Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fumbles, sacks early-season issues for Tannehill


No quarterback in the NFL has fumbled as many times as Ryan Tannehill through three games.

The Miami Dolphins quarterback, whose nine fumbles last year were the third-most in franchise history, has already put the ball on the ground five times this season.

"Ryan has to do a better job with the football, there's no question about it," Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said this week, via Chris Perkins of the Sun Sentinel.

Tannehill needs to do his part, but so does his offensive line. The Dolphins' offense has surrendered the second-most sacks in the league with 14, and Tannehill has been taken down more than any other quarterback with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns playing two different signal-callers already.

“He had five sacks (Sunday)," Philbin said after the Dolphins' victory over the Atlanta Falcons. " It’s getting repetitive, you’re probably tired of hearing me say it, but the starting point in any passing game is protection.

"It’s tough for any defense to cover guys all across the field – it’s 53⅓ yards wide, I believe, and 120 yards long when you count the end zones – and if you can’t protect the quarterback, or if you get pressure on the quarterback, you help your pass coverage a lot and we have to do better."

The Dolphins are 3-0 and tied for the division lead, so things are going well in Miami. But they'll need to correct the ball security and pass protection issues if they want to keep it going.

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