My open letter to Ryan Tannehill

Dear Ryan Tannehill,

Ever since the first time my wife brought your name up during the 2011 season and I then began to study your game, I have been a huge fan. I watched every available snap that I could from your time at Texas A&M, and you were the QB I badly wanted my Miami Dolphins to take. I was disappointed to hear of your foot injury, thus preventing you from partaking in the Senior Bowl festivities. I watched every single throw from your pro day. I watched the Gruden QB Camp and was thoroughly impressed with your passion and intelligence for the game of football. I vividly remember Gruden showing you take shot after shot, and your response of "I bet you I completed it" I liked that quiet confidence. I sat with nervous trepidation the night of the draft, scared to death that someone else would see all of the qualities that I saw, and with each passing pick, my nervousness only increased. Surely my Miami Dolphins, a team that seemingly shoots itself in the foot, as it inevitably does. With Roger Goodell strolling to the podium, I can't remember a time where I had as much anxiety as I did, and upon hearing Mr Goodell announce "With the 8th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select...Ryan Tannehill" I pumped my fist with excitement, that my team invested in you, much as I would have done.

Your rookie year, you played against adverse conditions, given the skill talent that you were afforded on offense. An argument could be made that you played with better talent advantages at Texas A&M than what you were given to be broken into the National Football League. I watched you get literally engulfed by JJ Watt, your very first game, and get up, and keep fighting. I watched you develop a rapport with Brian Hartline, obvious chemistry being formed. Even though you were "raw, and needed time to develop" according to anyone and everyone that evaluated you prior to the draft, you were thrown in the deep end of the pool, and you did not drown. You stayed afloat, and showed signs that you were indeed good enough to be a part of the NFL. Year 2 would surely bring better results.

Year 2 brought you added weapons in the form of Mike Wallace, Brandon Gibson, With a full offseason of reps instead of doing the draft process, the hope was that you would continue your development. However, you had to endure a crisis that would go against everything that anyone trying to put the players in the best possible situation to succeed would envision as desirable. You took 58 sacks. That number doesn't even begin to tell the story. You had to endure a BAD Jonathan Martin at LT, a broken down Bryant McKinnie, a broken down Tyson Clabo, a bullying situation involving Richie Incognito, a national controversy that epitomized the word distraction. I watched your Head Coach decline to give any details, to answer any question with any substance, only to watch you take the podium moments later and answer every question to the best of your abilities, with honest, thoughtful answers. No one seems to give you any credit for that press conference, but you proved your leadership in spades that day. On top of this, even though you were playing in an offense you had known for the entirety of your college and pro career, it was not one where you or your teammates were utilized to the best of your abilities. No help from the running game. Despite all of this, you found yourself in playoff type atmospheres consecutive Sundays in December, in the snow in Pittsburgh, and at home vs New England. I watched you go toe to toe against 2 of the most clutch QB's in today's game, Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady, and lead clutch drives of your own to win crucial games. And although you didn't have your best games in the final 2 games of the year against a defensive scheme that had the offense's number, the fact that you had the Dolphins in playoff contention despite all of these adverse conditions spoke highly to me of what you were going to be able to do in year 3. You showed the continued development I wanted to see.

Year 3 was going to bring you reinforcements on the offensive line, the addition of Knowshon Moreno, who was going to bring an energy and toughness to the running game. A brand new offense, under a bright young offensive mind. Having said all that, I have an understanding that having 5 new offensive linemen isn't something that is going to give you immediate comfort, as you are going to have to get a feel for how these guys block, what their strengths and weaknesses are. A new offense means brand new terminology. Basically learning Spanish after you have mastered French. A new offense also means brand new routes and route combinations that you are being asked to run for the first time. I read and understand that the coaches talking about working on the timing of the receivers that is still going on, that you are still acclimating yourself with them. I understand that when you have hit your guys in the hands, countless times, by countless culprits, they have let you down and dropped the ball. I understand that the obvious chemistry you built with Brian Hartline, Charles Clay, and Brandon Gibson before he got hurt has not been utilized, as those players seem at times to be forgotten. I understand that the player with whom you have had the most difficult time getting on the same page with, Mike Wallace, is the player for which the bright, young offensive mind is forcing the offense around. I understand that playing behind 5 brand new offensive linemen, throwing routes that you haven't been asked to throw, to receivers who are letting you down by not always being where they are supposed to be, or if they are, drop the ball, while learning and trying to become proficient in a brand new offense is not a recipe that would be in any manual on QB development. 

Unfortunately, to compound these problems and growing pains, your Head Coach proved to either be completely ignorant or unaware of them. And then on top of it, while building an offseason around the mantra #StrongerTogether he leaves you twisting in the wind without anyone yet revealing how this was supposed to have any positive effect. The sad, cruel, ironic fact of the matter is if you do take fire and play the way I believe you are capable of this year, you will at the same time be saving the job of the same man who could not have your back. The people who called themselves your fans, your supporters, are leaving very quickly. You have nothing to lose really Ryan, and I implore you to go out there and simply play Ryan Tannehill football. Stop trying to be perfect, especially for a man who doesn't fully support you when you could use a little positive reinforcement. This is your team, your offense, go out and prove why you are the right man for the Miami Dolphins. Go out with with haymakers if you are going to go out. Chances are if Joe Philbin is not in Miami next year, you might not be either. So try with as much might as you have ever tried at anything else in your life.

 I want you to know that despite multiple calls for your head, despite the mobs and pitchforks, you have a FAN in Beverly Hills, FL who 100% believes in you. I have seen you do it Ryan, I know that you can, I have watched you face some of the toughest adversity for a young QB to endure, and you keep getting up, keep trying to get better. I KNOW that you will eventually prove all of the qualities I see in you, and you have my unwavering support. Go prove me right.

A True Fan

Ryan Booher


Comments

  1. Blah,blah,blah, Until he starts putting the ball where it belongs he will continue to flounder at QB. I admit several balls have been dropped but they are few and far between compared to your accuracy issues. Set up a tire in the back yard ,throw some balls into moving car windows, or work out with your receivers AFTER practice, do something to get you precision,timing and distance down pat, then we may begin to see better results. P.S. I am a lifelong fan and will continue to root for the team till the end but if things don't turn around soon you probably will end up in New England then you will really see the surely side of FIN FANS.;)

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