Ryan Tannehill has thrown five passes this season. Correction. He has thrown five passes this PREseason. Yet, already, fans want to see a quarterback controversy for the Miami Dolphins. In the live and die by every single play mentality that fans have, those five passes were enough for them to elevate Matt Moore, who really was not that overwhelming Sunday night against the Dallas Cowboys in the Hall of Fame Game, to Tannehill's competition.
The favorite player on any team is always the backup quarterback.
"He looked awful; the offense looked awful," ESPN's Merrill Hoge stated yesterday of Ryan Tannehill. "What I saw early on, I would be bothered if I were a coach of the Miami Dolphins."
Apparently, those five passes from Tannehill were enough to declare him a bust and have the Dolphins scrambling to find a new franchise quarterback.
Let's take a look at the five passes from Tannehill.
1st-and-10, MIA 45
Tannehill throws behind Marvin McNutt for an incompletion.
2nd-and-10, MIA 45
Tannehill throws behind McNutt for an incompletion.
3rd-and-10, MIA 45
Tannehill grounds ball at Lamar Miller's feet to avoid sack.
2nd-and-7, MIA 10
Tannehill passes to Dustin Keller for 4-yards.
3rd-and-3, MIA 14
Tannehill passes to Brandon Gibson for 7-yards.
That last pass was the offense's tenth play of the game, and the majority of the starters were pulled as soon as the play was complete.
Five passes, two behind McNutt, a ball grounded to avoid a sack, and two completions. While Tannehill admitted that the most important thing he has to work on this year is his accuracy, and the first two passes demonstrated exactly why. To be fair, those were passes to McNutt, not to Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, or Brandon Gibson, so the chemistry just may not be there like it is with the top three receivers.
The one issue that is concerning is footwork, which looked sloppy from Tannehill. Again, there may be an excuse for that too, as pressure was getting into the face of the second year quarterback on nearly every pass.
Meanwhile, Moore came into the game and started off sharp. He started moving the ball, but the drive eventually stalled, as most Miami drives did on the night. As the game wore on, Moore looked less and less crisp, especially on a horrible sack on a second and goal play from the five yard line. Moore panicked, ran backwards, and, rather than throw the ball away, crumpled under George Selvie for a 14 yard loss.
Moore was credited with an interception on the night when a ball bounced off Chand Bumphis hands and into the waiting arms of linebacker DeVonte Holloman. Tannehill had a fumble on his stat line, though it was running back Lamar Miller who truly was at fault on the failed handoff.
Moore came back to the Dolphins fully aware of the fact that he was returning as the second string quarterback. There is no chance of him claiming the top spot, and there shouldn't be. This is Ryan Tannehill's team. For or better or worse, that's the way it has to be.
Moore has had a chance to claim the starting job, multiple times, for multiple teams. He looks good when he gets his shot as a backup, but there's a reason he is not the Carolina Panthers' starter. There's a reason he is not the Miami Dolphins' starter.
Some guys are just made to be backup quarterbacks. And, that's fine.
But, giving up on your first, first round draft pick quarterback since 1983 one year after picking him makes no sense. You have to live with or die because of that quarterback. You have to let him develop. You have to give him a chance to gain confidence.
Not rip it away by benching him because of five passes in the Hall of Fame Game.
Is Tannehill a sure thing? Of course not. But, he is the present and the future of the Dolphins. Calling for Matt Moore is nothing but an overreaction at this point. Tannehill was not awful, no matter what people say.
Even when it comes from Hoge.