The Saturday Night Quarterback

Tomorrow's game against the Atlanta Falcons kicks-off at 4:30 pm and the start time reminds me that the Dolphins owner Stephen Ross' preference is to have late starting home games to save the fans from the elements. Now I don’t know if tomorrow’s start time has to do with Ross’ desires or because they are playing an NFC team at home, but if you ask the true fans I believe they would rather sacrifice their comfort and have the 1 p.m. heat be a home field advantage for their fins. This is one of many issues that Miami neglects to control, resulting in a lost advantage. Another advantage that Miami fails to take advantage of at is to start the game with possession of the football. I stated last week Miami should not defer if they win the coin toss. They did defer and gave the Colts the ball. It ended up working out ok with the missed field goal. Again, this week against the Falcons and Matt Ryan at the helm, the Fins should not defer and they should attempt to be the first team to put a score on the board. This creates a sense of urgency and most teams will feel the need to pass the ball. Especially since Atlanta’s starting RB is out, Miami’s defensive front will be able to put pressure on Matt Ryan. Finally, I’d like to bring up Ryan Tannehill. I think Ryan Tannehill can be the Dolphins’ franchise Q.B., but being a franchise Q.B. doesn’t guarantee playoff success. Alex Smith has been a franchise Q.B. for two teams, but led neither teams to the Super Bowl. What I’d like to see from Ryan Tannehilll tomorrow and developed through the rest of the season is his pocket presence and his ability to extend plays. The problem with Alex Smith, who I like and wanted to get through free-agency, is he lacks big play making ability. Most big plays come from the Q.B. extending the play by moving through and out of the pocket, like Big Ben Roethlisburgh and Mike Wallace did when they played together. Alex Smith for the most part, even though he has been successful statistically speaking, hasn’t won the big game because he lacks big play making ability. The question for tomorrow is: Is Ryan Tannehill going to play with pocket presence, extend plays, and make some big plays or will the coaching staff handcuff him again? Tanny has both the elusiveness and tools to extend and make big plays, but will he? I look forward to finding out tomorrow.

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