Coming off a strong sophomore campaign, quarterback Ryan Tannehill enters his third season behind center as an established leader on the Miami Dolphins offense. In 2013, Tannehill set career highs in total yards and touchdowns, while also leading key fourth-quarter comebacks against Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and New England. The former Aggie looks to lead the Dolphins to the playoffs for the first time in six years behind a talented cast of receivers, running backs and tight ends.
The Finsiders’ Greg Likens sat down with Tannehill to discuss his newfound leadership, the progress of the new offense, and the new and improved offensive line.
On Bill Lazor
“He’s very precise. He wants everything to be exactly like we talk about. That gives me comfort knowing that I should know where guys should be at on every play because we’ve talked about it, we’ve walked through it, we’ve ran it before, we’ve corrected it, and now we all understand exactly what to do. Yeah, things are going to happen throughout a play, but when you have that type of precision coming from your coordinator then you can transition that to the position coaches and the players, and that accountability is raised.”
On the pre-snap movement with the offense
“It’s been great. I think just the difference from last year with moving guys around has been huge. It’s been a little bit of an adjustment throughout the OTA’s and minicamp with just being comfortable with lining up and moving, and shifting tight ends, and backs, and everyone. It’s challenging, but it’s going to create mismatches for us on offense. It’s going to put guys in matchups that they can win, and win consistently, and we’re going to get people in positions that they don’t want to be in on defense. It’s a lot of fun for us to put them on their heels, and be able to get the ball to our playmakers all over the field.”
On the revamped offensive line
“It’s been great. You can tell it’s a talented group. You see Branden (Albert), who was a pro bowl player from last year…We bring in Shelly Smith, draft Ja’Wuan James, Dallas Thomas is already here but had to transition from playing tackle last year over to guard. It’s been a learning process for those guys just getting comfortable playing as a unit, but if you look back from day one until now you can see them start to jell together, start to understand the calls, see the calls happen before they’re made, and when that happens it’s really a dangerous weapon to have to help in the run game and pass game.”
On the new stadium plan
“It’s awesome. I’m excited about the new stadium, the remodel. I think the guys are excited. We’ve seen some renderings and it’s going to be a great place to play, an iconic place in South Florida for the Miami Dolphins, and it shows Stephen Ross‘ commitment to the team. He’s putting forth $350 million of his own dollars, and that’s a huge commitment he’s showing to us here in this building, and now he’s showing it to the community as well.”
On giving back to the community
“I think it’s important. To be in the position that I’m in, that we’re in as NFL players, we’re given a huge platform to be able to help other people in a lot of different ways. Something as small as spending a little time with a kid in the hospital, or helping do some work on someone’s house, it’s huge. The Tannehill Aces group I work with is a group of 25 kids out of Miami who have done a lot of fun things, but also a lot of serious projects as well. To see those kids be able to get out in a yard and work – dig flower beds and put down mulch – it’s fun for me to see them stepping forward and give a helping hand out. It’s not just us doing work, it¹s the high school kids as well.”
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