The Miami Dolphins organization is reportedly split on quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports the folks in the personnel department see Tannehill as a top-eight passer in the league whom they would take over the likes of Eli Manning, Drew Brees, Tony Romo, Phillip Rivers, Carson Palmer, Cam Newton, Teddy Brigdewater and Blake Bortles.
Meanwhile, the coaching staff, led by interim head coach Dan Campbell, see the fourth-year signal-caller as nothing more than a game manager who just needs to not turn the ball over for the team to win.
“What I’ve told Ryan is, ‘I don’t need Superman.’ … I just want to make sure my message to him is don’t try to be someone you’re not,” Campbell told me weeks ago. “Just manage the game for us. Make the throws that are there, which he will.”
Perhaps this disconnect between the front office and the coaching staff will mean Campbell isn’t going to be around as the interim head coach any longer than the team needs him to be. As we’ve seen in the past, the Dolphins will almost certainly look for a big-name head coach to come in and guide the franchise after the 2015 season has concluded.
Back to Tannehill, who has shown a smattering of good and bad this year, the Dolphins desperately need him to pan out after giving him a massive contract extension this past offseason worth $96 million ($45 million guaranteed) over five years.
Unfortunately, he’s in the bottom quarter of NFL passers this year with 10 interceptions — which is certainly why Campbell and his staff want him to be a game manager — and he has taken 30 sacks, which is the fourth-most of any quarterback in the league.
Apparently he’s also been behind the eight ball in terms of pre-snap reads, because offensive coordinator Bill Lazor has “limited the audibles” the quarterback can call at the line of scrimmage, per Salguero. The Dolphins want him playing fast, rather than over-thinking things at the before the snap — a similar approach to what the San Francisco 49ers attempted to implement with Colin Kaepernick before his demotion.
This story is certainly far from over. The front office invested heavily in Tannehill, believing he is the guy to lead the franchise into the next decade, but it’s far from a given that he can deliver.