Did you know Ryan Tannehill and Raekwon McMillan rehabbed together?
By Brian Miller
The Miami Dolphins lost two important starters in camp last year. Ryan Tannehill and Raekwon McMillan and how they bonded together could impact the team.
During the 2017 season there was a lot of talk about Ryan Tannehill and his rehabilitation. As fans we knew that Tannehill was entering a critical phase of his career. On the opposite side of the ball, rookie Raekwon McMillan wasn’t getting the same kind of press as the team’s quarterback but we knew that he was rehabbing as well.
Did you know they rehabbed together?
During his post-practice press session, Adam Gase talked about McMillan and shared some insight into his rehabilitation that may come as a mild surprise.
"(It’s not an ideal situation to have injuries to both QB Ryan Tannehill and LB Raekwon McMillan last year but how beneficial was it for those two working together during rehab?) – “I think they did a good job of pushing each other. They were always competing. You hate to say … It was good that they both had each other to go through that with. It hurt us last year but it was good for those two guys to have that other guy to really make sure you stay focused on what you’re doing. Plus, players in the NFL, they’re competitors. So having somebody to compete with day in and day out, that helped those guys.” – Via MiamiDolphins.com"
Ryan Tannehill has said that one benefit from being gone last year is that he is becoming a better leader on the team. Did some of McMillan rub off on the quarterback who was quiet? Let’s look at McMillan for a second.
Entering his first NFL camp, McMillan stepped up quickly and impressed the coaches so much that he was named the starting inside linebacker in the first week of camp. McMillan was able to read the offensive schemes and made few rookie mistakes. He was vocal and that continued when he returned from his injury this off-season.
Often seen calling out defensive responsibilities and even moving older veterans into the proper position, McMillan has become a bona fide leader on defense and that is something Miami has lacked at the linebacker position since the days of Zach Thomas.
Knowing that both Tannehill and McMillan worked together on their rehab and that they competed with each other is a bond building experience that could have huge impacts on the team. Suddenly the Dolphins go from having no vocal leaders on either side of the all to potentially having two.
How much leadership comes from them will be known when the team begins playing real games. They have to match that on the field of play as well. No one will follow someone who misses assignments or is inconsistent. They can say all the right things but it’s what they do, the actions, that will mean the most.
For now it’s a positive sign that the Dolphins potentially have a leader on offense that is not in name only and a leader on defense that isn’t afraid to point out what needs to be done.