By DJ Siddiqi @DJSiddiqi on May 27, 2014
Ryan Tannehill enters a make-or-break season with the Miami Dolphins in 2014. Tannehill has been steady in leading the Dolphins to sub .500 records over his first two seasons as starting quarterback. A lack of supporting cast has been cited as a reason for Tannehill's mediocre record while leading the Dolphins. Here are five reasons why Tannehill won't have any excuses if the Dolphins are to have another mediocre season in 2014.
With Bill Lazor as the new offensive coordinator, the excuse of Mike Sherman holding the offense and Tannehill back can no longer be used. Lazor helped Philadelphia Eagles QB Nick Foles lead the league in passer rating in 2013, while leading the Eagles to a division title. With Lazor on board in Miami, Tannehill has the good fortune of working with one of the game's best offensive minds.
Tannehill is entering his third season, and this particular season is considered the make-or-break year if the quarterback hasn't broken out already. As unfair as it may be, Tannehill will always be held to the standard of his 2012 NFL Draft class. Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III have all excelled at high levels during their young NFL careers. Tannehill is the only one of the four who has yet to lead his team to the playoffs.
Joe Philbin was the head coach who drafted Tannehill in 2012, so both Philbin and Tannehill's first seasons in South Florida coincided together. You can look at them as a package deal of sorts. If Philbin gets fired after this season -- which will happen if the Dolphins miss the playoffs for the sixth straight season -- then Tannehill is likely on his way out also.
New general manager Dennis Hickey made a strong effort to improve the entire roster this offseason, and one of the focal points was none other than the offensive line. The Dolphins' biggest signing of free agency was franchise left tackle Branden Albert. The team also added Ja'Wuan James and Billy Turner through the NFL Draft. All three players are expected to start along the offensive line in 2014.
The Dolphins made a concerted effort to improve the offense as much as possible in the offseason. They added the versatile Knowshon Moreno to the equation in the backfield, and they added receivers such as Damian Williams, Jarvis Landry, Arthur Lynch and Matt Hazel. It's clear the Dolphins are going all-in in giving Tannehill the best opportunity to succeed in 2014. It is up to Tannehill to utilize those weapons this season.
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