After being drafted with the No. 8 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, many Dolphins fans labeled quarterback Ryan Tannehill as the savior of the franchise. Tannehill went on to start all 16 games as a rookie and while he may not have had the season other rookie quarterbacks had, Tannehill said he built confidence throughout the season.
In an interview with WQAM in Miami, Tannehill said his rookie season was a learning process and he picked up something in every game. While Miami didn't succeed in every situation, he said the process should help the Dolphins next season.
"I got more confidence with every step that I made throughout the year," Tannehill said, according to Sports Radio Interviews. "If you look back early on I wish we could have won a couple of those games that went to overtime early and then games we lost right now at the end, right after that, so we learned from those experiences and are looking forward to next year when we are put in the same situation and can come out with the win."
While Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson led their teams to the playoffs as rookies, Tannehill had an up-and-down season. He finished with 3,294 passing yards and 12 touchdowns, compared to 13 interceptions. While the results weren't always great, Tannehill gained much needed experience while continuing to develop.
SB Nation's Miami Dolphins blog The Phinsider took a closer look at some of the comments made by Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland as he discussed Tannehill's rookie season. Ireland said the organization violated a principle by drafting Tannehill because he had only 19 career starts with Texas A&M while they usually look for quarterbacks with at least 30 career starts.
While Ireland said he thought Tannehill did a great job as a rookie and thinks the team is better off having drafted him, there is still work to be done.
"So now we're going to hopefully see a big jump in his development," Ireland said. "We're not satisfied where he is right now. He has a long way to go. He knows that. We know that. But, we think, if we can surround him with some things, not only from a protection stand point, but some play makers down the field, he's only going to get better and better and better."