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West Texas Native Ryan Tannehill Loses in NFL Debut for the Miami Dolphins

Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins Quarterback
Getty Images, Bob Levey

Big Spring, Texas native Ryan Tannehill had a rough go of it in his NFL debut Sunday for the Miami Dolphins. Not surprisingly, the Houston Texans proved to be too much for Tannehill and the Dolphins offense in the 30-10 loss.

Tannehill, the #8 overall draft pick out of Texas A&M, completed 20 of 36 pass attempts for 216 yards and three interceptions, earning him a less than amazing passer rating of 39. He was also sacked three times by the Texans defense. Not exactly what he – or the Dolphins – were hoping for to start the 2012 season.

What positive can Tannehill take from his day? He handled the post-game press conference well. Ryan was asked to evaluate his performance. His answer centered on turnovers:

“Any time you turn the ball over, you can’t be happy with yourself…regardless of how they happen, you can’t turn the ball over and put your defense in a bad situation, and ultimately a lot of points for them. So, we’re going to focus this week on not getting balls batted at the line…”

Asked if he felt nervous going into his first NFL game, Tannehill said:

“Yeah, I was a little nervous…I felt confident in what we were doing, the offensive line protected me pretty well all game, so there was no reason to be really nervous. You always have a little butterflies anytime you go into any game, no matter how long you’ve been playing. It’s just part of the excitement…I felt like we really hit a groove and really settled down.”

Tannehill was named the starter of the Dolphins in training camp, in what is widely considered a rebuilding year for the Dolphins. Don’t be surprised if the entire team has growing pains along the way. It’s no secret that Ryan has few offensive weapons at wide receiver, and Miami’s only threat offensively is running back Reggie Bush. Bush managed to rush for 69 yards, and pulled in 6 of Tannehill’s passes for 46 yards. But the Dolphins offense was unable to get into the end zone, producing only a 2nd quarter field goal (their lone touchdown came on a Marcus Thigpen punt return).

So, what does all of this mean to the big picture? Not much. This game went pretty much as expected. The Texans are picked by many to be the AFC’s representative in the Super Bowl, and the Dolphins are not good. It will be interesting to see how Ryan Tannehill improves as a team leader as the season progresses, but let’s not get crazy expecting him to lead Miami to a lot of victories until they add more pieces to their offense.

In other west Texas-related NFL quarterback news, Former Jim Ned High School/Texas Longhorn signal caller Colt McCoy started the season as backup to another rookie, Brandon Weeden. As McCoy watched, Weeden went 12-35 for 118 yards and threw four interceptions in his NFL debut, a 17-16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Weeden was also sacked twice, for an almost unheard of passer rating of 5.1. If this keeps up, Colt could see the playing field sooner than later.

Did you watch the Dolphins-Texans game? How would you grade Ryan Tannehill’s performance?

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