Tannehill played both receiver and quarterback in Sherman's version of the West Coast offense at Texas A&M. He’s also started 32 consecutive games under Sherman with the Dolphins. The loss of continuity should have some level of impact on Tannehill.

What if Tannehill gets off to a slow start next season learning a new offense? It will be playoffs or bust for the Dolphins in 2014, and they cannot afford to have poor quarterback play.

But there is enough evidence to suggest Tannehill isn’t growing fast enough at the NFL level. With Sherman’s offense, Miami was ranked 27th in yards, 26th in scoring and 20th in passing in 2013.

According to those ugly statistics, a scheme change on offense appears worth the risk.