The Miami Dolphins were beaten rather easily at home by the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, and apparently it’s gotten the coaching staff to start thinking about their quarterback situation. Ryan Tannehill has been the club’s starter since they drafted him in the first round back in 2012 out of Texas A&M, but he’s been outperformed by fellow ’12 classmates like Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson.
Tannehill hasn’t lit the world ablaze with his performance, but he’s also not really had a whole lot of help. The team overpaid to bring Mike Wallace down from Pittsburgh prior to last season. Their running backs have been spare as hell, and new acquisition Knowshon Moreno hurt himself after Week 1. The offensive line imploded last season in pretty much every way possible. Miami also (hopefully) knew coming in that Tannehill hasn’t played QB for very long, considering he changed positions in the middle of his college career, so there’d be a bit of a learning curve.
The head coach, Joe Philbin, has done essentially nothing right since he landed the job before the 12-13 season save for cutting Chad Ochocinco immediately upon hearing of a domestic dispute in training camp. Now, with the Dolphins off to a 1-2 start, Philbin and friends are considering moving Tannehill to the bench and replacing him with Matt Moore. The question is…why? So far this season, Tannehill is completing about 56 percent of his passes along with 4 TDs and 2 INTs. These are about replacement-level numbers. So the idea is to replace a guy putting up replacement-level numbers with a replacement-level backup?
While Tannehill hasn’t been good to start this year, let’s not forget that it is just the beginning of his third freaking NFL season. Expecting every young quarterback to come in and instantly become Andrew Luck is a dangerous practice for both player and organization. Benching Tannehill at this point would probably shatter his confidence, and we’ve seen what happens to talented players whose confidence gets shot to hell all too early. Does Philbin think Matt Moore coming in is going to suddenly take the Dolphins to the fucking Super Bowl? Give me a break. I get that being an NFL head coach doesn’t offer the world’s greatest job security, but Philbin deciding to bench Tannehill at this point would look more like a panic move than a wise one. He’s remained noncommittal about his QB situation thus far this week, but he’s hinted at the possibility on multiple occasions.
The fact of the matter is that the Dolphins are 1-2, but they play in a division so weak that it’s not impossible in the least to imagine them sneaking into the playoffs. They almost did so last year, too. Miami faces the 0-3 Raiders this weekend in London. Not letting Tannehill start against a crappy Oakland team with the chance to build some confidence and get a rhythm going would be a massive mistake, and hopefully not one the Dolphins are going to be making.