The offseason continues to drag along, with nothing much happening around the NFL. However, having no new news does allow a review of last season, and a look at some of the statistics from 2012 in a new way. Pro Football Reference did just that this week, taking a look at the AFC East quarterbacks under pressure.
Lost in the mix of outstanding rookie quarterback performances, Tannehill more than held his own in his first season and his handling of pressure is probably the most encouraging sign that he's the future of the Dolphins franchise. While most quarterbacks wilt, Tannehill graded at +4.6 when pressured, a sign that he is capable of damage control and much more when under heat. Of course it's only one season and some of these numbers can change very quickly, but it was telling that Tannehill could live up to a lot of pre-draft scouting reports that said he was amongst the best in the draft class at handling pressure in the pocket.
Finding a weakness in his game was difficult and if he continues to maintain his poise while showing an ability to make more plays in the middle of the field, he has a chance to stay right in the middle of the conversation with the other top-notch quarterbacks in the class of 2012.
Interestingly, while Tom Brady was the class of the AFC East once again, Tannehill was easily the best passer under pressure. And, like PFF wrote above, it's hard to find an area where pressure overwhelmed Tannehill. His grade is the worst when pressure comes from a running back missing a block. Otherwise, Tannehill handles pressure just fine.
Even Brady struggles against some pressure - in this case, up the middle, where he is a -7.9 against center or guard pressure.
Can Tannehill keep up that performance, especially early in the season as the Miami offensive line looks to develop chemistry? We'll have to see as the season progresses. But, at least for now, pressure against Tannehill is actually a positive.