Ireland, the team's much-maligned general manager, needs to hit on Tannehill. For what it's worth, Ireland is completely sold on the former Aggies quarterback and has been for some time.
If Tannehill gets rope from fans in terms of the typical rookie learning curve, Ireland will be lucky if he gets a string. The GM is public enemy No. 1 in South Florida. Defending himself has, oddly, become part of his gig.
"It's a little strange," said the man who's so disliked that fans staged a "Fire-land" protest outside his office last month. "It is what it is. I love the fact that the fans are passionate, and they want what I want -- to win. I believe what I do. I have a strong conviction in what I'm doing. I'm a meat-and-potatoes football guy, and I can handle the heat."
It's proper GM speak, but make no mistake: If Tannehill doesn't play well -- and doesn't play soon -- it likely spells doom for Ireland.
No pressure though.