Tannehill not worried about past, Houston

DAVIE, Fla. -- The last time Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill played in Houston, he had a nightmarish game in his first NFL start against the Texans.

Tannehill's passes were batted down with amazing frequency. He was picked off three times. It was one of the few games Tannehill, Miami’s 2012 first-round pick, looked like a frazzled and shell-shocked quarterback last season.

On Saturday, Tannehill will return to Houston more confident and with a lot of new weapons. It’s only a preseason game, but Houston's starting defense should provide a nice test of Tannehill's progress before the regular season.

“Obviously I want a better showing. How can you not when you have a bad game?” Tannehill admitted this week. “But this is a new year. Different teams, completely different situations, and we are just going out to improve.”

Tannehill and Miami's first-team offense in the preseason has been inconsistent. Both times, the Dolphins got off to a slow start.

The Dolphins' first offensive play against the Dallas Cowboys was a fumbled hand off in the Hall of Fame game. Miami’s first offensive play against the Jacksonville Jaguars resulted in a Tannehill sack. It took a while for the Dolphins to get in rhythm offensively in both games.

Tannehill put together a nice, 80-yard scoring drive in his fourth series against Jacksonville. But that was not enough to impress Miami’s coaching staff heading into its third preseason game.

“We have to do better,” Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said. “We are going to have to do better in pass protection early in a ball game. I don’t think most quarterbacks, it’s tough, you want to get them off to a good start. You want to get them comfortable in the pocket, and that didn’t happen.”

Tannehill is 7-of-14 passing (50 percent) for 86 yards and a touchdown so far this preseason. He is expected to play into the second quarter Saturday against a good defense that was ranked seventh in the NFL in 2012.