Ryan Tannehill has thrived in wake of QB controversy

What a difference a month makes for Ryan Tannehill.

Back on Sept. 22, Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin -- clearly frustrated with Tannehill's subpar play in the season's first three games -- refused to name his starting quarterback for the team's Week 4 matchup against the Oakland Raiders. Eventually, Tannehill took things into his own hands, publicly naming himself starter.

It was an unusual and -- we imagine -- humbling week for the former first-round pick. Tannehill responded by playing well in a blowout win over the Oakland Raiders and has been thriving ever since. In the four weeks since his "near-benching," Tannehill has completed 72 percent of his passes for 799 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions.

"I'm just glad we're playing good football, myself and the team," Tannehill said, according to The Miami Herald. "You want to improve every week, and you know I think we've done that. Sometimes it's been obvious, sometimes not so obvious. But I think we're improving consistently, and that's what you want is guys getting more comfortable on the field, myself included, and things start clicking.

"It's fun to go out and play and not think about it."

Tannehill's improvement goes beyond Philbin's prodding, of course. Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor has played to his quarterback's strengths, relying less on the type of downfield passing that has befuddled Tannehill in his career. Lazor has also found success moving the ball with Tannehill working out of the read-option. The quarterback has rushed for at least 35 yards in each of Miami's last three games.

The next step for Tannehill is maintaining this positive momentum. Tannehill has a career filled with stops and starts, but the Dolphins need him to find consistency. The next test comes Sunday against the Jaguars.

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