The Buffalo Bills might be playing a lot of regular season football games this fall with a rookie quarterback under center. Last year's crop of rookie quarterbacks set the bar extremely high from a performance perspective, but it's clearly unfair to expect E.J. Manuel to replicate the personal or team successes of Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson (though we won't deny him the possibility of being that awesome).
Here's a discussion topic for the morning, however: what if Manuel puts up a rookie season similar to the (thus far) forgotten rookie from 2012, Ryan Tannehill of the Miami Dolphins?
Tannehill, it should be pointed out, was drafted by Miami after they'd just hired his former college coach, Mike Sherman, as offensive coordinator. He therefore walked into a system that he was very familiar with; Manuel doesn't have that advantage, which could hinder his ability to walk into the starting lineup in Week 1 the way Tannehill did.
In 15 complete games for Miami last season, Tannehill led the Dolphins to a 6-10 record while completing 58.3 percent of his passes for 3,294 yards (at 6.8 yards per attempt) with 12 touchdowns, 13 interceptions and a quarterback rating of 76.1. The numbers aren't great, but are not necessarily indicative of his level of play; he also ended the year on a bit of a hot streak, throwing for five touchdowns and just one interception over the last four games.
The jury is still very much out on Tannehill, but whenever his name is brought up in general NFL discussions, there is an optimistic tenor to the rhetoric. We have two questions for you regarding Tannehill as they relate back to Manuel:
- Would you consider a season similar to Tannehill's 2012 campaign a successful rookie season for Manuel?
- If Manuel did exactly what Tannehill did as a rookie, how optimistic do you think you'd feel heading into the 2014 season? Would it be as optimistic as Dolphins fans are now?