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Ryan Tannehill: 2013 Year In Review

Posted Jan 17, 2014

Second-year quarterback showed significant growth in Year 2.


CLICK HERE FOR A RYAN TANNEHILL PHOTO GALLERY

Anytime an NFL quarterback doubles his number of touchdown passes from one year to the next that’s a sign of progress, and even more so when it’s from his rookie year to his second year. That’s exactly what Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill did in 2013.

One season removed his professional debut, Tannehill threw 24 touchdown passes and completed 355-of-588 passes for 3,913 yards – all improvements from 2012. His 60.4 completion percentage was 2.1 points hire than his rookie season and his 81.7 passer rating was 5.6 points higher.

Tannehill made significant strides in his ability to read coverages and spread the ball around, which was evident in the fact three of his receivers – Brian Hartline, Mike Wallace and tight end Charles Clay – each caught at least 65 passes. He truly flourished in the two-minute offense at the end of the first half and at the end of games, picking up defining victories over the New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers and San Diego Chargers.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about Tannehill’s sophomore campaign is how he held up against the pass rush. Despite being sacked a franchise-record 58 times he never missed a game and has 32 consecutive starts to his credit. The former college wide receiver from Texas A&M also wasn’t afraid to use his legs and threw the ball quite well on the run while also proving to be a dangerous runner. He ripped off a 48-yard run at Pittsburgh in the snow to set up a field goal and finished the season with 238 rushing yards on just 40 carries.

Even though Tannehill came up just short of leading Miami into the playoffs for the first time since 2008, he wound up ranking 10th in the league in passing yards and tied for 12th in touchdown passes. Now he has a new offensive coordinator in Bill Lazor to work with this upcoming season in his drive to improve even more.

Signature Moment

Without a doubt, Tannehill’s performance at Sun Life Stadium against future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots was a coming-of-age moment. The 24-20 victory snapped a seven-game losing streak to New England and put the Dolphins in the driver’s seat at 8-6 for the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC.

Tannehill was nearly flawless on the afternoon, completing 25-of-37 passes for 312 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and a season-high 120.6 passer rating. The win was the third in December for Miami and a defining moment overall for the Texas native

But it was Tannehill’s calm demeanor and clutch passing on the game-winning touchdown drive in the fourth quarter after Brady had put the Patriots ahead 20-17 that really stood out. He drove the Dolphins 60 yards on nine plays in 2:52, converting a critical 4th-and-5 with a 6-yard pass to Clay and an 11-yard bullet to Hartline the play before on 3rd-and-16 to make it a manageable fourth down conversion. His 24-yard touch pass down the left sideline to Rishard Matthews set up his third scoring pass of the game, a 14-yarder to running back Marcus Thigpen with just 1:15 remaining.

Of Note

Tannehill fell just 87 yards shy of becoming the first Dolphins quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards or more since Hall-of-Famer Dan Marino threw for 4,453 yards almost two decades ago in 1994. His 3,913 passing yards are the ninth most in franchise history and the most by any Dolphins quarterback not named Marino and his 588 pass attempts and 355 completions were the fourth highest in team history.

Coaching Perspective

“I think the game has slowed down for him tremendously. He’s seen all the different looks the defense is giving him in terms of fronts and pressures and coverages, so it’s slowed down for him because he now knows where his indicators are and what to expect. He’s always in balance when he throws the ball. One thing all right-handed quarterbacks struggle with is throwing to their left consistently on the sidelines and that has been his biggest area of focus. It’s something he does a great job of working on post-practice and during practice, so there are certain areas where he can always improve and he recognizes that. He’s always trying to strengthen his weaknesses and he’s making steps in the right direction.” – Dolphins quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor

Teammate Perspective

“That’s a physically demanding position. He’s gotten hit quite a bit and he just keeps getting up and you’ve got to commend him for that. You can tell he just has that determination about him and that he’s going to finish whatever he started. There’s no panic and that’s good because panic is never good, so he’s done a really good job of keeping his composure and it rubs off. You want to do a good job for him because you can tell he wants to do a good job for you and it’s important to him.” – Dolphins left tackle Bryant McKinnie
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