Ever since the monumental free-agent signings by general manager Jeff Ireland in the receiver department this offseason, the sophomore signal-caller has been eyed as the make-or-break factor of the 'Fins offense in the upcoming season. (photo: June Rivera, Flickr)
Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman isn't cutting him any slack, either.
Maybe that's because Sherman believes Tannehill can rise up to the challenge, and then some. In a recent interview with Jesser Agler on the Phinsiders show, Sherman said he believes Tannehill will turn more heads in 2013 than all of the QBs that joined him in the league last season, so to speak.
"We didn't score enough points last year, and this year we really have to do a better job in that department ... (Tannehill) will be the most improved quarterback in the National Football League from year one to year two this year, I promise you that," Sherman said.
"I thought he had a good rookie year for what we asked him to do. Now, with us building up some more weaponry around him, I think he’ll be even better this upcoming year."
That's a heavy burden for a second-year guy to carry, though Tannehill's freshmen year was pretty impressive given the cards he was dealt. He posted a 58 percent completion rate, which was higher than Andrew Luck, Mark Sanchez and Cam Newton, among others. And while Luck may have thrown a bunch more touchdowns, Tannehill's quarterback rating was only a hair lower than his, at 76.1.
With a revamped offensive strategy and the additions of Mike Wallace, Brandon Gibson and Dustin Keller (not to mention the return of Brian Hartline), Tannehill should have more than enough to work with when he's going through his reads. The real question will be if a full year of exposure is enough time for the young quarterback to carry the offense on his shoulders, and whether Ireland's option to go with a slightly older player (Tannehill will be 25) will come through this season.