Written by Matthew Cannata
On the first day of practice, the first two offensive plays were a timeout and a botched exchange, resulting in a fumble. That's when Tannehill stepped up and delivered a message to the offense, which is something he may not have done in the past two years.
“Everybody take a deep breath, calm down, and let’s play,” he said.
Players on the team have noticed that Tannehill has become much more vocal in 2014 with Mike Wallace and Charles Clay being two of them.
“He knows that’s his job,” Wallace said. “This is his team. We’re all on the team, but this is a quarterback-driven league, so we need him to be our commander and leader. Last year at this time, I don’t really remember him doing that.”
“His confidence never wavers. He’s calm. It doesn’t matter if we’re down by three and we’ve got 99 yards to go. He’ll come in the huddle and say, hey, we’ve got to go 99, let’s go 99," said Clay. “I mean, it builds the confidence of the guys around him whenever you’ve got a quarterback, a young guy like that, who doesn’t get rattled.”
For his part, Tannehill said he's been mainly focusing on the timing of the offense and getting it all down.
“This offense is pure timing, throwing to spots,” he said. “You see on the first day, you might miss a guy, but we’re throwing to these spots and over time we’re going to build the trust that the receiver is going to be there and I’m going to put it in the right spot. I have a lot of confidence in myself,” he said. “Confidence in the guys around me that we’re going to get this thing done.”
Year three is when quarterbacks usually turn the corner. So far, signs have been encouraging but we'll see if Tannehill can perform at a high level on a consistent basis every week.
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