When watching the Titans beat the Bills on Tuesday evening, it was hard not to think about what went wrong during Ryan Tannehill’s development and career in Miami. Oddly enough, Tannehill didn’t miss a game in any of his first four years with the Dolphins, but after Adam Gase was hired in 2016 he missed 24 of a possible 48 games. It could be that injuries, including a torn ACL, slowed down Tannehill and led to him being traded to Tennessee last year.
It could be that he got away from Adam Gase.
Even if injuries slowed him down somewhat, Tannehill never looked like he would become as good he is right now. Over his last 16 games: 31 touchdowns, seven interceptions, 9 Y/A, 70-percent completions and an adjusted net yards per attempt of 8.45. And watching him against Buffalo this week, it wasn’t like watching a player succeeding in a well designed system; he is a well-designed player elevating everyone in the system.
Yet Gase’s one specialty was meant to be quarterback development.
I think the attention around Gase and the Jets right now is forced — Bill O’Brien and Dan Quinn were fired because the Texans and Falcons weren’t expected to be 0-5, but the Jets have every bit of the talent necessary to be winless and I haven’t heard anyone say they are surprised about it — but it does hold true that a number of players around the league are excelling even though they weren’t good enough to play for Gase.
The Rams hope that one such player is Jachai Polite and on Sunday he made three tackles and added his first career sack.
Less than 18 months ago, Polite was the 68th overall pick in the draft out of Florida. He went two picks ahead of Darrell Henderson and the Jets could have picked a number of players who would have helped them more, especially since Gase released Polite before he ever played in a regular season game for them. It’s not a move a coach makes with a third round pick unless he’s absolutely certain that player won’t have a valuable career, and that goes triple for a team as desperate for talent as the Jets.
Polite spent virtually all of last season on LA’s practice squad but made the final 53-man roster, in part due to an injury to Travin Howard in training camp. Polite played in only two snaps on defense over the first three games, but had six in Week 4 and then four in Week 5 against Washington. He had a season-high 13 special teams snaps against Football Team and he’s been a regular contributor there too, though these were his first three tackles of the season.
Some other former Adam Gase players:
- Robby Anderson has 36 catches for 489 yards with the Panthers, the most of any receiver in the NFC South and nearly the most in the NFL. He wasn’t good enough for the Jets to re-sign him as a weapon for Gase and Sam Darnold.
- Leonard Williams could only stick with Gase halfway through 2019 before getting traded to the Giants. He seems to be a good player, though perhaps not as good as what he is making on the franchise tag.
- Le’Veon Bell asked to be traded and then was released.
- Other players on the 2018 Dolphins with Tannehill include Kenyan Drake, Kenny Stills, DeVante Parker, Mike Gesicki, Laremy Tunsil, Ja’Wuan James, Robert Quinn, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Charles Harris, which would make a decent team today. They were 26th in points and 31st in yards in 2018, 29th in yards allowed.