I pretty much watch every interview of Dolphins players. I don't know exactly why I do it; perhaps inside I believe that something in the players body language or voice inflection will clue me in to what I have to expect from the team (or that player) moving forward. I think I am fairly well skilled in reading people and have even taken some tests to back up this notion. Sure enough, I tested very high in my ability to read body language and facial expressions. But this article isn't about my test scores, it is about a player that kills me every time I watch an interview of him. He kills me because I want him to be great in the worst way. It is about Ryan Tannehill.
I was very excited that the Dolphins took him at number 8 overall in the draft. I was primarily excited because it meant that Mike Sherman truly had faith in him and there must be a reason for that. But every time I watch an interview on this kid I get a bad feeling. You might find a millisecond here and there that say otherwise, but overall he seems to indicate that all of this is easy. I see a guy who thinks that playing quarterback in the NFL is a walk in the park (yawn).
My first reaction was to look for reasons that this might be the case. After all he does have some unique tools in his belt. His OC was his head coach in college and there is a lot of carry over with the play book. He played receiver and QB in college, so he has a unique view on the quarterback position. Less uniquely, his team mates on offense are higher caliber players than what he worked with in college. Finally, training camp has just started so there is still time for things to get more challenging. But is this enough to make a rookie playing the hardest position in all of sports feel like a day at the beach?
It isn't like I want things to be hard on any person or player, but the truth is that this level of play is hard for anybody and everybody. When I see rookies acting like the NFL is no big deal, I usually see that rookie go on to struggle. One player that Tannehill really reminds me of in interviews is Koa Misi. I remember how casual Koa was when he first joined the team and how he felt like he was picking everything up quickly, then he got on the field and did pretty much nothing. The successful players always seem to have an intensity about them or a focus that is almost tangible. If it isn't hard, what is driving you to get better by overcoming your own personal challenges? And the problem isn't just what I see, it is what I don't see. I don't see drive, focus, determination, intensity, leadership skills, communication skills, wit, cunning or anticipation. Do my eyes and ears deceive me?
Let me share a moment with you as I make a request to the good Lord. Please, please, please let me be wrong about this. Please Lord Baby Jesus allow this to be one of those moments where my instincts fail me. Enough with the humor... Seriously, I hope I am just misreading this. Perhaps his stone face and easy going nature will be a true asset to him and enhance his ability to lead this team moving forward. Perhaps his quiet confidence is fully justified and he wanted to wait until he got in the pros to set the world on fire. But I don't really recall the college game being easy for him and I am pretty sure the NFL isn't any easier.
Don't forget, I am not a reporter. I offer nothing more than an opinion based on my observation and it is my opinion alone!