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Tannehill is the man in MIA

12/19/2013, 9 a.m.

The Miami Dolphins have their franchise quarterback. Yes folks I am talking about Ryan Tannehill, the young man some Dolfans love to hate and blame for everything. This kid has got the goods and like most young quarterbacks he has a lot of room for improvement. What I love about Tannehill is the bigger the moment, the bigger he plays — something that you simply cannot teach. Consider the events last Sunday when the Dolphins kept their post season hopes alive beating the great Tom Brady and the New England Patriots 24-20. The story was not that the Dolphins won but rather how they did it. The Patriots are one of the NFL's marquee franchises and when they lose, especially with the chance to get a No. 1 seed in the playoffs, that is a big deal. Tannehill delivered when he absolutely had to. He did not get a lot of pub in the 2012 class of young QB's that include Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. In fact, Nick Foles and Russell Wilson came along after Tannehill who went eighth overall — both had fared much better than he so far in the league. At times, fans have wondered aloud if the team had made another bad choice at QB. Will they ever replace that number 13 guy? While many may not agree with this sentiment but Tannehill may well be the difference in the Dolphins getting to the playoffs. Tannehill was 25-of-37 for 312 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions against New England. He did not shrivel up with fear but rather seized the moment and the win for Miami. Tannehill is a smooth operator but still has little help. The offensive line was in shambles even before the Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito drama. His receiving targets are not what you call great and they struggle to get separation. Couple that with the fact that he gets no help from the running game that completely vanishes from time to time. The one knock on Tannehill is that he needs to improve his deep ball especially with a weapon like speedster Mike Wallace in the fold. He will improve there. Nationally folks are taking notice of this kid and he will get major props if the Fins end up grabbing that final wild-card spot in the AFC. So there you have it Dolfans. It seems like the long, long search to replace Dan Marino may have finally come to an end. Search no more Dolphin Nation, you have your man.

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