Former president of the Indianapolis Colts and current ESPN analyst Bill Polian isn’t surprised by Ryan Tannehill’s early success in 2013. If there’s anyone who has a grasp on young quarterbacks progressing, it’s Polian, who selected a guy by the name of Peyton Manning back in 1988 with the Colts.
“I go back with Tannehill to his junior year, the year he came out from Texas A&M,” Polian said in the latest edition of Hank Goldberg’s ‘Hammertime’ podcast series. “I saw him in a shootout with Landry Jones at Oklahoma among other times. I talked with Mike Sherman at length about him. I didn’t have any doubts that he would be a good quarterback in this league and it’s not surprising that he’s doing what he’s doing, because he’s got now talented receivers around him at every position.”
Tannehill currently ranks ninth in the league in quarterback rating, sitting at 94.3 through the first three games. He’s completed 66-percent of his passes for 827 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.
Polian only sees the second year quarterback out of Texas A&M going up from here.
“And he’s the kind of guy that’s going to get better with time because he’s a studious player,” Polian said. “He’s a guy who works at the game, he’s a gym rat to use an old hackneyed phrase. But he’s in there, night, noon and mornings studying and guys like him get better and better and sometimes even transcend their physical gifts. And he’s a very gifted athlete, that’s why he was a wide receiver at Texas A&M, so I’m not surprised by that.
“The fact that the Dolphins did such a great job at adding talent around him has caused him to play better and experience has caused him to play better, but he’s the real thing. I don’t think there’s any question about that.”
It’s been a while since people have described the Dolphins’ quarterback as the ‘real deal’, but there are a few notable areas where Tannehill needs to grow quickly for Miami to continue its success. One of those areas is how quickly he gets rid of the football.
“He needs to get the ball out of his hands quicker,” Polian said. “That’s the whole premise of the offense. Every snap he plays, he will get better at it. So as long as he stays healthy, and he should do that because he’s got pretty good escape ability, he’ll be alright and the sacks will come down as the season progresses because he’ll get the ball out quicker and be more secure on going with the hot route or the sight adjust, and he’ll get it out quicker. So the sacks will go down as the season goes along, I believe.”
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