The Miami Dolphins will enter 2013 with raised expectations. The team spent a lot of money in the offseason acquiring a slew of talented players that will elevate the level of play in South Florida. After a block of offseason practices, everyone has gotten a good look at the talent level on the Dolphins, leaving several players impressed with one another.
Second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill is the player that is expected to make the biggest jump in 2013. The Dolphins have surrounded the quarterback with an excellent supporting cast that features the likes of Mike Wallace, Brandon Gibson and Dustin Keller which can only mean great things. While the weapons have increased, so has Tannehill's decision making. Something several defensive players are thrilled to see.
Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe joined the Dolphins in the offseason to help build a faster defense, but it is the team's offense that impresses the veteran. Ellerbe said he has "seen a lot of good decisions by Ryan Tannehill" that should upgrade the 27th best offense last season. Philip Wheeler, another linebacker signed in the offseason, echoed those statements. Wheeler played against Tannehill as a member of the Raiders and is impressed with the progress he has made.
"Seeing Tannehill as a rookie and seeing him now, I think he's increased his skill level leaps and bounds," Wheeler said. "I think he's more comfortable with the game. He's bigger, faster, stronger and everybody knows he has a NFL arm...We've thrown a lot at him early and he seems to be handling it real well."
Both linebackers believe it is the additions of several offensive players that will help the quarterback emerge as a star in 2013. Wheeler believes the team is now stacked with playmakers that will only increase the speed of the offense. Wheeler said when he looks out at Tannehill now, the quarterback is playing more like a veteran instead of someone just coming off his rookie season.
Tannehill certainly did not have a bad first-year in the league. He started all 16 games, throwing 3,294 yards for 12 touchdowns, but also threw 13 interceptions. It is that poor decision making that left fans worried, something that is no longer there according to Ellerbe. If Tannehill can continue to put his new targets in positions to make player, the Dolphins will have spent their money well.