Ryan Tannehill, Adam Gase
ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

For the love of all things sane, stop. Enough already. New York Jets head coach Adam Gase didn’t hold Ryan Tannehill back.

Robby Sabo

Enough already. If I have to come across one more tweet attempting to draw up the “Adam Gase held Ryan Tannehill back narrative” I may have to call it quits. Shut it down. Close the laptop and leave the country. (A lot of folks may like that idea—if only to avoid rational thought in order to continue hating the most popular figures to despise.)

In no way is it surprising. After all, this is Twitter. This is the new world of sports media. This is the agenda-driven land of publicity-seeking activity.

It’s just utterly disappointing. By now, it would make sense that technology has helped us move forward in our sports-loving intelligence… at least a tad.

But alas, Tannehill’s 2-0 record in the NFL Playoffs has the New York Jets head coach on the fandom hot seat, yet again, and he’s watching from home like the majority of the NFL.

The argument goes a little like this: Tannehill, now free from the Gase shackles of yesteryear, is flourishing before our very eyes. His Tennessee Titans, after knocking off Tom Brady’s New England Patriots and Lamar Jackson’s Baltimore Ravens, are just the latest and greatest evidence of a football team (and quarterback) thriving under such conditions not created by Adam Gase.

As previously mentioned at the top… enough already. The notion is completely preposterous, and whether you’re on board with the Jets head coach, bitterly despise the man or remain completely indifferent, Tannehill’s recent play signals very little as it relates to the Jets embattled sideline boss.

Ryan Tannehill played in just 24 of a possible 49 games under Gase

Ryan Tannehill played in a total of 24 of a possible 49 NFL games under Adam Gase. Case closed. This stat is literally all that’s needed to shut down one of the most ridiculous narratives in football history.

Availability is the best attribute in this game and, unfortunately for the duo that was Gase-Tannehill, the quarterback rarely played.

In 2016, Tannehill played in 13 of the Miami Dolphins’ 16 games. He threw 19 touchdowns to 12 interceptions while tallying 2,995 yards through the air to go along with a 67.1 completion percentage.

After starting 1-4, they won six straight under the rookie head coach and a brand new system. Miami qualified for the playoffs that season and the Tannehill-led Fins were 8-5 before his injury—an ACL that cost him a playoff game and the entire 2017 campaign.

They could muster just one win over the last three weeks and fell in the wild card round with Matt Moore under center.

He came back in 2018 and threw 1,979 yards to go along with a 17-9 TD/INT ratio in just 11 games. Again, injuries derailed the season.

After starting the season 3-0, Tannehill, Gase and the Dolphins lost the next two. The QB would go onto miss the next five weeks due to injury, before finishing out the campaign in disastrous fashion.

Tannehill’s numbers under Adam Gase in Maimi are as follows: 4,974 yards, 38 touchdowns, 21 interceptions in just 24 games. In 12 games in Tennessee, Tannehill put up 2,742 yards with 22 scores and just six interceptions.

The numbers are extremely comparable. Even if slightly better in Tennessee, to place it all on the previous head coach rather than understanding how vastly superior Tannehill’s supporting cast is now (No. 3 rushing attack, excellent defense, excellent offensive line) would be a foolhardy action. But more importantly, in what world is any offensive mind expected to develop a quarterback when he plays in fewer than half of the available team games?

He’s not lighting it up in the tournament

Tannehill has played solid football over two road games in these NFL Playoffs. While no man or woman should dare dream of taking that away, focus in a little more on how Mike Vrabel’s squad came out as the victors in each game.

Derrick Henry has beasted his way to tournament immortality. He’s rushed for 182 and 195 yards en route to rushing dominance over the opponents. The Titans rarely throw the ball and, when they do, it’s as safe as it gets.

This Tennessee offensive line is far superior to Miami’s under Gase and with Tannehill prior, which makes the system (run-first) much more quarterback-friendly.

Tannehill has put up a total of 160 yards and three touchdowns to one interception over the two wins. The man hasn’t thrown for 100 yards in either of the games. Oh yeah, he also finished 7-for-14 and 8-for-15 in the two games, respectively.

Has he suddenly been transformed? Even further, where was this superstardom under Joe Philbin prior to Gase’s arrival?

Come on, folks; drop the agenda and start drilling in on actual football discussion.

The most impressive part about the Titans journey is the rushing attack offensively and Vrabel’s scheming on the other side of the ball. What they did to Jackson and the Ravens No. 1 offense was downright spectacular.

Vrabel sacrificed his pass rush in order to stop the Ravens. Even when they were rushing four, they weren’t. No edge man ever allowed himself to travel too far downhill and never went beyond Jackson in the pocket. They contained him with every rusher, flooded the middle zones (while simultaneously using them as spies) and dared Jackson to throw outside-the-numbers—something he struggles to do on a consistent basis.

What no defense could do this season, Vrabel and the Titans did on Saturday, yet Gase holding Tannehill back was trending on Twitter.

Final thoughts

It’s not complicated. Throw the agendas out and look at this thing objectively. Tannehill is playing solid football. He’s also not the driving force behind the Titans’ two stunning victories.

Jets fans can hate their head coach all they want, but if they use such a weak and agenda-driven narrative as evidence as to why he’s no good for Sam Darnold and their team, they’re simply doing themselves a grave disservice.

Such a narrative can be flipped, too. Why isn’t it a credit to Gase that Tannehill (now healthy) is thriving? What if it was Gase who helped him get over his fully lost season via injury?

It’s all nonsense. Welcome to the sports media world that is 2020. Welcome to Twitter, the wasteland of garbage takes aimed for a publicity objective.

Stop with the “Adam Gase held Ryan Tannehill back” narrative. It’s complete garbage.

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