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Dolphins fine with Ryan Tannehill the 'game manager'

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A good quarterback has to be an effective game manager first, which is why the Dolphins seem pleased that Ryan Tannehill is finally taking a step back and developing in order.

"No quarterback should be offended," Dolphins offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen said, via ESPN.com, noting that 'Game Manager' is often slag for mediocre quarterback. "It should be a compliment, but it kind of has this derogatory term of making you a non-playmaker. You just manage the game. Absolutely not. ... I think game manager for a quarterback falls in that one that has this negative connotation, but not inside the coaching rooms it doesn't. Not at all."

The numbers -- crunched here by the Miami Herald -- are fairly striking. In games where Tannehill throws more than 35 balls, the Dolphins lose nearly 75 percent of the time.

The truth is -- as always -- a little more complicated. The Dolphins are enjoying a three-game winning streak thanks to an unconsciously good string of games from running back Jay Ajayi. Ajayi has rushed for 529 yards and four touchdowns in wins over the typically stout Steelers, Bills and Jets. Tannehill, on the other hand, has thrown for just 605.

For now, this is acceptable. There was always something about Tannehill's ascent that seemed unhinged. Every massive statistical game was pock-marked by fears of bad technique or poor reads. The increased focus on the running game and short passing game under new head coach Adam Gase could be a way of breaking him down to build him up again.

The Dolphins aren't moving on at quarterback -- Gase has made that clear. So turning him into something that will work for everyone is the best bet.

"I look at it as the quarterback's job is to make sure he puts his team in the best position to win a game," Gase said. "I mean, I'm sure Alex Smith really doesn't care how many times he goes to the playoffs as long as he's going. Call the guys game managers. Their job is to win."

Should the Dolphins (4-4) run over the Chargers (4-5) this weekend in San Diego we could be witnessing the future identity of a team that could compete in the AFC East under better circumstances.

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