Leadership comes from production. You’ve got to win more than you lose.
Ryan Tannehill — the de facto leader of the Dolphins offense — plans to do some winning this weekend.
Tannehill is competing in the annual Fins Weekend fishing tournament — a fundraiser benefitting the Miami Dolphins Foundation — and won’t be happy with second.
“If there’s a competition involved, I want to win,” Tannehill said. “My wife already told me she wants to win the women’s angler for the weekend. There’s high expectations going in, but it’s all in good fun.”
Expectations are equally high for Tannehill’s on-field performance. Now entering his third year as a pro, there can be no more excuses. He has 32 starts in the NFL; the training wheels are long gone.
No one player will dictate the future of this franchise and those who run it more than Tannehill. Although he has shown year-over-year improvement in both statistics and wins, Tannehill understands he still has a ways to go.
“It’s been a lot of fun, but it has flown by,” Tannehill said. “I look back and feel like I blink my eyes and I was at the draft yesterday. I’m excited about this upcoming year. Year Three is a big year for me and this team. A new offense and everything going in. It’s an exciting year, and a year I’m looking forward to.”
Tannehill knows he will ultimately be judged by how the team performs. He had one of the most productive passing seasons in team history by anyone not named Dan Marino a year ago, yet most all anyone will remember is how the season ended.
Had the Dolphins won either of their last two games, they would have made the playoffs (and Jeff Ireland might still have his job). But in those final two contests, Tannehill was uncharacteristically bad. He completed just 45 percent of his passes, averaged 143 yards passing and threw three times as many interceptions as touchdowns.
“I always like to get better,” Tannehill said. “I think the real stat that matters at this point is wins. We need to get that win column up and get into the playoffs. The ultimate goal is Super Bowl. Win the division is the next goal, and then playoffs.”
For this weekend, at least, Tannehill would settle for a good fish tale.• Fins Weekend kicked off Thursday with the draw party at Miami Beach Golf Club. The charity golf tournament is Friday morning. Those scheduled to participate include Jason Taylor, Louis Delmas, Cortland Finnegan and Mark Duper.