The Dolphins decided to move on from quarterback Ryan Tannehill this offseason and eventually offloaded him to the Tennessee Titans in a creative March trade. And on Wednesday, a TV debate ensued about whether Tannehill will very quickly supplant Marcus Mariota as the quarterback of the future in Nashville that he could not sustain in Miami.
On ESPN’s “NFL Live” program, former Dolphins VP of football Mike Tannenbaum, who’s been hired this offseason by the network as an analyst, and former South Florida media member-now ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington both “sang the praises” of Tannehill and his chance to take over the Titans:
“He’s (Mariota) got to stay healthy. I believe that Marcus has the talent, it’s whether you can stay healthy. And, if by week eight he all of a sudden he goes down with some kind of injury, Ryan Tannehill, as Mike and I know very well in South Florida, will come in there and look really pretty and really good.” Darlington continued, “And all the sudden he is going to be the type of practice player that’s going to make the Titans believe that he could be their guy. I believe that, ultimately, the Titans will enter 2020 believing that Ryan Tannehill will be there Franchise QB.”
For the record, Tannenbaum, who gave Tannehill a four year $77 million extension in Miami in 2015, agreed that he could become the Titans guy sooner rather than later,
“When healthy, he’s been a startinig-winning quarterback. That’s not hope. That’s not conjecture. That’s just the facts….Marcus is your starter, but they have depth at that position…and you got two guys that you can win with.”
Now, obviously what’s left out here is the Tannehill has been injured in each of the last three seasons. It started with his ACL tear in December of 2016 costing him a chance to help the Dolphins during a late-season playoff push and they were eventually beaten in their AFC Wildcard game at Pittsburgh without him.
Tannehill then, elected not to have surgery on the knee try to rehab it and be ready for training camp of 2017. Only to re-tear the ACL that August and have to have the surgery, eventually missing the entire season. He came back off the knee surgery with a good training camp and preseason and the Dolphins even got off to a 3 – 0 start in 2018. Yet, this time it was an injured shoulder in an October game with Cincinnati that eventually cost him five more games.
So, while Darlington and Tannenbaum touting Tannehill’s praises, the other part of that is he’s been a bigger injury problem than Mariota over the last three years.. And clearly, Mariota had a 2017 season where he led Tennessee to the playoffs and a victory over Kansas City, and that says something for his future in the “Music City.”
Still, he suffered a hamstring injury late last year missing a couple of key games himself, as Tennessee missed out a wildcard spot on the final night of the season. Thus, calling into question, whether Mariota will get a long term massive contract in Tennessee.
It’s going to be interesting to watch from a distance, whether Tannehill becomes the guy at some point due the injury or poor play by the Titans former #2 overall pick in 2015.
For now, he has to be content to wait for a shot, if it comes.
Dolphins QB Rosen did little Friday night to win starting job
The ongoing battle for who will start the Dolphins season at quarterback took another interesting turn in Friday night’s preseason game with the Buccaneers. However, the current backup, second-year player Josh Rosen, did little to help his case to unseat veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick.
New head coach Brian Flores and his offensive coordinator, Chad O’Shea, obviously challenged Rosen by having him start with the first team and play the entire first half in last night’s second preseason game.
Unfortunately, for Rosen and the coaching staff, he did a little to impress and at times, showed the same shaky quarterback play and bad throws that he did during a mostly dismal rookie season in Arizona. The final stat line read 10-18 102 yards 0 TD and 0 INT, which indicates average half of football.
And, yes there were damp conditions from pregame rain, but Rosen on multiple occasions threw behind or low towards receivers that were open for possible gains. He was also jittery against the Bucs occasional blitz package from new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and Rosen was sacked three times and knocked down several others.
A key moment of scrutiny was when Rosen was unable to get the team in the end zone after they got outstanding field position on a Buccaneers 31 yard line midway through the first after fumble buy backup running back Andre Ellington. The Fins moved inside the 10, but Tampa Bay held Miami on fourth down, where Rosen threw incomplete in the right corner of the end zone to backup receiver Isaiah Ford and Miami came away with no points.
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) August 17, 2019
Later in the first half Rosen should have thrown an interception, as he threw the ball right to Bucs rookie defensive back Jamel Dean after throwing late and behind a receiver on the near sideline. However, Dean dropped the INT. Still, Miami punted shortly after.
Coach Brian Flores said after the joint practices with the Bucs this week that Rosen needed to “improve his body language” and leading the team.
Yet, while this was a dress rehearsal, he did little to inspire the Dolphins offense, which only managed 2 field goals even with great field position throughout the first half.
There will still be more opportunity for Rosen in the final two preseason games, and perhaps he will be better.
Better than he was Friday night.
Lots to watch as Bucs host Dolphins Friday night
Week two of the NFL preseason continues tonight, as the Bucs will host the Dolphins in the annual in-state preseason contest. Of course, in typical Florida fashion and typical Bucs vs. Dolphins preseason fashion, the weather is looking like rain will be a factor in the game.
With that being said, here are a few things to watch for tonight:
Dolphins QB Battle:
Josh Rosen and former Buc Ryan Fitzpatrick are still battling for the spot of QB1 for the Fins. Rosen took some first-team reps in practice, and eventually Miami will need to see him work with the ones in a game at some point. Is that tonight is the question?
Also, look for Rosen’s “body language,” as that has been a topic of discussion at the joint practices this week and has been said to be one of his worst characteristics. With the weather being an issue tonight, it will be interesting to see who plays the better game at quarterback the young gunslinger or the veteran, Fitzpatrick.
With Kenyan Drake down with an injured foot, Ballage has an opportunity for the taking tonight. Both he and Drake were sharing reps, and Ballage was expecting expanded work coming into the season. With Drake now hurt, we could see the second year Ballage put a stronghold on the position after a great week of practice.
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) August 14, 2019
Bucs Secondary Depth:
The Bucs have been hit with injuries throughout the secondary positions so far in camp in particular at safety. The Bucs added a veteran safety earlier this week in former Bronco, Darin Stewart. Stewart has already practiced with the team this week and could be a nice added boost to the back end. At Corner, look to see rookie Sean Murphy-Bunting take a step forward in his second NFL game, as well as USF rookie product, Mazzi Wilkins, who will try to keep up a strong camp.
Bucs Back up QB:
Bruce Arians has said Ryan Griffin gives him reasons to keep a third QB on the active roster. Now, Griffin has to keep playing well to restore the faith. Many have thought of Griffin to be the Bucs back up, but Blaine Gabbert has come in and taken that job. Griffin will need to show Arians that a third QB should be active and that it shouldn’t go to another position.
Bucs Rookie Matt Gay has lit up with what could compared to a “bazooka” right leg. With his long 60-yard kicks in camp, fans are taking videos in practice. This is excellent news so far, but none of this means a thing when kicking in practice.
After hitting a Heinz Field record 55-yard attempt last week in Pittsburgh, Gay will look to continue his success from camp into game action as he looks to lock up the kicking spot on the roster.