That Ryan Tannehill wasn’t totally overwhelmed by pressure during his rookie season wasn’t necessarily shocking — he, after all, was a college wide receiver for a few seasons, possessing the athleticism to keep up with speedy defenders. The degree to which he succeeded, though, was impressive and promising.
His hand was forced, at times, by blitz-heavy teams, including Arizona, whom Tannehill torched for a then-rookie record 431 passing yards (306 against the blitz). But as the season went on, with the rookie becoming increasingly comfortable, the Dolphins were able to open up the playbook, putting him position to throw on the move, a definite strength.
Tannehill, according to ESPN’s James Walker, was the AFC East’s most successful passer outside of the pocket, posting a division-high completion percentage (58, which is right around his overall rate), passer rating (83) and touchdowns (3).
The sample size is smaller, of course, with Tannehill asked to dissect a defense inside the hashes plenty, but still the numbers are impressive. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, for instance, only competed 39.4 percent of his passes outside of the pocket, though he, unlike Tannehill, is less inclined to get outside unless pressure forces him to do so.
Look for the Dolphins to perhaps mix in more designed quarterback bootlegs in 2013, allowing the Tannehill to get to one of his sweet spots: outside the pocket.
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