DAVIE, Fla. -- There are certain pressures with becoming the new $96-million man in Miami. However, Dolphins starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, by all accounts, handled this offseason very well and made progress.
It was evident in organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp that Tannehill, 26, has grown as a leader and a player. Partially due to the Dolphins’ large financial commitment, Tannehill knows the 2015 Dolphins are his team. Anyone who doesn't fall in line with that will not be around very long.
Tannehill’s comfort level in the offense also has improved in his second season working with offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. Tannehill is making quicker reads and meshing well with his new receivers.
“He’s had a good offseason, he really has,” Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said of Tannehill. “He and I visited one on one a little bit [Tuesday] and talked about some things. I think you saw some really good things down in the red zone. Like I said, we spent a lot of time down there this offseason. We’ve worked on the chemistry between him and the receivers and conceptually we’ve added a couple things that are slightly different and then reinforced other things.
“I think it’s been a productive offseason for him; I think he feels good about it. He’s the type of guy that’s going to continue working here in these five weeks leading up to training camp.”
In the past, Tannehill had issues with inconsistent practices. He would follow up one or two good practices with a poor practice, which is pretty much what we've seen from Tannehill in games during his first three seasons.
This offseason Tannehill was consistently good. He had three of his best practices in the final OTAs open to the media and the two-day minicamp. Tannehill's work in the red zone this offseason was particularly impressive, as he routinely hit receivers Greg Jennings, Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker and tight end Jordan Cameron for touchdowns. The Dolphins were ranked No. 21 in red zone efficiency last season, and this is an area in which the offense must improve.
“I definitely think I am growing. I try to get better each and every day, learn from my mistakes, make good decisions, and put the ball in the right location,” Tannehill said. “There are definitely plays that I wish that I could have back. There are always things that I am looking to improve upon, but I think I am learning from every rep and filing those reps away.
“I feel really comfortable in this offense right now in the sense of knowing exactly where everyone is supposed to be and being more of a coach on the field this year as opposed to trying to learn the whole system with everyone else like I did last year.”
Optimism is high this summer in Miami. Coming off a pair of 8-8 seasons, this is the best collection of talent the Dolphins’ have had under Philbin.
Veteran additions such as Jennings, Cameron and Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh will help the Dolphins. But Tannehill continuing to improve in 2015 is the biggest key to success for Miami.
Tannehill has high expectations for himself and the Dolphins.
“I think this team is hungry. I think we are hungry to win a championship,” Tannehill said. “I know those things aren’t done overnight, but the way we have finished the last three years kind of has a lot of guys [with] fire inside and that is exciting for me to see everyone just excited to get to camp, get to games and win games.”