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Rearranging the deck chairs on the SS Tannehill

In the NFL QB is by far the most important position on the field.  The Dolphin’s do not have a good QB.  If the Dolphin’s have an opportunity to either draft a QB ,that their scouts feel has a decent chance to be better than Tannehill, or pick up a veteran QB who has been better, they should make the move.  If the Dolphins do not get upgraded QB play, firing Ireland, Sherman, drafting or signing this or that Offensive Lineman is not going to make much difference.

 Ryan Tannehill did not make any kind of jump in 2013.  If he was any better he was only a little bit better.  His 2013 QBR was lower than his 2012 QBR.  His EPA per play was .01 in 2012 and .03 in 2013.  EPA and QBR are both better measures of actual  performance than passer rating and his passer rating was only 5.2 points better.

 You can talk all you want about Offensive Coordinators and Offensive Line play but QB play is what determines an Offense’s success.   Look at what Brady did in NE this year.  Look at what Rodger’s has done with a bad Offensive Line.  I am not expecting Tannehill to be Rodgers or Brady but how about as good as Jake Locker?  If Tannehill matches Locker’s .10 EPA per play he generates an extra 52 points on the season, almost 2 full wins, the difference between easily making the playoffs and finishing 8-8.

 Can Tannehill get better?  Yes, I think he probably will get better, but let’s not fall into the Eli fallacy.   Eli was a pretty bad young QB who became average to above average and got hot at the right time to win 2 Super Bowls.  How often does that happen?  The reverse could also happen and Tannehill could get worse.  The more likely scenario is the Tannehill slowly improves over the next 4-5 years and gives the Dolphins 2-3 or so years of below average QB play at his peak.  Those are not the kind of returns that should make a player untouchable.

 This isn’t just about stats.   Tannehill missed Wallace deep once or twice in every Dolphin’s game this year.   Tannehill left throws all over the field on a regular basis not just the deep throws.  He missed outs and double moves to Hartline on a regular basis.  He missed throws and he consistently held on to the ball too long.   He just wasn’t that good.  I understand it hurts to say it but he gave the Dolphins bottom of the league QB play.  It is true and pretending otherwise, crossing our fingers and hoping otherwise, won’t change it.    From bottom of the league to below average is the baseline and the improvement curve we are looking at.  The only way to change that is to invest in a chance at a better QB.

Brooks or Yglesias?

Who is right?  Brooks or Yglesias?  Is a traditional family structure the key to better outcomes for children or is materiel well being the crucial factor?

It certainly looks like traditional family structures plays a role. Children are best off in a traditional nuclear family at every income level.

Don’t believe it? OK.  But only 6.3  of married families lived in poverty.  This makes sense. When you double the number of potential wage earners in a family you greatly increase the family’s chances of a much higher income.

So should we run around the country with a shotgun forcing poor people to get married?  I say we don’t need to do anything so drastic.  A much better solution would be to just repeatedly inform everyone  about the double benefits for children of a traditional family structure.  Explain that is best if  everything reasonably possible has been done to insure that a child is born into a traditional family structure.  We don’t need to scold anyone.  A dry recitation of the facts about the impact of single parenthood on incomes and childhood outcomes is all that is needed.   Think of it as a public health campaign.

Would it work?  Maybe.  Why not?  We have spent a lot of time informing teenagers about the consequences of teen pregnancy.  The result is a 50% decline in teen pregnancy from 1991  to 2012.

Imagine if 50% more children were born into 2 parent households, 50% of those marriages lasted, and 90% of those households avoided poverty.  If all that happened we would expect to see a decrease of say about 20% in poverty.  That would be huge!

The nice thing is that it is not an either or choice of Brooks or Yglesias.  It is possible to explain and promote the enormous benefits of a traditional family structure while at the same time pushing for more material resources for all family’s living at or near the poverty line.