As the NFL offseason continues to drag on, rumors and speculation rule the day. From possible free agent signings (Vonta Leach?) to potential contract disputes (Rehsad Jones?) to roster overhaul (Mike Wallace, Dannell Ellerbe, Brent Grimes, etc.), a lot of things around the Miami Dolphins have created buzz this offseason. According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, no quarterback in the league has generated more buzz than Ryan Tannehill.
Appearing on ESPN's NFL32, Mortensen points to the praise coming from the Miami receivers about Tannehill's downfield accuracy and how quickly he is getting rid of the ball.
Tannehill threw for a franchise rookie record 3,294 yards last year, with 12 touchdowns. However, he also was picked off 13 times, with a 58.3% completion rate. Those numbers have to improve for Tannehill, if the Dolphins are going to succeed with all of their new weapons.
Today ESPN's Ron Jaworski backed up Mortensen's observations after watching Tannehill's game tape from last year. According to Jaws, Tannehill "showed a lot of positive traits" in 2012, despite the lack of receiving weapons around him. Tannehill displayed an ability to "subtly move within the pocket to avoid pressure."
In just his first year in the league, "Tannehill was very good at throwing with bodies around him," what Jaws calls "a muddied pocket." He continued, describing the subtle movements and dealing with a crowded pocket as "advanced NFL quarterbacking."
Jaws did point to the Miami quarterback's third down performance last season as an area that must be improved. Tannehill had "the worst rating od all starting quarterbacks, including seven of his 13 interceptions" on third down.
The Dolphins are expecting big strides forward from Tannehill, who they selected with the eighth overall pick in the 2012 Draft. He became the Dolphins' first rookie quarterback to start opening day, and led the team throughout the season, only missing a portion of one game due to injury.
The Dolphins added several receiving threats to the roster this year, including Wallace, Brandon Gibson, and tight end Dustin Keller. The team also re-signed last year's leading receiver Brian Hartline, and are looking to third year receiver Armon Binns to add something to the offense as well.
Miami opens the preseason in just over a month, playing the Dallas Cowboys in the Hall of Fame Game.