April 28, 2012; Davie, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins first round draft pick quarterback Ryan Tannehill holds up a jersey next to his wife Lauren Ufer during a press conference at the Dolphins training facility. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Tannehill to Start Tonight Against the Panthers

With the injury to David Garrard and Matt Moore’s pedestrian play so far in the preseason, Miami Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin is plugging in his newest and shiniest toy to start against the Carolina Panthers in tonight’s preseason matchup in Charlotte.

As a sportswriter, I’m certainly wrong enough, but boy do I love it when I’m right. Here’s text I pulled from an article I posted here back on May 10th, titled “Kuechly, Tannehill: The Search For ‘George:'”


Any excuse to put up a photo of Lauren Tannehill is a good one.

I thought it interesting so many draft “experts” claim that Tannehill was “at least a year away” from starting.

I happen to think he’ll be starting from Day One. Can some people not think beyond what’s in front of them? Sherman was ALWAYS Tannehill’s old college coach, no?

As I have said before, he comes into Miami in as unique a situation of any QB drafted in the NFL. By now, it’s common knowledge Miami OC Mike Sherman was his college coach.

What people didn’t seem to grasp until recently is what that means. It means Tannehill already has had 2 years of learning under Sherman and in fact it will be Tannehill helping teach the VETERANS some of the finer points of this offense. More than 2 years if you count the time he was a WR, in fact.

Tannehill’s work will come more in film study, learning the NFL’s complex defenses, and how to defeat them. And praying for WRs to fall to Miami from heaven or wherever because they need them badly. Late-round rookies aren’t gonna cut it.

editor’s note: 8/17 – The Dolphins had since signed Chad Johnson, then cut him this week due to all-too-well-known sad events recently

He has recently stated “80% to 85% of the offense is the same” as what he ran in college. He knows the verbiage going in, and knows what Mike Sherman expects from his players.

He also has both the other Miami QBs beaten badly in his physical tools that cannot be coached. This is what provides him with his real edge – specifically, his mobility and ability to throw on the run. With an OL that was upgraded in the offseason and draft, it should be the strength of the Miami offense – WR sure as heck isn’t.

Add to that recipe the fact that Reggie Bush is a great checkdown receiver and Lamar Miller is coming in from Miami (college) and he’s a capable receiver, and the Dolphins appear on the road to forming an identity. I just think Tannehill will be the one directing it from the start. No offense to Matt Moore, who played well last season, but when you draft a guy this high it’s hard to keep him benched IF he knows and can run the offense.


It would appear the words I wrote over three months ago are revealing themselves to be more and more true. While Tannehill hasn’t officially locked up the starting gig in week one, at this point I’d actually be surprised if he doesn’t. As I had said, Tannehill’s physical talents cannot be matched by either of the other QBs on the roster and he has outplayed Moore both in practice and in his first preseason game.

Unless he struggles mightily against a Panther defense that struggled against the Texans’ first-team offense (other than the goal-line stand), the job should be his to lose after tonight. Then there’s theory and there’s fact.

We’ll know what the facts are after tonight’s contest. Tannehill should play the entire first half with Moore playing in the second half. With a good showing next week against the Atlanta Falcons, who have a more evolved, veteran defense, he should solidify his claim.

Then again, we’re not sure quite yet and will know more in about 9 days.

That’s why they play the game.

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Tags: Atlanta Falcons Carolina Panthers David Garrard Joe Philbin Lamar Miller Lauren Tannehill Matt Moore Miami Dolphins Mike Sherman Reggie Bush Ryan Tannehill

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