NFL Network and NFL.com analyst Dave Dameshek is sold on Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins. So sold, in fact, he says it’s only a matter of time before Miami dethrones the New England Patriots in the AFC East.
“I’m not just saying this because I’m talking to Dolphins people—the Patriots’ story is an interesting one, but all right, enough all ready,” Dameshek said in an interview with The Finsiders. “The Belicheck and Tom Brady story, we’ve heard that one for a decade. I’m excited that it looks like the Dolphins are going to be a legitimate player now in the AFC for the next few years, and maybe the Bills are going to join them, too. And that makes things a lot more fun.”
A major source for Dameshek’s optimism stems from the progress of the Dolphins’ second-year quarterback.
“I think that’s pretty much the story of your team, [Tannehill’s] progress,” he said. “Expected, I think a lot of us expected he would turn the corner this year. He’s looked terrific, I think…It seems a shame [the offensive line] might be your downfall, because otherwise, the team has come a long way in two years.”
But while the offensive line has proved to be a significant cause for concern of Miami’s in 2013, Dameshek believes the future is still plenty bright, regardless of this season’s various issues.
“Whatever happens in 2013, I think you guys have a lot of cause for optimism there,” he said. “You’re better settled, I think, than the Bills or the Jets are, even though they have two guys that look like they might be good young quarterbacks going forward here.”
Dameshek didn’t stop there in his praise for Tannehill. In fact, he went on to pose an argument that Tannehill is second to only Andrew Luck out of the young quarterbacks around the league.
“In fact, I got in a little bit of an argument here and got beaten up a bit by some of the guys I work with at the NFL when I said that among the 2011 and 2012, this golden era of young QB’s coming out and into the league,” Dameshek said, “I would probably take Andrew Luck No. 1, but after that, I think I would take Tannehill over just about any of the other guys. People got crazy, ‘How could you say that about Russell Wilson, or Colin Kaepernick or Cam Newton?’
“Listen, this guy, and we’re just now starting to see it over the last two weeks, even in the game against the Saints that got away from you a little bit, what you saw is the return of the pistol a little bit. Nobody is running that with great effect this year, but let’s not sleep on the fact Ryan Tannehill himself and Brian Hartline, when I talked to him last week, both are quick to say, ‘Hey, Ryan is not a wide receiver. He’s a quarterback.’ Yeah, but he’s still got wheels and you guys should be taking advantage of that. And it seems like Philbin and company are starting to bring that into the offense more.”
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