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Newest Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill talks Dan Marino

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Truth be told, we didn't lose any sleep last night lamenting the difficult position in which Ryan Tannehill finds himself.

Tannehill was selected with the eighth overall pick in the NFL draft. If he so chooses, he can live on a block with a cul de sac. His swimming pool will be whatever shape he likes. He soon will be paid to throw footballs.

But yes, he's also the first quarterback selected by Miami Dolphins in the first round since Dan Marino in 1983. That's a substantial storyline hook, and Tannehill now enters a reality where the specter of Marino always will be tied to his narrative -- at least initially.

"I don't think I'm trying to fill his shoes," Tannehill said late Thursday, according to The Miami Herald. "I'm my own player."

Don't expect much of an incubation period for Tannehill. Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland (who, not for nothing, really needs this pick to work) said Thursday, "I didn't take him with the eighth pick in the draft to be a backup quarterback."

In other words, get those clipboards ready, Matt Moore and David Garrard.

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"I'm excited, not to put pressure on myself to be a good player. I want to be a great player someday," Tannehill said. "I'm excited about the opportunity. I welcome the pressure from the organization because I welcome the organization and I'm glad they drafted me."

Back to the Marino connection, which is totally overblown. This is like the New York Yankees drafting a right fielder, then asking the guy if it will be tough to follow Babe Ruth. Ancient history.

What's more logical: That there's some type of Marino curse? Or that the Dolphins never found a successor partly because they took a three-decade break between first-round choices at the position?

As Tom Brady and many others can attest, there's plenty of QB value outside the first round. But drafting a premiere college player like Tannehill finally gives Miami an inside track at success.

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