It’s normal in sports for people to assume that when a coach or GM or even a star player switches teams, other players from that persons former team may wish to follow. When first year head coach Joe Philbin took the job in South Florida, many assumed there would be a migration of former Packer players to South Beach. So far, that hasn’t been the case. In fact, Texas A&M seems more like the pipeline for new Dolphins, as offensive coordinator Mike Sherman (another former Packer coach) joined coach Philbin and has begun installing a new offense, and using some of his former college players to aid in that.
What the Dolphins do have however, is several players that may be able to match certain players that the Packers have and fill roles similar to what Philbin and Sherman were used to using in Green Bay. In this series, we will take a look at players from each side and compare how they may fit into the new schemes down in Miami. We’ll start at the top, quarterback.
MDD Staff Writer: Chad Pullen
Ryan Tannehill —-> Aaron Rodgers
Dolphin fans would be beside themselves with glee if Tannehill came anywhere close to what Rodgers have become. Since taking over for Brett Favre, Rodgers has been a machine in Green Bay. Aaron sat for three full seasons before taking over in 2008 and the belief is the Dolphins would love to have Tannehill sit almost half of that.
Rodgers has many tools including a quick arm with pinpoint control as well as a lot of velocity on his throws. Add in a great knowledge of what he wants to do and where to attack, and he’s a tough guy to stop. His measurables are very similar to Tannehill’s as Rodgers stands 6-2, 225 lbs. Tannehill checks in at 6-4, 222. It would not be a surprise for Ryan to be able to play a very similar style to Rodgers, the big question is whether Ryan can master reading a defense and match the accuracy that Rodgers possesses.
Another strength of Rodgers is the core around him, and how he uses those weapons. In 2008 he had two receivers post 70+ receptions, with three others in the 30’s.
In 2009, he again had two receivers at 68+ receptions, his tight end at 55+, and two others with 30+ catches.
2010 saw his tight end Jermichael Finley go down to injury early in the season, causing Rodgers to adjust, this time having one receiver go over 75 receptions, two other receivers at 50+, one receiver at 45+, a running back at 43, and two others with 20+ catches. He basically used everybody in the offense to spread the ball around, and make it difficult on defenses to key in on or stop anybody.
In 2011, Rodgers turned in an MVP performance spreading the ball around to the tune of two receivers at 67+ receptions each, once again his TE at 55+, two more receivers at 35+, and FIVE other players between 10 and 29 receptions.
If Tannehill can match anything from Rodgers on top of reading defenses, spreading the ball around could be his biggest attribute. An underrated part of Rodgers’ game is his ability to scramble when his protection breaks down. Tannehill being a former receiver himself in college, is also quite comfortable tucking the ball and running, which could help him avoid too many jailbreak blitzes as coordinators will be leery of leaving their defenses exposed behind too many blitzers.
We may not see it in 2012, but it might be possible we start to see Tannehill follow the career arc of Rodgers in the next two or three years, and it won’t bother Dolphin fans one bit if that happens.