Every prediction I’ve seen has Houston winning today’s game. Not only are the local media picking the Texans, but they are picking them big. I’m seeing scores like 30-10, 31-6, 34-16, 27-6…etc.etc.etc… My question is, have these people been watching football for only one season?
I’m not about to predict the Dolphins will win this game because on paper they are extremely overmatched. But why are they overmatched? Because they have a rookie head coach, rookie quarterback, a rookie right tackle, and unproven wide receivers outside Davone Bess. But as Joe Philbin has said, everyone has to start somewhere. Hopefully for us Dolfans, that starts today.
This guy is gonna be good. We’ve all heard that statement before, haven’t we? Four years ago, every Dolphins fan was drooling over Chad Henne’s strong arm, prototypical size, accuracy, and extensive and celebrated 4-year starting career at the University of Michigan. That is, every fan except me. I made the mistake of buying into the John Beck hype, so for Henne I wanted to take a step back and look at how he would be different than Beck. The more I looked at it, the more I saw how similar the two QBs were. Both had all the intangibles an NFL quarterback should have (Henne may have had a few more), but they also both were shy, introverted, non-vocal players who kept to themselves.
Dan Marino wasn’t quiet. Tom Brady isn’t shy. Peyton Manning isn’t an introvert. Heck, even Eli Manning has come out of his shell. Henne and Beck were just not confident enough to play quarterback in the NFL. What it basically boiled down to is they did not have the essential leadership quality that every great quarterback has had in the National Football League.
This brings me back to Tannehill. There’s hype again which is warranted. There are concerns which are also valid. But assuming the quarterback has a strong arm, the tough stature, and the accuracy, what is the single most important quality an NFL starter must have? Leadership. Ryan Tannehill is a leader. He’s outspoken. He’s not shy. And he certainly isn’t introverted.
This is what excites me about our new starting quarterback, and this is one of the main reasons he is the first Miami Dolphins rookie to start an opening day game.
Unproven Wide Receivers
You know what makes unproven wide receivers proven? A great quarterback. So, Legadu Naanee, Marlon Moore, and Anthony Armstrong have the benefit of making a name for themselves with a quarterback who will
make a name for himself. You guys remember a guy named Mark Clayton? He was drafted in the 8th round out of the University of Louisville. Low pick, no expectations, and no big name. You know what helped him make a name for himself, go to five Pro Bowls, and pair up with Mark Duper to become the famed “Marks Brothers”? He was drafted in 1983, seven rounds after Dan Marino. Let’s see what happens with these unproven receivers.
Unproven Rookie Head Coach
Joe Philbin and this coaching staff’s success will go as far as Ryan Tannehill. That’s the bottom line. Why is Bill Belichick such a genius? Tom Brady. Why did Don Shula enjoy a 32 year head coaching career, two Super Bowls, the only
perfect season in NFL history? Bob Griese (with some help from Earl Morrall) and Dan Marino. Griese’s teams had a lot more than just a passing offense, but it all starts with the quarterback.
So let’s sit back and watch this new era of Dolphins football introduce itself. They may not win their first game together (Houston is
really good), but they aren’t going to get their asses kicked like every local reporter thinks.