and it might not be very popular but I feel it should be said so please bear with me.
I mentioned this in another blog, but wanted to create a new one instead.
Since Tannehill and Moore are career below 80 passer rating quarterbacks (78.6 and 79.3 respectively), it is not likely a franchise QB exists on the roster. Jay Fiedler (77.1) and Chad Henne (75.5) were once thought of as guys that can win big games for this team in the playoffs, but in hindsight, we can all see that was not the case.
So in my opinion, it really does not make a difference who the starting QB is. They will lead this team to a .500 or below record because that is what their track records indicate. Matt Moore may throw the deep ball better than Tannehill and complete some to those open receivers deep, but he will miss badly on short throws or throw the ball in triple coverage. In deciding which QB you want to start in this case is just a matter of preference...which QB you think will frustrate you the least. If that's Matt Moore for you I completely understand.
But the only way I believe this team can get back to its winning ways and maybe salvage the season (for those that are interested in salvaging the season and perhaps saving Philbin's job) is to dare I say...play Wanny ball.
I believe by now (after 35 starts) the coaches should have come to the conclusion that Tannehill is not a franchise QB. He has way too many holes in his game, and he is not improving on those weaknesses much, if any. Most of us already know the holes in his game, but I will summarize anyway.
Weaknesses include (but not limited to): pocket awareness, deep passing accuracy, inability to check down appropriately, inability to lead receivers consistently on short to intermediate throws, inability to throw with touch consistently when the situation calls for it, protecting the ball when defenders are hovering around, getting passes batted at the line of scrimmage, running for cheap yardage, staring down receivers, converting touchdowns in the red zone and the inability to improvise for positive plays (or at least avoid negative plays). Perhaps I am being a bit critical here, but these weaknesses are apparent to me when watching the film.
But Ryan Tannehill can still have value as a game manager. Now I know that is like a curse word to football fans, but at this point it appears that is Tannehill's ceiling. In fact, Tannehill should now be treated by Philbin like Fiedler was to Wannstedt. He should be placed on a pitch count (25-28 passes or less, if possible) and about 3-4 designed run plays a game. His influence on the game will be less significant but his performance could be more efficient. He could succeed where Jay Fielder could not because he is more mobile, has a stronger arm and is just a better athlete. By limiting his pitch count we will reduce his negative plays and focus on what he does best instead.
What does Tannehill do well?
Strengths include (but not limited to): Passing on the run, throwing short to intermediate slants, running with the football, throwing from designed rollouts, short to intermediate outs, comeback routes, 5-7 step drops (3 step drops get knocked down too much) and read option plays.
If you notice, a lot of Tannehills skills are what Wannstedt wanted out of Fielder (except the read option) but could not due to his limited athleticism and arm strength. I think with proper coaching Tannehill can play to his strengths which can allow him to be a better, more efficient quarterback.
But Cam Wake and Olivier Vernon are excellent edge rushers that can rush the passer much like Taylor/Armstrong, Taylor/Ogunleye of the 2000's.
Grimes is not a shut down corner like Madison was but he is the best we've had since.
There is no Zach Thomas comparison on this team, but maybe we can catch lightning in bottle with Misi or Jelani Jenkins. I hope.
There is no Ricky Williams, but Knowshon Moreno displayed the kind of physical back that's been lacking here since well...Ricky. While Moreno does not have Ricky's natural talent, he breaks tackles and runs well between the tackles. Lamar Miller has also run well this year and the offensive line has run blocked much better this year than we anticipated.
Mike Wallace has better speed than Chris Chambers and Hartline can be a possession receiver like Gadsden.
We have a Pro Bowl punter that can pin teams consistently inside their 10, but our placekicker is a bit shaky. We would probably need a better kicker for this brand of football.
My point is we can field a team with comparable parts on offense and defense to succeed in 2014 the way it did in 2000. We can run the football about 60% of the time (70 plays - 42 runs and 28 passes) +/- 3% depending on the type of game we are in and punt if necessary. The carries can be distributed between Moreno, Miller and Williams so the sum is around 40 (I know they are not Csonka, Morris and Kiick, but work with me here). I know this is not a popular opinion, but I don't see any other way to win with QBs with career passer ratings below 80.
We probably will not win a Super Bowl in 2014, but we can salvage the season until we draft a QB next year.