Biases blinded the Miami Dolphins when it came to the last franchise savior.
General Manager Jeff Ireland selected Chad Henne in the second-round of the 2008 NFL draft and invested a ton of resources to ensure he'd become good.
Dolphins owner Steve Ross, one of the most powerful University of Michigan boosters, cheered on the four-year starter for his Michigan Wolverines, and was emotionally attached.
Before the 2010 season Ross made the infamous mistake of saying Henne would become "the next Dan Marino." We all saw how that ended.
Fast forward to 2013, the era of Ryan Tannehill, and my fear is that history is repeating itself.
Take Ireland out of this mix because his future will be decided on his success rebuilding Miami's roster this offseason, and how the team he puts together performs. But coach Joe Philbin and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman are a different story. Their futures are presently married to Tannehill.
Factor in Sherman's relationship with Tannehill from their time together at Texas A&M as head coach and quarterback and it is not a stretch of the imagination to conclude Sherman's too emotionally invested in the player coached by Zac Taylor, his son-in-law.
A line has been crossed, all parties involved aren't neutral. While that could turn out to be a good thing the biases could also lead to blind loyalty.
This franchise isn't going anywhere until they find a top 10 quarterback, and if there is any doubt about Tannehill becoming that player the Dolphins better hedge their bets now and select another one in the 2013 draft.
Matt Moore is a free agent this offseason so the window of opportunity is now. Why not train and develop another youngster with Tannehill in a break-in-case of emergency role. That would keep the Dolphins from potentially wasting another three seasons like they did with Henne.
Last year, at this time I studied Tannehill to see if he justified first round status. Film study proved he was inexperienced, but talented, and worthy of being a first-round pick.
When the Dolphins selected him eighth overall I wanted Tannehill to be slow cooked, watching and learning behind veteran starter David Garrard. A preseason injury to Garrard put Tannehill in the microwave. He started immediately because he presented more upside than Moore, and proved he was good enough to be on the field.
But that doesn't mean he was good by NFL standards, even when compared to his fellow rookies.
Tannehill had a 76.1 passer rating, which has him ranked 27th in the NFL. He threw just 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Tannehill finish last in the NFL when it came to third down passer rating, which happens to be the most important down in football. In the most important quarter - the fourth, which is where most football games are won and lost, Tannehill has a 83.0 passer rating (ranked 23rd).
Will Tannehill improve with a year of experience under his belt, better offensive play design, and better weapons to throw to? Absolutely!
Does that mean he's the missing piece to the riddle that has stumped this franchise since Marino retired in 1999? There are no guarantees on that, and it would be wise if the Dolphins hedged their bets.
Nobody is talking about using another first-round pick on a quarterback. No one in this draft is really worthy, and this franchise has far too many needs to use that early a pick on a position where only one player plays at a time.
But why not go the Washington route? The Redskins not only traded up to draft Robert Griffin III second overall, but Washington also used a fourth-round pick to take Kirk Cousins last year.
This isn't unchartered territory for Miami either. A year after taking Henne the Dolphins selected Pat White in the second round.
The thought process was right, the execution was wrong.
Maybe the second time around, after doubling down the Dolphins will finally get this thing right. All that truly matters is the result, finding an upper echelon quarterback. If that's done nobody will care how the organization got there, or how many picks were used.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun