A Lesson From Tannehill

Potential. We all have it, but not everyone lives up to it. Ryan Tannehill, quarterback for Texas A & M in 2011, wasn’t a star, nor is he a star. Due to the lack of quarterback options in the 2012 draft, experts thought he might be a first-round pick. His abilities were rated:

Agility 8.5
Accuracy 6.0
Arm Strength 6.5
Decision Making 5.5
Field Vision: 5.5
Mechanics 6.5
Pocket Presence 7.0
Overall 6.5

There was room to grow. Of course, you would expect a newly drafted quarterback to have to develop. Within Tannehill’s story, there is a lesson to us all that we should never write people off and conditions matter.

Tannehill was drafted in 2012 by the Miami Dolphins 8th overall. They believed he had potential. Tannehill, in six years in Maimi, only had one season with a winning record. He threw between 12 and 17 interceptions per season (that’s almost one a game) with a low of 9 his last season. Tannehill also missed the whole 2017 season with a torn ACL. He only made the playoffs one year in that time and appeared to be a bust.

Ryan Tannehill was traded to the Tennessee Titans to serve as a backup quarterback for the struggling Marcus Mariota. It appeared that Tannehill was destined to be a backup for the rest of his career. He was written off.

How often do we write people off, blinded to their potential due to past performance? We look at metrics, analytics, the numbers, and we determine whether people are worth our time—are worth the chance. While there is merit to our usual behaviour, should we not ask ourselves, what if?

What if we invested the time?

What if their circumstances were different?

How can we change their story?

I like what Seth Godin says,

“The diamond cutter doesn’t imagine the diamond he wants. Instead, he sees the diamond that is possible.”

Can we see the diamond that is possible? Mike Vrabel, the coach of the Titans, did. You see, context is everything. The Dolphins were/are a gong show. Tannehill had three different head coaches during that time.

Vrabel, unimpressed with his star quarterback, benched Mariota. In week six, Tannehill became the Titans starter going 7-3 with 22 touchdowns (second highest of his career) and six interceptions (lowest of his career). This was followed by beating the defending champions in the wild card game and the best team in the league in the quarter-finals.

Ryan Tannehill, who was given up on, traded, put aside, is now thriving in a system that fits him. There is an offensive line that promotes his strength, pocket presence. He has a coach who believes in him.

Is there someone you have written off? 

Maybe it’s you who feels written off, or you’ve discounted yourself.

We need to learn the lessons from Tannehill. Find the right situation and focus on your strengths. 

It’s not about what you can’t do. It’s about what you can do. What is it that you can do? What is the strength that you have to offer? 

Don’t be modest. We all have at least one. 

Skills need to be fostered. Talent needs to be in context.

Einstein did graduate at the top of his class. In fact, he was the only one from his graduating class not to be hired out of college. Instead, Einstein worked for the Swiss Patent office. All the while, he still wrote papers, thought through problems, and never gave up.

Tannehill didn’t quit either. And this is the final lesson from Tannehill, Don’t Give Up.

Check out the resources used in this post

Photo from: https://clutchpoints.com/titans-news-tennessee-eyeing-long-term-deal-with-ryan-tannehill/

Books you need to read in 2020

The year isn’t done yet, but as the Christmas season rolls around the corner there might be some books that you would like to get for that special someone… or, let’s be honest, yourself. These are books I’ve read. Most of which are in the last years and a half. At the end I tag a couple on that I’m looking to read in 2020

Here’s a list, links, and a short reason why.

Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide To Money by Dave Ramsey

I read this book early on in 2019 in preparation for a series I was doing. I cannot say how much it changed my families approach to money. It helped us to be intentional and smart with our cash. I cannot recommend it enough. Grab your copy here: https://amzn.to/2Rz4vE9

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom

At first, I must be honest, I thought “what have I got myself into?!” But just like most reviews of the book I read, I must echo that if you stick with it through the disjointed parts you will be rewarded. I find my emotions swirling constantly as Albom slowly unfolds the story of a boy and his guitar. You can grab your copy here: https://amzn.to/345sbmd

The Day The Revolution Began by N.T. Wright

The Day The Revolution Began is not for the faint of heart. It is heavy! Literally and figuratively. Wright begins be spelling out the history around the cross and the Jewish belief/practice of laying down one’s life for another. Wright then methodically unravels various Scriptures (mostly Paul’s letters) as he points us toward the true nature of the cross, thus revealing the character of God. If you have question on how a good God could kill His son (what we call cosmic child abuse) then this is a book for you. If you want to go deeper into understanding both the cross and Scripture in richer ways, I cannot recommend this book enough. Pick up your copy here: https://amzn.to/36hvg43

Purple Cow by Seth Godin

This book has been sitting on my shelf for a while and it was also published many years ago. Saying this Godin spells out some important principles are pretty universal when it comes to marketing. Be a Purple Cow… how? well, you’ll have to read the book for that. grab your copy here:https://amzn.to/2s8trYA

The Politics of Jesus by John Howard Yoder

My country, Canada, just went through an election. this book help me immensely while thinking through, what would Jesus do? As my neighbours to the south begin to embark of an election also, I cannot recommend this book enough. Yoder looks at some very important principles in Jesus’ life and teachings and how they affect us here today. While things are the same, there are some general principles that are. Get your copy here: https://amzn.to/36kBhNg

Simply Jesus by N.T. Wright

Wright show up again, and in the same vein as Yoder, this book helped me navigate the complicated waters of Jesus and politics. Now, that is only one aspect of this book. Wright does an exemplary job of putting Jesus in His historical period and point us toward a kingdom life. Grab your copy here: https://amzn.to/2RxIh5u

Short Stories by Jesus by Amy-Jill Levine

Levin takes a fresh look at the parables of Jesus and pulls us into the mind of a Jewish person of that time. I’m not all the way through this book (I’m about half which you can track by connecting with me on Goodreads.) and have been reading as part of my devotions each morning. Levin as a way of poignantly, but humorously, pulling out insights that never crossed my white, male, western mind. We are captive to our experiences, Levin helps us expand those. Grab you copy here: https://amzn.to/2DWR1Kv

Hidden Faces by Josh Trombley

I am biased. However I really believe my book will enrich your life for the positive. I explore Biblical narratives in ways that will affect your life. Personal stories, humour, and yes, pictures, help convey the truth that God loves you with a deep passion, you are His child, and He is the one you defines your value. There is no need to put on masks (or faces) but we must strive to be who Christ has declares us to be. Grab your copy: https://amzn.to/38vo32q

Einstein by Walter Isaacson

A fascinating look at a fascinating man. Einstein overcame great trials, prejudice, and his own prideful self limitations to become the premier scientific mind of the 20th century. His story is encouraging, inspiring, and challenging. A fantastic read. Grab you copy: https://amzn.to/2Yuz4MA

On My Reading List For 2020

Inspired Imperfection by Greg Boyd

The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis

Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson

Eternity Is Now In Session by John Ortberg

History and Eschatology by N.T. Wright

What are some of your “must reads” of 2020? What books are on your “to-reads” for 2020?