Miami's offensive coordinator has been with Tannehill since the quarterback was a 19-year-old freshman at Texas A&M. Sherman, a former Aggies head coach, recruited Tannehill and made him wait his turn to play quarterback. Tannehill played receiver for two years before getting his chance at quarterback as a junior and senior. Sherman also played a big role in convincing Miami to draft Tannehill No. 8 overall in 2012.
After a solid showing his rookie year, expectations are even higher for Tannehill. The Dolphins went all-in by surrounding the 25-year-old with good receivers (Mike Wallace, Brandon Gibson) and a solid tight end (Dustin Keller).
Tannehill is the biggest key for Miami's success in 2013, and Sherman believes Tannehill is ready to take that next step.
"Whenever I've challenged him, he’s responded,” Sherman said of Tannehill. “I anticipate a great response this season for him. He’s tirelessly working. He comes out every day as the same. He’s consistent. The great thing about Ryan, if something good happens he doesn’t get too excited. If something bad happens, it doesn’t get to him.”
Sherman’s observation of Tannehill is accurate. Tannehill’s even-keeled demeanor was on display during the first week of training camp.
There were some early struggles from Tannehill and the offense on the first few days of camp. The timing was off. Tannehill was a bit erratic and threw three interceptions in the first three practices, which included a pick-six to safety Chris Clemons. But Tannehill shook off the early rust and finished the week strong. He has gone four straight practices without an interception.
This year Tannehill has the swagger of a franchise quarterback. Unlike last year, he’s not a rookie trying to fit in or compete for playing time. Tannehill knows this is his team and his offense.
Tannehill earned his teammates' respect through his play last season by helping lead the Dolphins to seven victories. Sherman, who knows Tannehill better than most, sees an improved mindset in his quarterback in Year 2.
“I think his personality comes out even more,” Sherman said. “I think his leadership comes out even more. The character of the person comes out even more. I think the players see more of him. When we started a year ago, Ryan was not the starter. Now he comes into camp as the designated starter.
“With that comes huge responsibility and big shoes, and he’s wearing them quite well, and I think he has a lot of respect from his teammates.”