Friday, October 19, 2012

Dolphins expect lots of blitzing with Tannehill at helm


When Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin announced before the regular season that rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill would be the opening-day starter, running back Reggie Bush knew one thing was inevitable: the blitz.

“Obviously, you already know right off the back, you’re just going to get a lot of blitzes," Bush said Tuesday, according to the team's media site. "D-coordinators are going to want to pressure the quarterback because they want to see if he can handle the pressure. That’s something you kind of already know.

"It’s just built in for rookie quarterbacks and you know they’re probably going to stack the box if you’ve got a pretty solid running game. Those are all things that we’ve been seeing, but, at the same time, I think Ryan has handled it amazing and he’s done a great job with it."

Tannehill's completion percentage goes up nearly five percent when he's blitzed compared to when he's not, according to Pro Football Focus.

"His poise is tremendous and is making a huge difference in our offense and our ability to run the no-huddle for one, run it successfully and then ID the different exotic looks we’re getting from defenses," Bush said. "So it’s extremely vital and important that he’s the way he is out there and he is handling it well. He’s handling the pressure well and it’s hard to even tell if he’s rattled out there a little bit because it seems like he’s just so poised.”

Despite teams often stacking the box with eight defenders against the Dolphins' offense, Bush has helped take some of that pressure off of Tannehill, as the veteran tailback is averaging 4.4 yards a carry and 8.2 yards a reception as an outlet.

“I don’t take (teams stacking the box) personal," Tannehill said. "We have a great running game and some great backs that are able to do some things. Reggie (Bush), our offensive line has done a good job if you look at our first six games, so they know it’s a big part of our offense and they want to take it away and make me beat them. . . . I look forward to the challenge.”

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