The Miami Dolphins are ready to start training camp in about 10 days and all eyes will be on Ryan Tannehill.
Ryan Tannehill was having a great year in 2016 under first year Head Coach Adam Gase. Tannehill posted career highs in completion percentage (67.1), yards-per-attempt (7.7), and quarterback rating (93.5) before a knee injury in Week 14 put an abrupt end to his season. All indications are that he has fully recovered and Tannehill looks to build on his impressive 2016 campaign.
The game seemed to be slowing down for Tannehill in 2016, and as the season wore on he showed improved poise and willingness to stay in the pocket that extra millisecond instead of scrambling. His deep passing also improved as shown by his aforementioned yards-per-attempt numbers and the emergence of Kenny Stills as a deep threat gave Tannehill the confidence to let it fly.
Coach Gase expressed the desire for his quarterback to cut it loose and trust what he sees, as explained by Tannehill in the Palm Beach Post:
"“He just encourages me in what I see,” Tannehilll said. “He’s supportive. He coaches me and corrects me when things aren’t done right. He’s a big supporter of whatever you feel you see, you can’t think about it. You’ve got to just let it rip, and make it happen. That’s something I’ve been trying to work on this season. Don’t think about it. Just let it rip.”"
Before his knee injury Tannehill often used his athleticism to get out of trouble, but doing so also led him to take unnecessary hits outside of the pocket. Given that he played wide receiver in college Tannehill has great quickness and agility in the open field for a quarterback. A downfall to that is he sometimes shows the mentality of a receiver fighting for extra yards after the catch instead of a quarterback running for the sideline.
Gase has been confident in not only Tannehill’s recovery but his development and understanding of the Dolphins offense:
"“He just looks like he did last year. The difference is he’s got a better grasp of the offense at this point compared to last year. He moves around fine. He’s got a good edge that I like to him right now."
Surrounded by top wide receiver Jarvis Landry, along with DeVante Parker and Stills, Tannehill has a plethora of weapons at his disposal. The emergence of the running game with Jay Ajayi will also take some of the pressure off of Tannehill. With a full off-season to recover from his knee injury and also gain an increased understanding of the offense, Tannehill should be able to continue his growth into an upper echelon NFL quarterback.