Fan concerns over Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill's use of "Go" vs. "Go-Go" before plays have steadily built over the past year and a half. Some fans have become convinced a pattern has developed in which Tannehill says Go" preceding every passing play and "Go-Go" before every running play. Head coach Joe Philbin was asked about the issue a few weeks ago and brushed the concerns aside, saying he didn't feel it was an issue.
However, some fans kept insisting it was an issue, which led beat reporters to ask players about it. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports in his online "Sports Buzz" column today that Tannehill and tight end Michael Egnew were willing to answer questions, and both believed fan concerns were baseless.
Egnew insisted that the offense varies whether "Go" or "Go-Go" is used before a run play or pass play, and that fans who believe otherwise are mistaken. Tannehill likewise said that while fans might not always hear through the TV, he does vary his usage of "Go" vs. "Go-Go" before plays so that there isn't a consistent pattern. He then added that he sometimes doesn't use either "Go" or "Go-Go" before the snap.
Personally - I never thought it was a huge deal since ultimately, defenders are going to base their play predictions on their film study and the behavior of the offensive line and QB after the snap.
Even if the opposing defense hears "Go" before the play, which some fans believe means a pass play is upcoming, the defenders are still going to pay attention if they see Tannehill extending his arm for a handoff to a running back if it's third and short.
And if those defenders hear "Go-Go" before the play, they're still going to fulfill their coverage responsibilities, especially if the current situation calls for a pass play.
That's because it would be extremely easy to exploit defenders who based their pre-snap predictions of the upcoming Dolphins play on hearing "Go" versus "Go-Go." All the quarterback would have to do is "switch up" his pre-snap routine and say, "Go-Go" before a play-action pass, and voila, the defense is left looking foolish as they over-commit to the run on a deep-passing play. Defenders aren't stupid, and they know that even if Tannehill uses "Go-Go" 80% of the time before a running play, they could get burned by a deep pass if they overpursued a fake handoff after hearing "Go-Go" the 20% of the time it's not a running play.
And honestly, our formations and playcalling are so predictable and uncreative that there's really no need to wait until hearing the snap cadence. Without hearing "Go" versus "Go-Go", you can usually predict our plays. If Tannehill is under center, it's usually a handoff. If Tannehill is in shotgun, we're almost always going to pass because (based on anecdotal observation) I'd estimate we've run maybe 5 halfback draws the entire season despite issues dealing with pass rush, so Daniel Thomas is on the field to pass block, not to run.
So if you're upset that defenders seem to know our plays, I'm with you on it. However, it has more to do with the lack of creativeness in recent weeks than Tannehill's pre-snap vocalizations in my opinion.