Every team says their quarterback is a leader of the franchise. It's part of the nature of the position. However, saying a player is a leader, even making him a captain, does not mean he is actually a leader. Throughout this past offseason, a lot of rhetoric was heard that Miami Dolphins second year quarterback Ryan Tannehill was taking that step and establishing himself as the leader.
He was said to be organizing offseason workouts, getting all of the team's new offensive weapons together to start working on the chemistry that will be so critical this year. Tannehill was elected, by the players, to the team's six-man "Leadership Council" this year. Player after player has said that Tannehill is more sure of himself and is taking on that mantle of leadership.
But, as fans, there's always a question of a team simply saying the right things about a young quarterback because he is a quarterback. Is Tannehill actually a leader for the 2013 Dolphins?
One moment in the Dolphins' Week 1 contest against the Cleveland Browns answered every question about Tannehill's leadership of the team.
With 4:52 seconds left in the game, the Dolphins ran Daniel Thomas off left guard Rchie Incognito for four yards. Immediately after the play, wide receiver Rishard Matthews got into a shouting match with a Cleveland player or two. Then, this happened:
Jonathan Marin grabs Matthews and says something, Mike Pouncey and Brian Hartline each throw in some words, then Tannehill comes in, grabs Matthews, yells "Get the **** off the field,", and forcing the receiver out of the game. If there's a better example of a quarterback taking charge of his team, I don't know about it.
After the game, Tannehill was asked about that moment, and he explained that, 20-10 game late in the fourth quarter and within field goal range, the team could not afford a penalty and he could not afford to lose Matthews, so he handled it by getting Matthews out of there and let him go cool down on the sideline. Tannehill also said, Matthews is a competitor and that's what you want from your wide receivers, but it boiled over in that instance.
Tannehill took charge of a situation he saw as dangerous for the team and ended it. Then, after the game, he explained what happened, without throwing Matthews under the bus.
Looks like we don't have to worry about Tannehill's leadership anymore.
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